When I’m providing phonics INSET at school or running Sounds~Write courses, I am often asked: ‘how can I improve my knowledge of the code?’
The code consists of approximately 175 spellings that represent the 44 or so sounds in the English language. As expert readers who read and spell with automaticity, it is often difficult to place ourselves back in the shoes of an early-reader. However, it’s worth participating in encoding activities to remind ourselves what this feels like.
On this blog post you will find the vowel sounds and their spellings. Read each word, segment that word orally, then underline the spellings in each word.
/a/ bag, meringue, plaid
/ae/ baby, ate, aid, veil, layer, they, eight, ballet, break, straight, gauge
/ar/ arm, ask, balm, aunt, heart, clerk, bazaar
/air/ fair, there, bear, aware, aerobic, heir, mayor, prayer, their
/e/ egg, bread, many, leisure, leopard, bury, friend, said, says
/ee/ each, hero, beef, ski, eve, niece, any, paediatric, receipt, monkey, people, Phoebe
/er/ urban, bird, advert, learn, word, purr, chauffeur, journey, myrtle, were
/i/ kid, crypt, busy, build, English, sieve, women
/ie/ icy, cycle, tight, bike, fries, aioli, eyeball, feisty, Maya, buy, aisle, height, island
/o/ bottle, swap, because, cough, knowledge
/oe/ comb, foal, bone, own, toe, soul, mauve, folk, dough, beau, brooch, owe, sew, yeoman
/or/ awful, north, fraud, all, caught, before, board, bought, four, war, dinosaur, chalk, awe, floor, broad
/oy/ coil, loyal, buoy
/ow/ owl, pouch, pilau, drought
/u/ ugly, other, couple, one (o – wu), blood
/ue/ fury, use, neutron, news, Tuesday, beauty, nuisance
m/oo/n ooze, you, flu, crude, flew, blue, womb, suit, sleuth, shoe, lieu, manoeuvre, through
b/oo/k awful, foot, could, woman
This list was created using the Sounds Write Lexicon. See pp. 58-85 for a comprehensive list.
Part 1: ‘The C in CVCC’ available here.