Did you know that less than 50% of American fourth graders scored as proficient readers in the 2019 Reading Performance survey conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress?
There are many factors that influence this disturbing and long-standing trend. The most basic one, however, might be hard-wired in our brains, because while speech is something that children acquire by hearing and using it often enough, research has shown that reading doesn’t come naturally to us. This research goes against the circulating idea that children will learn to read simply by being surrounded with good books and guessing their way through them using context clues.
Phonics, or the relationship between letters and sounds, can give students the skills they need to make educated guesses about unfamiliar words. But how does a teacher teach these skills while keeping children interested in reading? Phonics lessons from Gynzy, which are enriched with activities, images and videos, and class discussions, can help!
Strategies for Teaching Phonics & Sight Words
Everyone agrees students should be taught to read and write, but not everybody agrees on the best way to do that. There are 44 sounds or phonemes in English, but not all teachers would agree on how much time should be spent memorizing these basic letter-to-sound relationships. Phonics is the study of this relationship as a means of giving students the tools they need to decode individual words, rather than relying on context clues elsewhere in the text.
While the strategies a teacher uses to teach literacy skills will vary by classroom, most teachers settle on a combination of phonics instruction, sight words and irregular spellings, and reading fun texts to put those skills into practice. Because literacy is such a fundamental skill, this is one area that may lend itself better to teacher-led instruction to ensure that students are making steady progress.
When teaching students phonics and literacy skills, it’s important to remember that reading should be fun, although this doesn’t mean it is always easy. Give students frequent opportunities to develop their skills in fun games and activities. It is also helpful to tie words and sounds to physical actions as a way of transcending language and providing students with context.
To help develop reading skills for students of all ages, Gynzy offers lessons that teach phonological awareness while incorporating fun games and activities that will help students retain the information:
With Gynzy, you can use or customize our phonics lessons as you’d like, or you can create your own from scratch by utilizing the tools on our online whiteboard.
More Lessons for Developing Readers
Learning to read is one of the most important and rewarding skills a student will learn in their lives. By teaching students to read, write, and think critically, they can be taught to overcome challenges they will face in life. English lesson plans from Gynzy help K-8 students develop these skills in engaging lesson plans that work in a classroom or online learning environment.