Lesson 1: Letter Sounds Review I

Getting Started

Facts and Definitions

  • There are 26 letters in the alphabet. Each letter represents one or more sounds.
  • There are 2 kinds of letters: consonants and vowels.
  • Words that start with the same letter often have the same starting sound.
  • Segmenting is breaking a word into its individual sounds, and blending is putting sounds together to make words.
  • Word families are groups of words that share letters in common and have a similar sound.
  • We read from left to right and from top to bottom on a page.
  • Sounding out a word can help us read new/unfamiliar words.
  • A sentence is a group of words that mean something.
  • A period comes at the end of most sentences and means the sentence is ending.
  • An exclamation point tells us to read something with feeling.


  • Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page
  • Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters
  • Understand that words are separated by spaces in print
  • Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence
  • Recognize and name all uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in three letter (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words
  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds
  • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words
  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds, including consonant blends
  • Add or substitute individual sounds in simple, one-syllable words to make new words
  • Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings for the five major vowels
  • Read common high-frequency words by sight
  • Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ


  • colored pencils, crayons, or markers
  • index cards* (Introduction - optional)
  • laminated writing sheet (kit)
  • lowercase letter cards (kit)
  • plate or cookie sheet* (Activity 2 - optional)
  • readers (kit)
  • rubber bands (kit)
  • shaving cream, flour, or rice* (Activity 2 - optional)
  • sight word cards (kit)
  • thin dry-erase markers (kit)
  • Weekly Message book (kit)
  • whiteboard* (Introduction - optional)
  • word building cards (kit)

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Materials: colored pencils, crayons, or markers, index cards*, laminated writing sheet (kit), lowercase letter cards (kit), readers (kit), rubber bands (kit), sight word cards (kit), thin dry-erase markers (kit), Weekly Message book (kit), whiteboard*, word building cards (kit)
This Reading program is divided into two units — one for each semester of the school year. Each unit contains 17 lessons, with each lesson covering one week (five days) of material. Each lesson's introduction begins with a summary of the focus for that week.

Here is the focus for Week 1:
  • Consonants for Lesson 1: s, m, t, p, f, c
  • Vowel for Lesson 1: a
  • Sight words for Lesson 1: "the," "and," "a"
  • Word families for Lesson 1: at, ap
  • Weekly Message for Lesson 1: This week, you are going to work with six consonants and a vowel, and you are going to start making and reading words. Exciting!
Begin with this lesson and continue following the lessons in order. While some of these first lessons may be a review for your child, they give you a chance to do the following:
  • assess your child's grasp of the letters and their sounds,
  • fill any gaps that he may have regarding the alphabet and letters, and
  • establish routines that will be used during subsequent lessons.
Moving forward, letters are written as themselves (in italics), while sounds will be written inside slash marks. For example, the letter "s" will be written as s. The sound of "s" (ssss) will be written as /s/.

Some letter sounds, like /a/ and /s/, can be stretched out, while others, like /t/ and /p/, cannot. As you introduce letter sounds to your child, stretch out those that you can for at least one second to emphasize them.

When sounding out written words, be sure to point to the letters as you make their sounds. When using the letter cards to make words, use the lowercase letters because lowercase letters are more common than uppercase letters in print.

This week, your child will review and use the sounds for the consonants s, m, t, p, f, and c and the vowel a. He will also be introduced to the sight words "the," "and," and "a."

In many activities, modifications are suggested for students who may struggle with skills such as writing and cutting. Feel free to adapt activities further as needed by taking turns writing, reducing the number of words your child writes, and so on.

NOTE: If you need a reminder about any terms or rules introduced in this unit, refer to the Unit Review Sheet for definitions and descriptions. This page also summarizes the terms and principles that your child is introduced to in each lesson.
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