Introducing Multi-Letter Phonograms

Now that Strawberry is gaining more confidence with the various sounds of the letters of the alphabet, she’s ready for understanding the concepts of digraphs and other multi-letter phonograms. Whistling Whales by Denise Eide introduces the 21 most important multi-letter phonograms and the multiple sounds they produce in English. After reading the picture book together, we enjoyed sorting through our sight words cards to find the phonograms we encountered in the picture book!

We sort words with multi-letter phonograms to better recognize their place in familiar sight words.

Note: I received a copy of Whistling Whales from the publisher for review consideration.

Learning Basic Phonograms

Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds

As I mentioned before, we have spent the past few years learning and playing with the ABC sounds. Our A to Z Box has been a regular toy for us to enjoy, and we’ve enjoyed doing alphabet activities for multiple letter sounds. As Denise Eide from Logic of English suggests, I made sure to introduce more than just the first sound when I taught my daughter the letter sounds. It’s hard to do so, though, when so many people (I’m looking at you LeapFrog!) only teach the first sound.

Doodling Dragons is the first picture book Ms Eide wrote to accompany the Logic of English Foundations program.  If you are unfamiliar with the program, check out my Logic of English Foundations review from when my son did the program!

In this book, each page has a memorable set of phrases or sentences that encompass all the sounds of that letter. It is a fun approach to an alphabet book because of not all words that have the sound begin with the letter! The combination of the alliteration and the assonance of the phrases makes it a fun read, as well as a rhythmic reminder of the basic phonogram sounds.

Doodling Dragons is a nice reinforcement of the basic phonograms.

Introducing Digraphs and Multi-Letter Phonograms

Strawberry is now determined to read, so although we’re still doing the main aspects of Logic of English Foundations A, when she picks up a book to read for herself, she does not want to be stopped by things that don’t make sense. “Sounding out” words only works if you are only reading CVC words, unless you are familiar with the digraphs and multi-letter phonograms that also build our language.

Whistling Whales: Beyond the Sounds of ABC, by Logic of EnglishI was delighted to see that Ms Eide wrote two follow-up books to Doodling Dragons. The first of the two, Whistling Whales, introduces 21 multi-letter phonograms in a similar manner to how Doodling Dragons introduced the ABCs. For each multi-letter phonogram or digraph, the book shows the sounds, then provides phrases or sentences to ingrain the sounds for the reader. The pages rhyme, making it a pleasant book to read, but it also is a picture book that we can reference as we study the phonograms in the foreseeable future.

When a phonogram has multiple sounds, the book shows the two sounds with different colored ink. Thus, for the phonogram /ow/, the words cow and gown appeared in blue, while row and glow appeared in the orange.

The picture book Whistling Whales from the Logic of English Foundations program introduces the sounds of multi-letter phonograms in a memorable way.I decided to put our sight words cards into action! We chose a page (the /ow/ pages) and found cards with those letters. Then, Strawberry helped me sort the words into piles to show which sounds the words were making. We also got out the Banagrams tiles to practice spelling the words.

The other day we did a similar assignment as we talked about the voiced and unvoiced /th/.  I did not have the sight words cards handy so we wrote some words from Strawberry’s book on index cards. (Practicing voiced versus unvoiced is always amusing to Strawberry, as it means she puts her hand at my throat (and her own) to figure out which words are which.)

We learn all the sounds of digraphs and multi-letter phonograms as we read a memorable picture book for the Logic of English Foundations program.

Reading the Logic of English Phonogram Picture Books

As I mentioned, Whistling Whales introduces 21 new phonograms after the ABCs. It is meant to be read along with Foundations B. Knitting Knights introduces the remaining 27 phonograms to round out the 74 main phonograms in the Orton-Gillingham based Logic of English program. I haven’t checked out Knitting Knights yet, but I just know it’s going to be as helpful as these others have been!

Whistling Whales: Beyond the Sounds of ABC, by Logic of English

Knitting Knights: Beyond the Sounds of ABC, by Logic of English

You may also be interested in these sight words and letter tile templates! Also, check out my amazing list of early reading resources and activities.

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