A reading lesson in detail.


Here is one of our reading lessons that I have already taught to my daughter. I thought I would go through it in detail, so as to give other mothers some ideas:


1.   15 mins review: set 1 letters (s, a, t, p) with flags and alphabet frieze. Words on WH Smith cards, emphasizing the first letter of the words.

2.   15 mins teach: I,i,N,n: colour jolly phonics sheet and go through the sign to recognise the action that goes with the sound of the letter. WH Smith card: teaching the name of the letter, its sound and the difference between the upper and lower case letters.

3.   Resource 1: 3 reading worksheets of my choice – trying to link them to the letters being taught.

4.   Resource 2: What’s in the box game?

5.   Activity: Words containing sets 1 and 2 letters hidden in sand and bubbles in water.

6.   Primer: 1 lesson.


The above format is always the format I use in reading lessons: 15 mins review, 15 mins teach, Resource 1: 3 sheets, Resource 2, Activity, Primer.

15 mins review: This is where we review letters or words already taught. This is important in teaching. You cannot simply move on to a fresh idea without always reviewing what you have already taught. Children need to be reminded and so I always include a quick 15 minute review of what she should have learnt. This allows me to check whether she has understood and learnt what I wanted to teach her. In this review, we used her alphabet frieze and her wand. See one of my other posts for a picture of the alphabet frieze that we made. The WH Smith cards are an excellent buy. Here they are:


 There is a card for each letter and the whole pack comes with three wipeable pens and a cloth. The cards can be resused again and again. I use thes cards for both reading and writing. When I post a ‘Writing lesson in detail’, I’ll insha’Allah discuss the writing side. But what I tend to do with them in the reading lessons is produce the card and ask the following questions: What is the name of this letter? What sound does it make? Point to the big S. Point to the little s. We then turn the card over, and my daughter says the sound sss, sss, sss, snake – whilst pointing to the picture. This is to emphasise the first letter of each word.

15 mins teach: I use the jolly phonics handbook http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=blended&field-keywords=jolly%20phonics%20handbook&results-process=default&dispatch=search/ref=pd_sl_aw_tops-2_aps-books-uk_200619395_2&results-process=default and the WH Smith cards to teach a new letter. The jolly phonics handbook is fantastic as it has many photocopiable resources that you can use to teach your child to read. For teaching letters, there is a page for each letter with a picture for your child to colour as well as an indication for the ‘teacher/parent’ as to how to teach the sign that goes with that letter. For example, the child would put their arms outstretched as if they were an aeroplane and make the nnnn sound for the letter n. And that is how they remember the phonic sound for that letter. So, whenever we use a jolly phonic sheet, we colour the sheet, teach the action and sound and I ask her for words that begin with that letter as she is colouring. The same questions that are used in the review with the WH Smith cards are used in this section of our lesson, except that more emphasis is probably needed if it is a letter they have never come across.

Resource 1: My resource 1 section is always worksheets. There are may worksheet books that you can buy online or in shops. However, a few websites that I use with examples are as follows:




What I have done with the worksheets for all the subject in school is I have created an individual ringbinder. All the sheets that I print from the internet go in there, in addition to worksheet books that I have bought. I don’t really allow my daughter to write on the worksheet books, I photocopy the pages and then put them in the ringbinder. That way, she can repeat the pages at later dates and it saves me money as I can use the books again with her or with future children insha’Allah.

Resource 2: Now, this goes back to your planning for homeschooling. When planning lessons, as I always keep to this format , all I have to do is fill in the blanks. So, a list of resources per subject is essential. This could be resources you have made (www.childcareland.com is excellent for this), or resources you have bought, or ideas you have found on the internet. When planning this section of your lesson, look at what you are teaching in the 15 mins teach section, and choose a resource that will link to what you are teaching. So, in this instance, I used ‘What’s in the box?’ from the standards website. My whole reading strategy is taken from this method of teaching how to read. In my opinion, it is excellent and structured. I keep to the sets of letters in order that should be taught, but my lesson format is my own. Here is ‘What’s in the box?’ (go to page 14):


I had to make the word cards and picture cards for this teaching aid. Very easy. Write the words on card, laminate if you wish. And the pictures can be easily found in the image section of google.com. Alhamdulillah for google!

Activity: The activity section in our reading lessons is always left towards the end as it is normally a bit messy and requires a lot of ‘hands-on’ work. With this activity, all I did was laminate words that can be made from sets 1 and 2 letters which are s a t p i n m d. So for example, pin, sat, sad, mat, map. These words can be found at the back of the above link – page 24. Or there is an excellent book called The word book from the jolly phonics series. So, I hide the laminated words in sand or bubbles and my daughter pulls them out and says each sound of each letter in the word first. She then proceeds to try and blend the letters and read the word. For example, pin: She would point to each letter p: ppp, i: iii, n:nnn and then ppiinn. She loves this activity. You can make it more interesting by your child picking out a word and having to read it as above but then placing it next to a picture corresponding to that word. The Jolly Phonics handbook is excellent as it has a list of words and pictures already made for you. All you have to do is photocopy, stick on card and laminate. Alhamdulillah.

Primer: We always do one lesson from this primer at the end of each lesson. After all the above fun, my daughter does not want to sit down and do her daily primer, but I tend to Islamically bribe her (!) and we get it done in the end. There are many primers out there, but after lots of research, I have found that a really good one is: http://www.startreading.com/

And that my dear homeeducating mummies is a reading lesson in detail. I pray that it is of benefit to you all. Ameen.


6 responses »

  1. I am the same way. I try to set up learning routines for each of our classes, like an outline to follow and it makes it easy, like you said, to just fill in the blanks. Makes planning easier and the lessons run more smoothly insha Allah.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jazakha’Allahu khairan Sis. Masha’Allah you are an inspiration, so it feels very nice to receive such comments from you. Jzk. x

  3. Salam Umm Raiyaan,

    I love the reading plan, mashAllah

    As I can see the Primer is from USA. Did you buy it from the website and how much was it, as I cannot see any price? Are there also any versions of the same thing, which can be bought from the UK.

    JazakAllah Khairan

    • Ws wr wb

      That was an old post – lol. We actually didn’t end up using the primer very much and I sold it on amazon. I’m sure you could find it there inshaAllah.

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