Revisiting the Introductory Challenge

The Introductory Challenge asked you to brainstorm strategies for helping Edward improve his phonemic awareness. Read the information on visual phonics below and then follow the instructions.

Visual Phonics

Phonics teaches students the relationship between the sounds of language (phonemes) and the letters on the page (graphemes). But, for students with difficulty hearing or deafness, making this association presents unique challenges. One system of visual phonics incorporates 46 hand cues that correspond to each of the 46 phonemes in the English language. Visual phonics was designed to help students with hearing loss or deafness learn the relationship between these 46 phonemes and the graphemes representing them.

Instructions. Consider the questions below. Record your work in a journal and, if working together with your instructional team, discuss your findings.

  1. How might you design a lesson on phonics so that it can include supports related to phonemic awareness for students, like Edward, who face challenges in learning those prerequisite skills?
  2. In the Introductory Challenge, the focus has been on using UDL to help a student with deafness. How might the principles of UDL also help you design or adapt lessons for (a) a seven-year-old English learner who has just recently arrived in the United States, (b) a third-grade student with no oral language who uses a communication board, and (c) a Kindergarten student who is already reading high school level textbooks?