A phonics scope and sequence is essential for any research-based program. If a reading program does not have a phonics scope and sequence it will not be effective.
Educators should always have a phonics scope and sequence on hand and they should be prepared to hand one to parents.
If your child’s school cannot hand you a phonics scope and sequence and pinpoint exactly where your child’s class is in the sequence, this is a major red flag.
What is a phonics scope and sequence?
A phonics scope and sequence is a roadmap. It’s a phonics sounds list that shows the order in which those phonics sounds are taught.
The phonics scope includes all of the phonics sounds in a particular program/series.
The phonics sequence is the order in which those sounds are introduced.
Reading Elephant Phonics Scope and Sequence for our 100+ printable decodable books.
For a the printable Reading Elephant phonics scope and sequence click:
Letter Sounds (K)
First, kids learn letter sounds in Kindergarten. After kids learn letter sounds, they are read to start reading the first Reading Elephant book, “Sam Cat.”
Short Vowels (K)
Reading Elephant Series 1-5 help kids practice short vowel sounds.
Next, kids learn short vowels, including:
a_ as in apple (ex. hat, sat)
e_ as in elephant (ex. hen, pet)
i_ as in igloo (ex. sit, pig)
o_ as in octopus (ex. dog, pop)
u_ as in up (ex. cup, bug)
Consonant Digraphs (K)
Reading Elephant Series 6 helps kids practice consonant digraphs.
sh as in ship
th as in math
th as in then
ch as in chop
_tch as in match
_ck as in back
_ng as in long
_ing as in king
_ang as in sang
wh_ as in when
_ink as in pink
_ank as in tank
qu_ as in quick
Consonant Blends (K)
Reading Elephant Series 7 helps kids practice consonant blends.
Consonant blends are 2 or more consecutive letter sounds. Many programs teach kids to memorize consonant blends, but this is a waste of time. With strong decoding skills, kids should not memorize tons of content. Thus, do not teach students to memorize blends. Teach them to decode blends one sound at a time. Some examples include: cl as in clap, sp as in spill and gr as in grill. There are two irregular exceptions. Teach kids to memorize tr as in truck and dr as in drop, as these two have a sound tweak.
Silent e (K-Grade 1)
Reading Elephant Series 8 helps kids practice silent e sounds.
a_e as in make
e_e as in Pete
i_e as in kite
o_e as in hope
u_e as in use
u_e as in duke
Long Vowels (Grade 1)
Reading Elephant Series 9-13 helps kids practice long vowels.
ee as in tree
ea as in seal
ai as in rain
_ay as in bay
oa as in boat
ow as in glow
igh as in light
_____y as in funny
_y as in my
oo/ew (Grade 1)
Reading Elephant Series 14 helps kids practice the oo/ew sounds.
oo as in moon
oo as in look
ew as in new
R-controlled sounds (Grade 1-Grade 2)
Reading Elephant Series 15 helps kids practice r-controlled sounds.
ar as in dark
er as in clerk
ir as in bird
ur as in turn
or as in fork
Inflectional Ending /ing/ (Grade 1-Grade 2)
Reading Elephant Series 16 helps kids practice inflectional ending ing.
ing as in tipping (first vowel is short)
ing as in timing (first vowel is long)
ing with vowel patterns
Inflectional ending /ed/ (Grade 1-Grade 2)
ed as in missed (takes on t sound)
ed as in saved (takes on d sound)
ed as in rested (takes on id sound)
Inflectional ending es/s (Grade 1-Grade 2)
es as in saves
es as in matches
Inflectional ending /est/ (Grade 2)
est as in fastest
Other vowel digraphs (Grade 2)
ow as in town
ou as in pouch
au as in launch
aw as in lawn
oi as in soil
_oy as in joy
c and g rule (Grade 2)
c (e, i, y) as in face, city and cycle (the c changes to the s sound)
g (e, i, y) as in gem, gist and gym (the g changes to the j sound)