Every Student

LS&W2 - Phonics - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

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Teaching Opportunities

Fine motor activities
Literacy sessions
Technology sessions
Leisure time
Sensory play
Work tasks
Art activities


Teaching Resources

NSW DEC Interactive Literacy Continuum
Foam mat alphabet puzzles
Alphabet stamps
Alphabet beanbags
Alphabet play dough cutters
Letter stickers
Student photos
Letter boxes
Letter cards
Alphabet threading
NSW DEC Literacy Teaching Guide: Phonics
Play dough
Letter blocks
Interactive apps, software and websites
Electronic alphabet toys
Alphabet memory games
Alphabet BINGO games
Alphabet craft books
Goop or slime
Interactive touch screen devices


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies

Peer and self assessment»


Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-2A A student composes simple texts to convey an idea or message

ENe-4A A student demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies


Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-6A A student reads and responds to a range of written texts in familiar contexts


HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)


Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content 


-know that spoken sounds and words can be written down using letters of the alphabet and how to write some high-frequency sight words and known words 2A

-identify most of the sounds and name all letters in a given word 4A

-use phonological strategies when reading, including letter–sound relationships 4A

-use knowledge of letters and sounds to decode words, including those in initial, final and medial positions 4A

-manipulate letters to assist reading, eg delete an onset to make a new word, delete a rime to say an onset 4A

Life Skills (ENLS) Content 


-use phonological knowledge to read texts 6A


HSC Life Skills (LS) Content 



English Learning Continuum Content

Recognises some letter sounds and names

Lines up some letters to represent words

Recognises some letters in own name

Recognises some letter sounds and names

Engage students in a variety of activities and programs to support the recognition of letter sounds and names. Ensure students are aware of the name and sound of the letter they are focusing on and use exaggerated mouth movements when articulating the sound clearly. Encourage the student to say the sound or letter name. Activities to encourage letter recognition include:


  • Playing memory and matching games with letter cards.
  • Using flashcards to drill letter/sound relationships. This could also be an interactive touch screen activity
  • Supporting students to cut pictures out of magazines that start with a specific letter and pasting them onto a sheet of paper to create a poster for display.
  • Holding a letter hunt where students need to find things that begin with certain letters of the alphabet. This could be a hunt within the classroom, the school environment or in the community. Another version of this activity involves placing concrete representations of letter(s) and/or objects that begin with a specific letter in a tub of goop or slime for students to find.


  Playing BINGO games using letters of the alphabet.
  Playing fishing games with magnetic letter cards and rods where students have to catch a specific letter/sound or have to identify the specific letter/sound that they catch.

Engaging students in a variety of phonics based craft activities that link to a specific letter/sound. Include a phonemic component by singing/saying a rhyme that uses the sound made by the letter associated with the craft product. This could be a letter of the week activity.

Commercially available programs to support teaching letter sounds and names to students include:
Reading Eggs (K-2) Reading Eggspress (3-6) Ants in the Apple Jolly Phonics


Websites, software and apps to teach letter sounds and names to students include Mrs Jones' Room, Starfall ABCs, ABC Drive, Dr Sess' ABC and Interactive Alphabet


Recognises some letters in own name

Build as many opportunities into lessons throughout the day for students to select the letters of their name with 1:1 support. Provide the least amount of support required for the student to complete the task and fade this level of support until the student independently selects the letters of their own name. Ensure letters are always selected sequentially to reinforce left to right directionality and model the correct spelling of the student’s name. Say the name of each letter as it is selected and encourage the student to do the same.



Place labels with a student’s name and photo on their table. Label student items throughout the classroom e.g. bag hook, library bag, lunch box, communication diary, school bag and desk. Encourage the student to locate these items.


The name label on a student’s desk can be a cue for them when engaged in activities that require selecting the letters of their name. Begin with the letters of the student’s name and progressively add distractors as the student becomes more confident. Initially blank distractors should be used, then intersperse shapes and images that differ significantly from letters. When the student can complete this task successfully, include additional erroneous alphabet cards or blocks. Gradually increase the number of distractors used throughout each stage of this task.


There are a variety of apps that use the letters in a student’s name such as Touch Write, My Name, LearnMyName and Learn My Info.


Students can be encouraged to recognise the letters of their name through board, card or interactive games.


Lines up some letters to represent words

Engage students in the ‘Letter Box’ game. Students are required to sequence boxes to make words found on picture/word cards. Each side of the box is labelled with a different letter of the alphabet. At the completion of each word, allow students to knock the boxes over as a reward. Vary the game to include activities that require students to:

  • See how many words they can make with the selection of available letters
  • Find the boxes required to make their name
  • Make an alphabet tower


Use the teaching ideas for the 1st Cluster (Best Start level 0) Interactive Literacy Continuum Resources for Phonics. This is accessible only to NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Staff via the DEC portal. Use the NSW DEC publication entitled Literacy teaching guide: Phonics (© State of New South Wales through the Department) for further information and ideas.


Provide students with a variety of opportunities to play with letters to create real and nonsensical words. Initially letters may be presented upside-down, sideways or the correct way up. Model turning the letters so they appear the correct way up and encourage students to do the same. Ideas include:

  • Play dough letters and/or cutters
  • Letter stickers to make student names
  • Motivating word cards with matching letter blocks

  Threading letters to make words   Foam mat letters   Cut/paste magzine letters to form words
  Word pattern cards   Alphabet Stamps   Beanbag letters
Visit our LS&W2 Pinterest board for more ideas and links.


Key Assessment Points



  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics for analysis.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as speech therapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.
  • Work samples could be collected and analysed, for example cut/paste letter match to sample task.
  • Informal or standardised tests could be used such as Educheck, Best Start, MultiLit, Ants in the Apple etc.



Suggested Apps


ABC Alphabet Phonics
Dr Seuss' ABC
Starfall ABCs
Touch Write
Learn My Name
Write My Name By Injini
Interactive Alphabet
Learn My Info