After having worked with the phonetic reading material until they are comfortable reading phonetic words, the children need to be introduced to the main rules in English spelling. In the English language we have combined certain letters and given them new value. For example, whenever we see "s" and "h" together, they represent the phonogram "sh," as in ship. There are between 20-30 phonograms that the children need to learn. Below are listed the phonograms for which material can be developed:

ch sh th ph wh wr

tion sion ture

ai a-e ay

ee ea y ey ie e-e

ie igh i-e y i

oa o-e o oe

oo(1) oo(2) u-e ew

aw au

ou ow(1) ou(2)

oi oy

al all

ar or er ur ir

are (care) air

le silent b silent t silent k (kn)

soft c soft g

ea (dead)

In teaching the phonograms, we use words which contain one phonogram but are otherwise phonetic. For example, when teaching the "sh" phonogram you could use brush, shell, ship, fish, dish, shrub, trash, etc.
Reading material is made for each of the main phonograms. Rarely used phonograms are taught as a child encounters them and no special material is needed.




The following material is used in the initial presentation:
1. Picture and word boxes - green boxes containing only one phonogram but which are otherwise phonetic. The pictures are mounted on green cards, approximately 2 1/2" square. The writing on the cards can be smaller than with the initial phonetic material, with lines approximately 1/4" apart. Use black ink. The name of the phonogram is written on the lid of the box. For example, in the "ch" box you might have pictures and word cards for the following words: ranch, chess, bench, match, chick, chimp, witch, crutch. Prepare one box for each phonogram, using as many pairs of picture and word cards as possible. For some phonograms you may have as many as twelve, for others, only three or four.


The teacher takes a box to the child's table, shows him the phonogram on the lid and tells the child, "Whenever we see these two letters together, they make the sound 'ch.' We don't say 'c,' 'h,' we say 'ch.' Can you say 'ch?'" The teacher shows the child how to lay out the picture cards. She then shows the child a word card and asks him to read it and place it beside the corresponding picture. The child continues reading the word cards and matching them to the pictures. If at any time the child forgets which letters form the phonogram, he can refer to the lid.
If the child is understanding the exercise well, at the end of the lesson, the teacher tells him, "The green boxes are on this shelf and they are all here for you to read. You may choose any box and if you don't know the sound on the lid, bring it to me and I'll tell you."