Knowhow-Now Article

How Teachers Create Phonics Lesson Plans

By Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Like all subjects, Reading and Phonics demands that teachers craft lesson plans that will guide classes systematically and comprehensively. Within the school system there are guidelines that help in this preparation. However, it never hurts to have a sample that can illustrate principles in detail. Apart from the standard school guidelines and the many available samples, there are a lot of resources today for putting together different teaching phonics lesson plans.

What to Consider when Making Lesson Plans

Phonics is an essential step in learning to read, but before it can be taught, phonemic and phonological awareness must first be present. The broadest and the best teaching phonics lesson plans must include preparing children for reading through the acquisition of pre-phonics skills.

Phonemic awareness does not develop simultaneously as children learn to talk. Talking is an independent skill from pre-phonics awareness since this latter skill is not necessary for spoken language.

Phonemic awareness is critical to reading but it has to be taught, it is not acquired automatically through mimicking. Only instruction can develop the ability to hear, identify and to manipulate phonemes (the most basic unit of sounds that can make a difference in meaning).

Sample Teaching Goals

Most lesson plans have short term and long term goals that are specifically laid out for each week of the school year. When it comes to Phonics and reading, the goals are extremely specific, or discrete. Here are some examples:

  • For the general objective of learning to count words within a sentence, a teacher might give the following skill test: Given a spoken sentence, the student is able to segment it into separate words. For example, if the sentence says, “Betty has a cat”, the learner should be able to segment the three words in it. When teaching phonics a teacher planning the lesson might prepare as many as thirty sentences for the students to practice on.
  • For the lesson goal of blending three letters with a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern (C-V-C), a teacher might come up with a word such as bat (b + at =bat), then go down the alphabet to substitute the other consonants for other words. This way the learners get to blend the sounds of the words cat, fat, hat, mat, and soon down the line.
creativity is most important

Activities in Lesson Plans

Today’s lesson plans are often required to provide clear instructions for games and activities that will be used to teach students. Here are some activities that have proven useful in teaching phonics and reading.

First To Sound

  1. Assemble a stack of letter cards large enough for the group to see from their seats. The cards should contain all the letters they have learned so far.
  2. Practice the whole class by holding up a letter and asking them to make the appropriate sound.
  3. Divide the learners into three or four groups.
  4. Allow one representative from each group member to take a turn. When each group has a member standing up, hold a card up and ask the representatives to give the sound of the word. The first one who gets the correct sound earns a point. Prepare a prize for the winning group.

Letter Roll Call

  1. Assemble a stack of letters and take the top card. Show it to the students, make the letter sound, and ask them to follow. Then, ask them to repeat the sound two or three times.
  2. Go through all the letters while using this process.
  3. The, hold a card up and ask them to make the appropriate sound. Go through all the letters while using this process.
  4. Lastly, hold up a letter and ask one student to identify the sound. Again, go through all the letters while using this process.
  5. If your class is small enough, and if you have time, give each student three letters to identify.

Phonemic awareness is critical to reading but it has to be taught, it is not acquired automatically through mimicking. Only instruction can develop the ability to hear, identify and to manipulate phonemes (the most basic unit of sounds that can make a difference in meaning).

learning to read is surprisingly difficult

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