A lesson plan for teaching phonics

Here is a sample lesson plan for teaching the suffix "ful", as in cupful.

This model has been used throughout Read Write Spell.

1. Reinforce reading patterns already taught.

Always start with reinforcement of prior learning. Choose flash cards, tactile letters or a reading chart showing consonants, blends, long and short vowels and other suffixes. Its contents will depend on the phonic progression you are using and the point you have reached. Have students FEEL (wooden, sandpaper or plastic) letters or LOOK at the (printed) letters (or both) and SAY the PURE sounds they represent (e.g. (m) as in mother, not as in dimmer.

2. Reinforce spelling patterns already taught

To improve spelling and consolidate prior learning, it is vitally important to include spelling reinforcement in your lesson plan Tutor and student both say the SOUND, then write the letter or letters for that sound. If you have already taught more than one way of spelling the sound (e.g. the sound (s) can be spelled as s or as ss), include all alternatives already taught.

3. Introduce a new phonic pattern.

In this example, it's a new suffix. If you are following my suggested phonic progression , your student(s) will know what a suffix is because they have already studied suffixes s, ed, es, less and ness. Think together about a choice of picture to draw to represent something beautiful, or wonderful or eventful etc.

Provide a listening activity, for example, "Can you hear suffix ful at the end of these words?.....beautiful, thoughtful. careful etc. Include a word or two that does NOT have suffix ful e.g. trifle in order to reinforce what a suffix is.

Provide a tracking activity for suffix ful. For free sample tracking activities, click here. Have the student(s) write "ful" in lower and upper case letters. The student(s) copy first, then write from memory, then write with eyes closed. Precede this with "skywriting" and / or finger writing on a sand or salt tray if necessary.

4. Design word level work

When preparing word level work for "ful", only to words made up of previously taught patterns should be used to which the suffix ful is added. For example, if you were following my suggested phonic progression , you would use handful, trustful and stressful, but not beautiful. You could design activities like splitting words into base word and suffix, wordsearches, word tracking exercises and "circle the real word".

5. Design sentence level work

Sentence level work should use the words you have just introduced alongside others already known. You can use "cloze" procedure, track the sentence or a "true or false" exercise.

6. Do a "Look, say, cover, write, check exercise

Your "Look, say, cover, write, check" exercise should be for words ending with "-ful" in structure with your phonic progression and for sentences containing those words. Avoid all words not in structure with your programme. Click

here for an example of such an exercise taken from a different Read Write Spell workbook.

7. Play a phonic game

The phonic game you use has the aim of reinforcing the new teaching point, in this example, suffix ful.

All the Read Write Spell materials follow this basic lesson plan. All these elements are presented in workbook format. The program is multi-sensory and highly structured. And it works!