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Letter Sound Activities

Teaching letter-sound correspondence means teaching the ability to produce the most common sound for each letter of the alphabet. Being able to say the sound for a printed letter automatically is a fundamental skill for sounding out words, building word-form recognition, and ultimately for reading and comprehending connected text.

The objective of the Letter Sound sequence of activities is to teach students to recognize printed letters and say the most common sound for each letter.

This strand of instruction was constructed on the following principles:

  • We use the amsti sequence to introduce letter sounds (an order that minimizes confusion over similar-sounding or -looking letters).
  • Each letter sound introduced is reintroduced in the very next lesson to provide adequate daily practice.
  • Once multiple letter sounds have been introduced, we use an accuracy-building activity to teach students to discriminate between letters.
  • We use fluency-building activities to help students become automatic in this skill--i.e., to become so fast they don't have to think about it.

In FreeReading, whenever a letter is enclosed in slashes, such as /m/ or /M/, it means: say the most common sound for the letter. For the most commons sounds, click here.

Note: This strand assumes that students can already discriminate between letter forms: they know the ABC song and can pick out each letter as they name it. If students do not know letter forms, these should be taught first.