Orton-Gillingham Lesson Basics: The Visual Drill

Orton-Gillingham Lesson Basics: The Visual Drill

Posted by Brainspring on 7th Feb 2019

Welcome to our series on Orton-Gillingham Lesson Plan Basics! We are often asked what an Orton-Gillingham lesson looks like. In this series, we will briefly explain each part of a typical Orton-Gillingham five-part lesson plan which includes: The Three-Part Drill, introduction of a new skill and the application, a syllabication process for decoding multi-syllable words, red (sight) words, and oral reading. Let’s begin!

What is the Three-Part Drill?

Simply put, the Three-Part Drill is a three-step process that serves as a reading and spelling review of previously introduced sounds and skills. It includes 3 methods of review: visual, auditory, and blending. The Visual Drill is typically the first step in this process which we will briefly outline in this article.

What Does the Visual Drill look like?

Students look at previously learned sound cards and say the sound they see. Keyword pictures provided on the cards give support for the recall of the sound if needed. The more letter sounds are practiced, the more automatic they eventually become.

The Visual Drill can be completed as a whole class activity, in small groups, or one-to-one. It should be a quick activity that takes only a couple minutes. Below are a couple pictures of the Visual Drill being conducted live as a whole class activity.


What is the purpose of the Visual Drill?

Learned sounds are repeated, which fine-tunes the sound/symbol relationship, thus building automaticity. As outlined in the book Equipped for Reading Success by David Kilpatrick, automatic letter-sound knowledge is foundational for both efficient phonic decoding and for permanent word storage via orthographic mapping.

Next up: The Auditory Drill!

Written by Brainspring Educator Academy


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