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.
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 who may be unused to delivering explicit instruction techniques. Direct explicit instruction is a signature feature 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 also 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. Each set of boxes 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 necessary scaffolded support 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 classroom based tuition and for when using decodable readers.
Grapheme er spelled words: verve, verb, verge, nerve, merge, kerb, swerve, perch, germ, her, term, Perth, nerd, perm, stern, nerd
Grapheme ir spelled words: birth, bird, birch, girl, girth, chirp, dirt, skirt, squirt, squirm, smirk, thirst, shirk, stir, quirk
Grapheme or spelled words: work, world, word, worm, worst, worth
Vowel ur spelled words: blur, blurb, spurt, purse, surge, surf, nurse, lurch, church, curl, curve, hurt, burst, burnt, turn
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
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
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