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Phonogram Folders

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13 Folders/pouches labeled with these key sounds: 

er = er, ur, ir ou = ou, ow 
au = au, aw, ough  oy = oy, oi 
ai = ai, ay, ei, a-e j = j, ge, gi 
ee = ee, ea, e-e, y, i-e s = s, ce, ci 
ie = ie, y, i-e, igh f = f, ph 
oa = oa, oe, ow, o-e e = e, ea 
ue = ue, ew, oo, u-e  

Cards (placed inside folders) which represent the various ways the phonogram sound may be formed. On the back of the card the key sound is written as a sorting clue.  

Phonogram booklets which are grouped according to sound in each packet.
A phonogram dictionary (for determining the sound of a phonogram).
Two phonogram alphabets in manuscript/print – one red, one another color. 


  1. Introduce the phonogram folders to the child. 
  2. Pick one folder and place its contents on the table.  
  3. Show the child the cards and explain that “these are different ways to make the same sound” 
  4. Ask the child to read one of the booklets.  
  5. Then ask him to read the other ones.  
  6. Tell the child that he can do the other folders on his own.  


Exercise 1

Child works independently.  

Exercise 2, Sorting Exercise.  

Start with two card sets such as “ie” and “oe.” Place them in two separate columns on a rug. Tell the child how to pronounce the two sounds. Mix them all up and ask the child to sort them back into their groups. 

Exercise 3, The Test.  

This allows the child to see if he really knows all the ways a phonogram is written. We’ll work first with one folder, then two and then more. The child may use pencil and paper, or the phonogram moveable alphabets. We start by introducing the aforementioned phonogram moveable alphabets. Show the child the boxes, bring one and ask the child to bring the other to the rug. Ask the child to think of a phonogram and put it in red letters. Ask the child to write all the other ways that phonogram is written by using the blue letters and placing them underneath the red. The child checks his work with the cards from the folders.  

Exercise 4, The Dictionary. 

The child finds a phonogram that he doesn’t know or is unsure of. He pulls the tab, opens to the page, and finds the key phonogram. These dictionaries help the children become capable of reading the vast majority of the English language.  

Exercise 5, Dictation. 

You hope to have two children who are at the same stage and thus get them to work together. This can be done with moveable alphabets or pencil and paper. The child is now reading fluently and has done all the above exercises. The Children take turns giving each other dictation. On a rug with two phonogram moveable alphabets, they use booklets or their memory to give words to each other. The other child then spells the word, using the red letters for the part of the phonogram, and the blue letters for the rest of the word. They take turns and can check their work with the booklets/folders. The guide should set up the first word but then leave the children to themselves.  

Exercise 6, Additional Phonogram Booklets. 

These are just like the other booklets, let the child know that these aren’t in folders because they have only one way of saying the sound. 



Control of Error



Help the child master the details of the mechanical aspects of reading English. Further the child’s exploration of language and to give further keys to reading. 


5 and up


Keep it lively, don’t let it become drudgery. 
Ask the child to get a book and search for phonograms in it. 

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