Phonics is the most popular method to learn how to read, and this post will help you to give some ideas to let your kids practice phonics first order using easy and fun activities. For those who are new to teaching English, learning phonics is a method to learn how to read in English by correlating sounds with letter or group of letters.
There are several skills to acquire in order for kids to read in English fluently. This time I will only cover the first skill of jolly phonics to teach preschooler age (3-5 years old) using UK preferred method.
My daughter’s school (British Curriculum) is very kind to give parents a phonics workshop to understand better the step-by-step journey to understand phonics. Apparently, we don’t teach phonics based on alphabets order (A to Z), but there are 6 orders to follow:
- S – A – T – P – I – N
- C – K – E – H – R
- M – D – G – O
- L – F – B – Q – U
- J – Z – W
- V – Y – X
Preschoolers will learn these six orders letters sound during their EYFS (Early Year Foundation Stage), HOWEVER, there are more steps to complete their knowledge other than memorizing beginning sound of each letter :
LEVEL 1 : Children will have had opportunities to learn sounds first using body sounds (clap hands, stomp feet, etc), instrumental sounds (using maracas, small drums, tambourine, etc), environmental sounds (i.e birds chirping, helicopter sounds, cars honking etc).
By the end of Level 1 children will be able to enlarge their vocabulary, discriminate different sounds including phonemes, and orally segment words into phonemes.
LEVEL 2 : Children will be taught all the beginning sounds of all letters in Level 2 sound mat (picture below). Other than this, they will be taught how to orally blend and segment CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words such as ‘SAT’ and ‘PAT’.
Moreover , they will also learn to read tricky words (words that cannot be sounded out and have to be memorized) such as THE, GO, I, NO, TO, etc.
LEVEL 3 : Children will learn more about phase 3 sound mat (picture below) and also taught to blend and read more complex CVC words consisting of three Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes such as ‘CHOP’ and ‘NIGHT’.
More tricky words are also will be taught such as HE, SHE, WE, WAS, MY, YOU, etc. They will also be able to write each letter correctly as they would be able to segment and make phonetically plausible attempts at spelling CVC words.
There are three more levels after the level 1-3 but I will not explain them all in this post.
Yes I know it seems like a very long road to go through. But believe me, children are genius humans. One day they might look at you, puzzled with this phonics-thingy, but the next day suddenly they have discovered everything with their own ways.
I am sharing the worksheets I created for FIRST ORDER letters (S-A-T-P-I-N) to be use as practice activities with your children. Before you begin this activities, you might want to introduce the first order letters phonics to your children either using videos or flashcards. Try to expose them to these letters (S-A-T-P-I-N) as frequent as possible everyday. From my experience, younger kids tend to focus less than 5 minutes, so I’d suggest to teach them more frequently in less duration.
Click the picture below to download the FREE worksheets.
Hope you enjoy the worksheets!