Part 1: Learning the letter sounds

The first 6 sounds

Let’s look in detail at the first 6 sounds.

There are 40+ sounds in English. In the handbook, 42 of the sounds are taught and the letters that relate to those sounds. By concentrating on teaching the letter sounds before asking children to try and read books for themselves, most children can learn the sounds in eight weeks. The letters are introduced in an interesting way involving plenty of actions and fun. Parents contribute by playing letter/word games with their children and regularly going through the children’s own Sound Book.

For each of the letter sounds there is a suggested storyline, an action and a worksheet. Some of the storylines are, of necessity, rather contrived, but they help the children recognise the sounds. The worksheet has a picture, relating to the story, for the children to colour in and a line for them to practise writing on. On the left side of the sheet there is information about the action, as well as examples of words using the sound being taught. The suggested storyline has been deliberately kept in note form, to help teachers to tell the story, rather than read it.

When the worksheet has been completed, the children take it home and show their parents. This way parents see the progress being made and are able to join in with the actions. The majority of children are able to learn five new sounds a week.

The sound sheets are listed in their recommended order for teaching, which is in these groups. There is a Jolly Phonics Big Book for each of the seven groups i.e. Big book 1 contains a double page spread for each of s, a, t, i, p and n.