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Using Jolly Phonics to Teach Phonics Skills

I am an experienced phonics teacher who was trained by Jolly Phonics. I would like to share my favourite resources with you.


An introduction to the methodology.

With Jolly Phonics, instead of learning the 26 letters of the alphabet, children learn 42 sounds. These sounds are made up of individual letters ( s, a, t) and digraphs (two letters that make one sound), for example a+i can make a long “a“ sound, for example pain and main. The letter sounds are split into seven groups, with each group taking about a week to teach. The sounds are not taught in alphabetical order and letters that are easily transposed, like b and d and p and q are deliberately put into different groups.

The 42 letter sounds are taught in 7 groups of 6 sounds, and as the children learn the sounds they are also shown how to blend them together. For example blending the b sound with the r sound: b + r = br

The use of visual prompts, and the way that the letter sounds are grouped also makes this an ideal way to teach dyslexic children (or adults) to read and write. I know this from experience as I have personally used Jolly Phonics to teach dyslexic children.

Each of the sounds has its own unique action, a song and a story. This use of different learning styles helps the child to reinforce the sound effectively.

How to use phonic skills to teach children to read and write

Jolly Learning Ltd is a system designed to help children to develop their phonics skills. It was founded by British man Chris Jolly in 1987, and after collaborating with Sue Lloyd he published the first part of Jolly Phonics in 1992.

The methodology provides excellent structure to the teaching of phonics to young children, and I also used it to great effect with older primary children who had not been taught the phonic sounds and struggled with spelling and decoding words.

There are a lot of resources available, but I have only reviewed the ones that I have actually used myself and know that they do indeed help children's phonic skills to progress.

The 7 groups of Jolly Phonics sounds:

  1. s, a, t, i, p, n

  2. ck, e, h, r, m, d

  3. g, o, u, l, f, b

  4. ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or

  5. z, w, ng, v, oo, oo

  6. y, x, ch, sh, th, th

  7. qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar

Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds (British English)

My Personally Recommended Jolly Phonics Resources

Jolly Phonics Group 6 Sounding, Blending, Reading

If you are starting out teaching Jolly Phonics I would recommend investing in some of their teaching materials. The Jolly Phonics Handbook is essential as it explains how to teach the sounds and also has photocopiable resources. I also invested in workbooks and story book.

Lots of phonics resources are available online and can be used to supplement your teaching. Below I have listed some of my favourite resources for each of the groups of sounds.

I hope you enjoy teaching phonics in this way and your students enjoy learning Jolly Phonics as much as me and my students do.

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Free Online Resources: Group 1

  • National Geographic Kids
    Based on Jolly Phonics, each Cartoonito primary resource sheet provides activities for letter sound learning, letter formation, blending and segmenting.
  • Sparkle Box
    bingo game using the satpin letters
  • ESL Printables
    satpin domino game

Jolly Phonics Group 1 Blending Tutorial

Free Online Resource: Group 2

  • NatGeoKids
    FREE activities for letter sound learning, letter formation, blending and segmenting
  • Tes
    Series of worksheets for the group 2 c k e h r m d sounds
  • ESL Printables
    Worksheet on the second group of phonic sounds: c k e h r m d

Jolly Phonics Group 2 Songs

Free Online Resources: Group 3

Jolly Phonics Group 3 Blending

Free Online Resources: Group 4

Jolly Phonics Group 4. Sounding, Blending, Reading

Free Online Resources: Group 5

Jolly Phonics Group 5 Songs

Free Online Resources: Group 6

Free Online Resources: Group 7

Jolly Phonics Group 7 Songs

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Expat Mamasita

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