Jolly Phonics Finger Phonics Books

The Finger Phonics Books were developed to support the teaching in The Phonics Handbook. Each page illustrates the story linked to the letter sound. The pictures are full of detail, which encourage class discussion, as well as helping to develop a wider vocabulary and improved language skills.


The first page is for the /s/ sound. The story is about a family going out for a walk. The dog starts to bark and suddenly a snake rears up and goes /sssss/ and slithers away. Then the children are told that this letter has a /ssss/ sound linked to it. It looks a bit like the shape of the snake.


After the lesson each child can take a turn at putting his or her finger in the groove and feeling the shape of the letter. If they say the sound /ssss/ at the same time it helps them to learn that letter sound. The next part of the lesson is to listen for that particular sound in words. For example, ‘What is this? (teacher points to the sun) Yes, a sun. Is there a /ssss/ in sun’. Repeat for other words such as dog, snake, mouse. Where does the /s/ come: at the beginning or end of the word?  This is the start of learning how to segment words, which is identifying all of the sounds in words.


In each of the pictures there are several objects that have the sound in them, such as in this case ‘stripes’, ‘sandals’, ‘socks’, ‘spots’, ‘stick’, ‘snake’, ‘mouse’, ‘nest’, ‘snail’ and ‘sand’ etc. There are no words to blend at this stage but it is possible to do auditory blending, which is hearing the word after an adult has said the sounds. For example, ‘Can anyone see a /b-ee/ or a

/f-i-sh/? This prepares the children for the next stage, which is blending words by themselves.


At the bottom of each page there is an illustration of the action, with a description at the side.  On the next page the /a/ story is illustrated. There are ants going up the girls arm and causing her to say /a/. The children feel the shape of the letter and then look for objects with an /a/ in them. The teacher then asks, ‘Is there an /a/ in ‘cake’? Is there an /a/ in ‘jam’?’ etc. After that auditory blending again, ‘Can you see an /a-pp-le/ or the /n-ie-f/? etc. (ideas demonstrated)


There are Finger Phonics Big Books, which are suitable for the whole class to look at. As you can see they have the same pictures as the smaller version.