The first Phonics Starter concentrates on checking and building students' basic motor skills, phonemic awareness, initial letter writing and linking/application to illustrated vocabulary
The five lessons in this unit of study cover letters and sounds A-F, and the motor skills required to build these sounds as written letters. Illustrated vocabulary contrasts letters with the vocabulary that will feature in later lessons. The focus for this month is on "first letter" and "first sound" for letters A-F, while vowels "a" and "e" employ vocabulary to emphasize those letters' short sound in initial position.
The teacher at this point should be focusing on ensuring that students can clearly associate the phonemic value of the letters with the vocabulary that has that initial sound, and that they begin to write the letters clearly and neatly (within the bounds of what can be reasonably expected of little kids - remember also if the children use a non-latin writing system for their mother language, it could take them a while to get used to writing letters in English).
The second stage of Phonics Starter builds phonemic awareness, vocabulary recognition and writing practice for letters G through P. This stage also reviews and recycles the letters/sounds from Starter 1, and adds more vocabulary for those letters as well.
As in Starter 1, vowels concentrate on the short initial sound. Letter "g" focuses on the hard back-palatal sound and not the sound as in "giraffe". Vocabulary beginning with vowel sounds are often side by side to encourage clear differentiation of these letters.
Students at this level start to work more independently, applying the rules they know from previous vocabulary to learn the initial sounds/letters in new words. Lessons 4 and 5 should see the students beginning to consolidate their knowledge of letters A through P.
The third stage of Phonics Starter builds phonemic awareness, vocabulary recognition and writing practice for letters Q through Z. This stage also reviews and recycles the letters/sounds from Starters 1 and 2, and adds more vocabulary for those letters as well. Some of the main objectives of this stage are to tie together and consolidate the sounds, letters and vocabulary applicable to the entire English Alphabet.
Students at this level continue to work more independently, applying the rules they know from previous vocabulary to learn the initial sounds/letters in new words. "Alpha-Keys" is a special puzzle/activity added at this point to encourage more thoughtful application of the alphabet.