Play Makes Sense Phonics Activity Cards with Alphabet

Phonics Sounds

Phonics Sounds

Understanding the intricacies of phonics is essential for effective literacy development. Despite having only 26 letters in the English language, there are 44 distinct sounds. This discrepancy arises from the various combinations of letters and the fact that certain letters can produce more than one sound. In this guide, we delve into the structure of phonics, exploring how these 44 sounds are systematically taught across different phases.

Phase 2: Foundation of Letters and Sounds
In the initial phase, known as Phase 2, children are introduced to essential letters and their corresponding sounds. This introduction is strategically organized, not following alphabetical order, but a sequence designed to facilitate immediate reading and writing capabilities.

The letters and sounds covered in Phase 2 include:

  • s/ss, a, t, p
  • i, n, m, d
  • g, o, c, k
  • ck, e, u, r
  • h, b, f, l/ll

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Phase 3: Expansion of Phonemic Knowledge
Building upon the foundation of Phase 2, Phase 3 introduces the remaining single letter sounds, along with digraphs and trigraphs. This phase broadens the scope of phonemic understanding.

The letters and sounds explored in Phase 3 are:

  • j, v, w, x
  • y, z/zz, qu
  • ch, sh, th, ng
  • ai, ee, igh, oa
  • oo, ar, or, ur
  • ow, oi, ear, air
  • ure, er

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Phase 5: Mastery Through Alternative Graphemes
Advancing to Phase 5, students are exposed to alternative graphemes, offering various ways to represent sounds learned in previous phases. This phase emphasizes fluency and flexibility in writing.

The letters and sounds encompassed in Phase 5 are:

  • /c/ - c, ch, ck, k
  • /e/ - e, ea
  • /f/ - f, ph
  • /j/ - dge, g, j
  • /m/ - m, mb
  • /n/ - gn, kn, n
  • /r/ - r, wr
  • /s/ - c, s, sc, se, st
  • /w/ - w, wh
  • /z/ - se, z, zz
  • /ch/ - ch, tch
  • /sh/ - c, ch, s, sh, ss, t
  • /ai/ - ai, a-e, ay, ei, eigh, ey
  • /ee/ - ea, ee, e-e, eo, ey, ie, y
  • /igh/ - i, ie, i-e, igh, y
  • /oa/ - o, oa, oe, o-e, ow
  • long /oo/ - ew, oo, ou, ue, u-e, ui
  • /yoo/ - ew, u, ue, u-e
  • short /oo/ - oo, oul, u
  • /or/ - al, au, aw, or, our
  • /er/ - ear, er, ir, or, ur
  • /ow/ - ou, ow
  • /oi/ - oi, oy
  • /ear/ - ear, eer, ere
  • /air/ - air, are, ear, ere

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By navigating through these carefully structured phases, children can develop a comprehensive understanding of phonics, ultimately enhancing their proficiency in reading and writing.