Lesson Format

Lesson Plan ABCA lesson is between fifty and sixty minutes, and consists of three association techniques.

Association I: Symbol to Sound
First, the child is given the symbol and he must say the sound. This is done during the phonogram and blending drills, as well as during the reading of review words in isolation first, and then in the connected text. Often a sorting game is played to reinforce a phonogram already introduced. After the review portion of the lesson, a new feature is introduced using auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic techniques. The child practices the new feature by reading aloud words with the new phoneme in isolation first, and then in the connected text. The child also participates in a syllable division pattern drill. This process of translating seen symbols into sounds is the basis for oral reading.

Association II: Sound to Sound
Next, the child is given the sound, and must say the letter or letters (symbol) that the sound makes. This is done during the “What Says?” exercise. For example, the tutor will say, “What says/e/?”
The child will respond, “E says /e/, e consonant e says /e/, ee says /e/, ea says /e/, y says /e/, ey says /e/”. This association provides auditory training for oral spelling.

Association III: Sound to Symbol
Now the tutor says a word (sounds), and the child must repeat the word and then tap on his fingers each sound he hears in the word. The tutor says the word again, and this time the child must tap each letter in the word. Next, the child writes and names the word (symbol). This is the S.O.S. or Simultaneous Oral Spelling. The dictation sentences are also sound-symbol. At this point, attention is paid to handwriting, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. This association is the basis for written spelling.


After each lesson, the tutor plans for the next lesson which typically includes a review of four or five phonemes the student has been taught, but ones he has not learned to automaticity, as well as a new feature.

See a sample Orton-Gillingham lesson - PDF