Are you searching for more ways to teach phonics? In that case, consider adding analogy-based phonics to your teaching repertoire.
You can implement phonics instruction in several ways. Your choices include synthetic, analytic, and analogy-based approaches.
I used one or more of these instructional approaches at all times throughout my teaching career. Most children will benefit from consistent instruction using any of these. Some children will learn more easily with one approach over another. However, the trick can be figuring out which approach or which blend of approaches works best for each child!
In other words, different approaches lead to different options for meeting the needs of different children.
What is Analogy-Based Phonics?
In analogy-based phonics, generally, students
- learn keywords with spelling patterns (aka rimes or phonograms)
- use parts of words they already know to decode words they don’t know.
- apply this strategy when new words share similar parts in their spellings.
For example, students will recognize they can use the spelling pattern -at in the known word “cat” to help them read the new word “sat”.
How Is This Different From Other Approaches?
- Students are taught letter/ sound correspondences and how to blend individual sounds to form words.
- Orton-Gillingham-based programs are an example of a synthetic phonics approach.
- Keywords/ pictures are often used to represent letter-sound relationships.
For instance, students will blend the individual sounds /s/ /a/ /t/ to read the word sat.
- Students analyze the letter-sound relationships in known words.
- Word study is a prime example of this approach.
To illustrate, students are led to recognize that words with the VC pattern (i.e. man) tend to have a short vowel sound while words with the VCe pattern (i.e. mane) are likely to have a long vowel sound. Then, they sort a set of words based on those vowel patterns.
Hmmm… Analogy-Based Phonics Sounds Like Word Families to Me
Both approaches are based on common spelling patterns (also called rimes or phonograms) in words.
So how are they different?
- Teaching word families tends to be an exercise in following patterns.
- Typically, just the pattern being taught today or this week is the one emphasized.
- With word families, the focus tends to be on one-syllable words.
- Teaching key words should be an integral part of this approach.
- You teach students to discriminate between patterns. Cumulative application should be built-in.
- You can easily apply this approach to reading multi-syllabic words.
Let’s use the word “happen” as an example.
- “I see the spelling patterns -ap and -en.
- I know (my key word) map so I can read hap.
- I know (my key word) ten so I can read pen.
- I know map and ten so I can read happen.”
Reasons Why You Should Try Analogy-Based Phonics
Here are some of the reasons why you need to add this approach to your repertoire!
- You can teach analogy-based phonics in an explicit and systematic way.
- It is easier to blend onsets and rimes, /m/ /at/, than individual phonemes /m/ /a/ /t/.
- You can teach individual phonemes/ graphemes right alongside rhymes/ rimes.
- It teaches predictable, reliable, and decodable spelling patterns. Vowel sounds are generally more stable within specific rimes.
- Students can apply this strategy to decoding multi-syllabic words and with any level of text.
- With teacher modeling and sufficient opportunities, students will transfer and generalize this strategy to reading new words with the same and similar spelling patterns.
Ways to Get Started
On Your Own
If you’re interested in developing your own lessons, this Teaching Analogy Phonics resource (Marn Frank / ATLAS) may be helpful.
Look for my next blog post. I’ll provide details on ways to implement an analogy-based approach.
In addition, I’ll highlight my new line of Analogy Based Decoding products available to purchase in my TpT store.
Grab a Free Resource
Here’s a freebie (also included in my new line of products) to help your students apply this strategy to reading new words!
Guide your students through these step-by-step strategy charts and bookmarks to help them apply and transfer their decoding by analogy skills.
Use the easy to prepare strategy charts during whole class or small group instruction.
Choose color or black/ gray/ white. Then, print and go! Use cardstock and laminate for durability. Post the charts in your teaching area(s).
Let your students use the bookmarks for at-home and independent reading.
Click on the highlighted words to download your free copy of the Strategy Charts and Bookmarks for Analogy-Based Decoding.
Check out this blog post, Who Wouldn’t Love to Download A Free Pizza Activity, for another freebie.
Give your students the opportunity to decode CVC words with the -at, -ip, and -ug spelling patterns and have a bit of fun at the same time.
This activity is compatible with synthetic, analytic, or analogy-based phonics instruction.
Looking For More Phonics Resources
First, take some time to explore my blog posts about phonics. I started to list them here until I realized just how many there were!
What else would you like to know about analogy-based phonics? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!