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Phonics is the relationship between sounds and the letters used to represent those sounds. Phonics instruction helps readers attach sounds to letters and/or combinations of letters. 


  • Determine what the reader already knows about phonics
  • Look for phonics gaps
  • Focus on what the reader needs to know
  • Teach phonics in order 
  • Highlight the sounds within words rather than the sounds in isolation

Did you know?

A sentence without vowels is easier to read than a sentence without consonants. For example:

  1. Th_ q__ck br_wn f_x j_mps _v_r th_ l_z_ d_g. 
  2. __e _ui__ __o__ _o_ _u___ o_e_ __e _a_y _o_.

See It In Action


Feeling Sounds for Phonics Practice from Partners in Reading - San Jose Public Library


Nonsense words are a great way to assess a reader's ability to read phonetically. Try this list from Creating Learning Partners Unit 6 Reading Overhead 6.4: Flad, Sind, Hilter, Ricle, Wik, Schlem, Bol, Gramd, Lunp, Drede, Tream

You and the reader can think of words that begin with that sound/that letter (bear, beer, bottle, bathtub...). You can write out the words, perhaps highlighting the B in each word. You can take alphabet cards and spell each word out using the uppercase and lowercase letters. You can make up a silly sentence using the words: The bear was drinking a bottle of beer in the bathtub. Have fun with it. 

Excerpted from Answers May Vary Guidebook

Read More:

The Orton-Gillingham Approach to phonics instruction is a multi-sensory method that incorporates listening, speaking, images, writing and movement into basic phonics instruction.

Rising to the Reading Challenges of Adult Learners: Practitioner's Toolkit Appendix C: Sequencing Phonics Instruction