Orthographic Mapping is prevalent in classrooms these days. Why?
Reading is a foundational skill that opens doors to knowledge, imagination, and personal growth. However, the journey to becoming a proficient reader can be challenging, and two interconnected concepts, orthographic mapping and sight words, are essential in this process.
I will explore how these two elements are closely intertwined and why their relationship is crucial for successful reading acquisition.
The symbiotic relationship
Orthographic mapping is the process through which readers connect visual word forms with their corresponding sounds and meanings, forming a robust mental representation.
On the other hand, sight words are high-frequency words that readers instantly recognize without needing to decode them.
Using these two tools together builds a better foundation.
AND understanding how these concepts relate to each other is pivotal.
benefits of orthographic mapping and sight word instruction
Effortless Word Recognition: Orthographic mapping lays the foundation for recognizing and remembering words efficiently.
When readers have mastered this skill, they can quickly identify sight words, minimizing the cognitive effort required for word recognition.
Sight Word Mastery: Sight words, often irregular and unphonetic, become instantly recognizable to readers who have honed their orthographic mapping abilities.
This mastery is essential for fluid reading and comprehension.
Vocabulary Enrichment: As readers repeatedly encounter and recognize sight words, their orthographic mapping skills strengthen. This leads to an expanded vocabulary, which, in turn, facilitates the recognition of more complex words.
Spelling Help: How many times do you hear the phrase, “I can’t spell that!” Orthographic mapping routines help take the fear out of writing. Don’t forget: CVC words might be the beginning of spelling, but it can’t be the end.
When students get to an unknown word, students have a plan.
tap, map, write
Students follow 3 basic steps.
- Tap the sounds. Students will need practice with this. You don’t want them to tap and onset and rime, keep consonant blends together, or break into syllables as an end result.
- Move a manipulative to mark the phoneme and write a space for each.
- Write the corresponding grapheme. (With the silent e in CAPE, students can be taught to add the “heart part” E to the final block or to a separate space outside the box.)
Consistency is key in building a strong relationship between orthographic mapping and sight words. Encourage regular practice and celebrate progress. I created cards for just this purpose. Multi-sensory Phoneme Sound Box Card Sets are a quick way to use this technique in small group.
Orthographic mapping and sight words are intrinsically connected components of proficient reading. They work together harmoniously, enabling readers to recognize words with ease, expand their vocabulary, and comprehend text effectively.
By emphasizing the relationship between orthographic mapping and sight word recognition, educators and parents empower young learners to become confident, skilled readers. Together, these skills unlock the doors to knowledge, imagination, and a lifelong love of reading.
If you’d like pr-made cards, check out the sets in my store.
These sets walk students through the 3 step Tap, Map, Write and are perfect for small group.
There are 12 sets and two bundles.