Is your student done learning letter sounds? Can he read simple short vowel sentences like The cat met a hen? Make sure your student reads through a few short vowel books before moving on to new content. He needs to develop some fluency and be able to read about 20 correct words per minute. (Reading Elephant offers printable short vowel books in our shop.)
What to teach after alphabet
If you’re having trouble with teaching the alphabet, you might want to read how to avoid common mistakes when teaching letter sounds. After the alphabet, teach consonant digraphs. Consonant digraphs are 2 or more consonants that make one sound. Our books teach consonant digraphs in the following order:
sh as in wish
th as in bath
th as in then
ch as in chop
_tch as in batch
_ck as in deck
_ing as in king
_ng as in long
_ang as in sang
wh_ as in when
Continue to use interleaving. In other words, mix old content with new content.
Just like with letter sounds, introduce one consonant digraph at a time. However, be sure to weave in old content. This way, your student will not become weak in old phonics sounds. For example, if you’re teaching the sh digraph, your word list should look something like the following: 1. nip 2. lash 3. men 4. wish 5. lad 6. hog 7. Ted 8. fish 9. hum 10. dish 11. rush 12. yet 13. cab 14. fell 15. lag 16. hush 17. rut 18. well 19. Pat 20. van
Notice how the above list does not only consist of sh words? This list contains interleaving, a very effective learning tactic.
Also, continue to teach spelling and phonemic awareness. Now you can make these activities a bit more challenging too. Add consonant digraphs to these activities as you introduce them. A spelling list for a sh lesson might look like the following: 1. hush 2. tap 3. pen 4. kit 5. Ted has a wish.
Our phonics books printable library can help you learn what to teach after the alphabet. Our books guide you through each sound in order.