Synthetic Phonics Resources




Synthetic phonics resources: Structured synthetic phonics is an explicit, bottom-up teaching principle that instructs students that sounds are represented by graphemes and that graphemes link in multiple combinations to make words on the page.

The free resources available to download from this page are based on synthetic phonics principles. The worksheets provide a simple blueprint for parents, classroom aides and classroom teachers to complete specific synthetic phonics activities in the classroom or at home. The first of the activities to be released in the coming months will focus attention on the structure of long vowels and the many graphemes that can represent a single long vowel sound.

What do I Mean?

Consider the vowel sound /ae/ as found in the words hay, late and tail. The sound /ae/ has up to 9 different graphemes that represent it in written form. Some off the top of my head they are ea in great ai in rain, a-e in grape, ay in say, eigh in neigh, ey in obey, a in lady and aigh in straight.

Children who have difficulty decoding and reading almost always will have difficulty decoding words with long vowels. The reason is at once simple and complex. Simple to understand because, as in the case of the /ae/ phoneme there are 9 different ways to spell a single speech sound, which can be difficult to remember and learn. Complex to understand, due to a host of complicating factors. This includes but is not limited to, children's working memory difficulties, poor teaching practices and oral language delay or disorder.

Synthetic Phonics Resources: How to use the Worksheets

Each of the synthetic phonics resources worksheets comes complete with a guide to enhance its use. The guide operates effectively as an initial step by step model for parents or teachers unused to using explicit instruction that is a signature of synthetic phonics teaching principles.

The worksheets were originally designed to be used as a support for the use of decodable books. The worksheets work best with students who have been taught some synthetic phonics but can be used with students who have had little exposure to bottom up reading tuition.

Note that each set of three words has accompanying pictures sourced from clip art. There are specific instructions for how to complete each set of three boxes but it is important to state that each box becomes increasingly difficult, and students should not initially attempt to complete the exercises independently.

That is why the guide is so important first up. It will enable you to provide the scaffolded support to your child that is vital when your child make his/her first attempt to spell the long vowel sounds.

As stated elsewhere in this article, the synthetic phonics worksheets, downloadable from this page, should not be viewed as a replacement for classroom based structured synthetic phonics tuition but viewed more as a support for that form of tuition and for decodable readers.

Synthetic Phonics Resources: Long Vowel Sounds

Released 01/02/2020

Grapheme oa spelled words: coach, poach, cloak, croak, groan, coast, roast, toast, throat

Grapheme ow spelled words: bow, mow, snow, throw, slow, blow, grown, shown, flow

Grapheme o-e spelled words: robe, globe, smoke, stroke, stove, those

Grapheme oe spelled words: toe, foe, woe, hoe


Released 28/01/2020

Grapheme a-e spelled words: game, made, drake, bathe, whale, brake, name, stage, lathe, shape, grape, flame, grade, blade, date

Grapheme ai spelled words: paint, jail, chain, praise, rain, again, faint, quaint, brain, grain

Grapheme ea spelled words: break, steak, great

Grapheme ay spelled words: spray, play, stay, stray


Released 19/01/2020

Word list for completion…

Grapheme e spelled words: she, me, we

Grapheme ee spelled words: tree, see, eel, Greece, meet, reef, screech, sneeze, sleeve, street, wheel 

Grapheme ea spelled words: heat, stream, beach, cheat, beast, breach, dream, cheap, heath, knead, heave, bead, meat, please, preach, scream, 

Grapheme y spelled words: funny, happy



Updated 01/02/2020