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Module 3 Activity Guide
Phoneme grapheme mapping provides students scaffolded practice matching individual phonemes to the graphemes that represent them to spell words accurately. This activity provides teachers an opportunity to practice the routine for phoneme-grapheme mapping before using it in the classroom.
- Time: 15 Minutes
- Group Size: 2-3 participants
- Copies of phoneme-grapheme mapping routine
- Copies of Phoneme Grapheme Mapping Grid template (DOCX) (can provide multiple paper copies or place copies inside page protectors)
- Colored disks
- Pencils/ Pens OR Dry erase markers
- Word lists
- Distribute materials.
- Review the basic directions and steps for the PGM routine. Remind participants that each box on the phoneme grapheme mapping template represents one speech sound. This may mean multiple letters will go in the box for the grapheme that represents the individual phoneme.
- Each participant will choose a word list representing a phonics skill they have just taught a group of students. Then, one participant will model leading the PGM routine while the other participant(s) in the group act as the students.
- Allow time for each participant to take a turn modeling delivery of the routine.
- Debrief and discuss follow-up questions.
High-frequency word lists are often used in primary grades since these are encountered frequently in early reading experiences. However, not all high-frequency words need to be taught as “sight” words. In fact, many of these words are phonetically regular and can be introduced while teaching the spelling patterns included in the basic syllable types. This activity allows teachers to look critically at popular high-frequency word lists to determine which words contain regular, decodable spelling patterns and which are truly irregular.
- Time: 30 minutes
- Group size: 2-3 participants
- Poster paper, copy paper
- Fry or Dolch high-frequency word list
- Small sticky notes (optional)
- Review the six basic syllable types.
- Have each small draw a grid on a sheet of poster paper, so there are six boxes or columns. Label boxes with the six syllable types (closed, open, Silent e, r-controlled, Vowel Teams, and final stable syllable).
- Label a sheet of copy paper for irregular words (depending on what you choose to call them, this could also be “rulebreakers,” jailhouse words, Outhouse words, etc.)
- Give each group a page from the Fry or Dolch high-frequency word lists. Ideally, each group would have a different list to sort so that as a whole, at least the first 500 high-frequency words are sorted.
- Give each group approximately 25 minutes to sort the words from the high-frequency word list into the corresponding syllable type or the irregular word page. The focus here is discussion and reflection, not perfection!
- At the end of the activity, have groups reflect on the number of words they listed as irregular (needing to be taught as sight or “heart” words) and the words that are fully decodable.
- How does the knowledge that the most common words are Anglo-Saxon in origin help explain irregularities?
- What insight did this sort give you into the way we think about “sight” words?
- How does this activity affect how teams are currently utilizing these types of word lists?
English orthography is predictable in many ways. Having a clear understanding of the common spelling patterns and when to use them can help teachers be more explicit when instructing students. This activity is ideal for participants who would benefit from practice analyzing words to determine how general spelling patterns work to better understand and articulate regularities in English spelling. Make selections based on the needs of your participants.
- Time: 5-10 minutes per sort
- Group size: individual or pairs
- Word lists for sorting based on common spelling patterns (select one, or give each group a different sort)
- Scissors (if participants will cut out; can also be prepared in advance)
- Sticky notes
- Hand out word sort lists for the chosen sort (or sets of words pre-cut)
- In pairs or individually, have participants sort the words by spelling pattern to determine what the rule is for using the pattern in English spelling. Example: sort words by the spelling pattern for the end sound /ch/ spelled -ch or -tch.
- Once the rules are determined, use sticky notes to label each group of words with the rule indicated by the consistent spelling pattern. (Each word list may include words that don’t fit the rule; have participants discuss the reasoning for the exceptions and label them as “rulebreakers”).
- Ask participants to summarize their sort and what they determined to be the rule for each spelling pattern. Allow time for discussion and questions.
(A brief explanation of the spelling generalization for each sort is provided with the What's the Rule? (DOCX) packet).
About the Review Activities' Guide:
The activities detailed in this guide were compiled to complement the training in scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction provided through the Colorado Department of Education by Public Consulting Group (PCG). Options for activities are intended to review content and strengthen learning from the modules in the training and are listed in the Facilitator Guide. Some activity options include links to resources needed for the individual activity. Each optional activity consists of a materials list, approximate time required and group size recommended, and steps to completing the activity with participants.