Phonemic awareness allows students to crack the code of the alphabetic principle as they abstract a phoneme they hear and map it to a grapheme (Castel, Rastle, & Nation, 2018). Young readers must learn visual symbols (Byrne, 2005) that correspond to these sounds and how these sound get put together as words.
Phonograms, the rime, or ending part of a syllable bridge phonemic awareness and the alphabetic principle with phonics.
When students can manipulate phonograms they move beyond substituting single phonemes and begin to chunk words (Ehri, 2017).
We see students to start and have a general understanding of spelling and how they learn to read begins to change. Prior to grasping the alphabetic principles young readers learn words through visual clues, memorization or guessing. Once readers however can recognize elements such as phonograms and have a grasp of the alphabetic principle they begin to recognize words through decoding and encoding (Treiman & Kessler, 2014).
In fact phonogram recognition may predict decoding fluency (Hudson et al., 2006). In 1998 Edward Fry identified 353 total phonograms in English but 38 of the most common make up 654 every day words in English.
In the Classroom
Word family poems provide a great way to customize phonogram lessons with students. You begin by brainstorming all the words that end in a particular onset and then write a poem. You can differentiate by providing phonogram lists or using fill in the blank poems.
You can do wort sorts having students sort phonograms into long vowel and short vowel sounds.
You can put words on cards and have students play a matching game where they have to match words with the same phonogram.