88 pages of synthetic phonics activities designed for beginner or confused spellers of any age who need very structured, fine-grained, explicit, phonetically accurate, errorless learning, and practice developing correct and automatic letter formation. View the workbook’s video tour here. Download a free sample of the workbook here.
This workbook contains very straightforward activities that follow the same cycle, so you don’t need special training or expertise to help a learner use it. It walks you through a few sounds and their spellings at a time, helping your learner develop phonemic awareness (segmenting skills) by discriminating and then writing:
- First sounds, then
- Last sounds, then
- Middle sounds (vowels), and finally
- Whole words.
Consonant sounds which appear early in children’s speech (stops, nasals, semivowels and /h/) are introduced first. Sounds (phonemes) and spellings (graphemes) are practised in two and three-sound words (VCs, CVCs and CVs*) in the following order:
- a as in tap, d as in dot, o as in pop, p as in pat, t as in at,
- e as in pet, g as in got, m as in met,
- n as in net,
- b as in bob,
- i as in pig, u as in up,
- h as in hen, w as in wet, y as in yet,
- c as in cat, k as in kit, ck as in back,
- f as in fin, ff as in off,
- j as in jam, dge as in badge,
- l as in let, ll as in will,
- s as in set, ss as in miss,
- z as in zip, zz as in buzz, v as in vet, ve as in give,
- r as in run,
- sh as in shop,
- ch as in chip, tch as in match,
- th as in with, th as in then, ng as in long,
- wh as in when,
- VC and CVC words with funny spellings, as in is, us, ref, of, pal, yak, of, egg, odd, mutt, much,
- o as in son, ne as in done, me as in some,
- e as in me (open syllables),
- a as in ha, i as in hi, o as in no (open syllables).
All activities incorporate pictures, to add meaning and build vocabulary. Pictures are mostly simple, computer-generated line drawings from the Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols, and are used with permission. They are suitable for all ages.
This workbook should be used in conjunction with other synthetic phonics activities at the same skill level, such as the games on this website, the movable alphabet, decodable books and relevant apps/software. To make good progress, your learner should do three to five practice sessions a week, ideally completing one set of workbook words (usually 4 pages) at a time, then do some reading, games, wordbuilding etc. at the same level.
Please note that this workbook is supplied as a pdf file which you download and print yourself. This keeps it affordable. Please print on scrap paper if you can, to save trees. You can purchase using a credit card, you don’t need a PayPal account.
The workbook comes with a cheat sheet listing all the words in the workbook and suggested sentences for each, so you don’t have to figure out what the target words are, and can work quickly. The aim is that your learner has lots of practice listening to spoken words, saying them in a stretched-out way, discriminating their sounds, matching the sounds to the correct letters/spellings, and writing them with correct placement and formation.
You may make up to fifty copies of this workbook, for use with your own students/clients. You might consider it most suitable as a simple, hard-to-get-wrong homework activity, and just check it each week/session.
* V = vowel sound, C = consonant sound.