Home » Mr. Thorne does Phonics » ‘Schw’


How long should my phonics lesson be?

Short, sharp, fast, frenetic and fun! Between 5 and 15 minutes.

How do I describe the difference between ‘er’ ‘ir’ and ‘ur’?

The /ur/ sound is represented by many digraphs – some words have the er, some have the ir, some have the ur spelling. If you are teaching the ‘er’ spelling and haven’t yet introduced the alternative spellings, tell the children it’s a ‘tricky for now’ word and revisit it later.

Fantastic Phonic Fact:

Many schools don’t use the ‘magic e’ anymore, but instead use the term ‘split digraph’ to mean words like make, like, theme, hope, tube. The a_e, i_e, e_e, o_e, u_e are split around other sounds!

Video of the week: ‘schw’


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Suggested Activity:

Split class into two groups.
Group one are sound detectives and think of words that include the schwa sound like ‘flower’ (the schwa makes the ‘uh’ sound).

Group two are spelling detectives but instead are thinking of words that feature the ‘er’ spelling.

The teacher can collect ideas on a data chart on the board for a bit of cross-curricular recording!

Author: MrThorne

I am a 28 year old primary teacher working in North-west London. I previously worked as Lead Phonics teacher for Solihull LEA before presenting over 300 phonics videos on Youtube with over 2,500,000 hits from around the world, including appearances in the London Evening Standard, BBC Click & Radio, the Times and the TES. I now have my own free website http://www.MrThorneDoesPhonics.com and recently launched phonics apps for ipad and iphone on the app store.

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