Orton-Gillingham Lesson Basics: The Auditory Drill

Orton-Gillingham Lesson Basics: The Auditory Drill

Posted by Brainspring on 19th Feb 2019

Welcome to the second post in our series on Orton-Gillingham lesson plan basics! Two weeks ago, we discussed the Three-Part-Drill and how it typically begins with the Visual Drill. Today, we will briefly discuss the second part of the Three-Part-Drill, the Auditory Drill.

What Does the Auditory Drill look like?

Teachers ask students to spell the sound they hear. Sounds chosen should only be sounds that have been previously introduced. Students will write the grapheme representing the sound that was just heard. They then say the letter name(s) and underline from left to right while saying the sound.


Teacher: “show me how to spell the sound /b/”

Students: form the letter while saying the letter name “b”, underline from left to right and say the letter sound “/b/”


The Auditory Drill can be completed as a whole class activity, in small groups, or one-to-one. Students can write their responses in a sand tray (which is highly multisensory) or teachers can try having students write responses on individual whiteboards as seen in the picture below. The Auditory Drill should be a quick activity that only takes a couple of minutes.

What is the purpose of the Auditory Drill?

During the Auditory Drill, learned sounds are practiced through spelling, which fine-tunes the sound/symbol relationship and builds automaticity. As we mentioned in our Visual Drill post, David Kilpatrick, author of Equipped for Reading Success, makes it clear that automatic letter-sound knowledge is foundational for both efficient phonic decoding and for permanent word storage via orthographic mapping.

Interested in learning more? Watch this quick video on using the sand tray.

Next up: The Blending Drill!

Written by Brainspring Educator Academy


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