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Lesson Plan

Phonics In Context

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time One 20-minute read-aloud session
Lesson Author

Nancy Drew

Tecumseh, Ontario


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Research abounds on the benefits of teaching phonics within the context of rich literature and immediately applying it within known contexts. In this minilesson, students become familiar with the short /u/ sound as they listen to Taro Yashima's Caldecott Honor-winning book, Umbrella. Prereading activities build vocabulary and comprehension skills, a read-aloud introduces students to the sounds of the story, and concluding exercises allow students to apply their understanding of phonic elements in other contexts. Depending on students' needs, this minilesson can be adapted to teach additional phonic elements using other authentic texts.

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Phonemic Awareness Assessment Tools: This website features a variety of assessments that teachers can use to determine whether students are ready for phonics instruction.

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Kane, S. (1999). Teaching decoding strategies without destroying story. The Reading Teacher, 52, 770772.

  • Decoding skills must and can be introduced, taught, practiced, and reinforced within contexts meaningful to students.

  • Quality children's literature provides rich and varied examples of phonics elements that may easily be taught in context.

  • Minilessons before, during, or after choral or shared reading can offer direct instruction that barely breaks the flow of the story.

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