Phonics Generalization Mini-Lesson

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Yesterday I posted the 18 Phonics Generalizations, and today I am going to share a mini-lesson template for teaching them! Here are the steps to follow:


  1. Pick one phonics generalization for the week. When picking one to study for the week, I would recommend tying it in with the spelling list for week if possible or read alouds for the week. As always, each child is different, and it is always best to consider where your child is on their phonics knowledge level. A good way to determine this is to use the Spelling Inventory.
  2. Next, find books that tailor to this phonics generalization… a.k.a. books that have several examples of those types of words. For example, if I were teaching Phonics Generalization # 2 “Words having double e usually have the long e sound”, I would look through books to find one that has a bunch of double e words. As far as I know, there is no specific way of doing this. Just flip through books until you find one that has at least five of those words. Of course, the easier way to do this is to pick a book and then see what phonics generalizations it has in it!
  3. After introducing the phonics rule to your child, let them explore the book to see how many words they can find that follow the rule. Make a list of all the words they can find.
  4. After you complete your list, have a more in-depth discussion about the phonics rule. For example, I might say, “Let’s look at the word seed. Let’s pretend we are reading a book and seeing the word for the first time. Let’s sound it out. Se-ed. Do you hear the long e sound? Yes, when there is a word has double e, it usually has the long e sound. Okay, I want you to work with the person sitting next to you. You are going to look through the book again and find words that have double e. When you find a word, try to read it aloud.”
  5. Let students work with a partner to search for words and practice using their new skill/word knowledge aloud.
  6. Next, it is important to link this skill to what else students might be working on in reading workshop, independent reading, or at home. (Studies show if we connect what we learn to what we already know, we have a better chance of remembering the new information and connecting it to other knowledge in the future.) One way to do this is to let students go through their book bins or home library and find other examples of the phonics generalization in other books. Before students search through their books, ask them what should they do if they have trouble reading a word (in this case a double e word). They should remember the phonics generalization and the sound/s it teaches them.
  7. Finally, bring closure to the lesson. Have your child share what words they found and add them to the list from earlier. End with reminding students that whenever they come across a word that follows that rule to remember the sound/s it makes!