• What is the Wilson Reading System? 

    Wilson Reading System is a highly-structured remedial program that directly teaches the structure of the language to students and adults who have been unable to learn with other teaching strategies, or who may require multisensory language instruction.
    • Provides a systematic and cumulative approach to teach total word structure for decoding and encoding.
    • addresses decoding, encoding, oral reading fluency, and comprehension in a sensible and logical fashion.
    •  all instruction is multisensory and interactive.
    • Uses a unique “sound tapping” system.
    • Is a comprehensive program that  follows students from grade to grade.
    Scope and Sequence of Instruction 
    Wilson is structured into steps that focus on a concept. Within each Step there are a number of Sub-steps that focus on a particular skill the student needs to master before being able to build to the next Sub-step. 

    Wilson Reading System

    Scope & Sequence Chart



    STEP 1 -- Closed Syllables (3 sounds)


    1.1  -- f, l, m, n, r, s, (initial) d, g, p, t, (final) a, i, o (blending)  

    -- tapping and blending 3 sounds

    -- what is a vowel, consonant



    1.2 -- b, sh,- h, j,- c, k, ck,- v, w, x, y, z,- ch, th, - qu, wh,

            - u,e  

           -- what is a digraph



    1.3 -- practice the above  

    wish, chop, wet


    1.4 -- double consonants (bonus lettersl, s, f and  all  

          -- what is a welded

    bill, kiss, call


    1.5 -- am, an  (nasal sounds)

    ham, fan


    1.6 – adding suffix -s  ---s can say /z/

          -- what is a baseword, suffix?

    bugs, chills


    STEP 2 -- Closed Syllables (4-6 sounds)


    2.1 -- ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, unk  

    bang, pink


    2.2 -- closed syllables with blends

          -- what is a syllable?

          -- What is the difference between blend and digraph?

    bled, past, steps


    2.3 -- closed syllable exceptions - ild, ind, old, ost, olt  

    mold, host


    2.4 -- 5 sounds + suffix -s  

    blend, trumps


    2.5 -- 3 letter blends - 6 sounds  

    sprint, scrap


    STEP 3 -- Closed Syllables (Multisyllabic Words)



    3.1 -- two-syllable words with two closed syllables , ic spelling

    catnip, wagon, public


    3.2 -- two closed syllables, including blends  

    disrupt, fragment


    3.3 -- words with two closed syllables ending in ct,

    contract, district


    3.4 -- multisyllabic words with closed syllables  

    Wisconsin, establish


    3.5 -- ed, ing suffixes added to basewords

    Slashing, blended


    STEP 4 -- Vowel - Consonant - E Syllable (VCE)


    4.1 -- VCE syllable in one-syllable words, s/z/=vse words  

    hope, cave, caves


    4.2 -- VCE syllable combined with closed syllables  

    combine, reptile


    4.3 -- multisyllabic words with two syllable types  



    4.4 -- ive exception  

    olive, pensive


    STEP 5 -- Open Syllable


    5.1 -- open syllable in one-syllable words, y as a vowel  

    he, hi, shy


    5.2 -- open syllables combined with VCE and

              closed syllables in two syllable words  

    protect, decline


    5.3 -- y as a vowel in two-syllable words  

    handy, pony


    5.4 -- multisyllabic words with the 3 syllable types  



    5.5 -- a and i in unaccented syllables  (exception to open)

    Alaska, indicate


    STEP 6 -- Suffix Endings and Consonant-l-e Syllable


    6.1 -- suffixes -er, -est, -en, -es, -able, -ish, -y, -ive, -ly, -ty,

              -less,   -ness, -ment, -ful added to basewords  

    thankful, classy


    6.2 -- suffix -ed: sounds d, t  

    thrilled, punished


    6.3 -- combining 2 suffixes to baseword  

    constructively, helpfulness


    6.4 -- consonant - le, -stle exception  

    dribble, whistle


    STEP 7 -- Introduction to Sound Options, Contractions

    7.1 -- c or g before e, I, or y  

    concentrate, concede, gentle

    7.2 -- ge, ce, dge  

    lunge, indulgence, fudge

    7.3 -- Trigraph and digraph: tch, ph  

    fetch, pamphlet

    7.4 -- tion, sion  

    subtraction, expansion

    7.5 -- contractions  

    we've, I'll

    STEP 8 -- R-Controlled Syllables

    8.1 -- ar, er, ir, or, ur - in 1 syllable words  

    firm, turn, barn

    8.2 -- ar, or - in multisyllabic words  

    market, cortex

    8.3 -- er, ir, ur - in multisyllabic words  

    skirmish, surgery

    8.4 -- Exceptions vowel rr   para

    hurry, barren

    8.5 -- Exceptions ar, or - in final syllable  

    beggar, doctor

    blizzard, on-ward

    STEP 9 -- Vowel Digraph - Dipthong Syllable – “D syllable

    9.1 -- ai, ay  

    plain, display

    9.2 -- ee, ey  

    tweezer, valley

    9.3 -- oa, oe, ue  

    croak, toe, revenue

    9.4 -- oi, oy, au, aw  

    thyroid, employ, saucer, squawk

    9.5 -- ou, ow, oo  

    trousers, drowsy, spoon

    9.6 -- ea

    eat, bread, steak

    9.7 --    eu, ew, ui

    Europe, few, suit

    STEP 10 -- Adding Suffixes to Changing Basewords

    10.1 -- VCE exceptions: ice, ace, age, ate, ile, ite, ine


    10.2 -- Spelling Rule: baseword ending in e + suffix  


    10.3 -- Spelling Rule: 1 syllable, closed or

                r-controlled baseword + suffix  

    starred or shopful

    10.4 -- Spelling Rule: double final consonant of

                multisyllabic baseword when adding suffix  

    regretting, controlled

    10.5 -- Additional suffixes: -ic, -al, -ible, -ous, -ist, -ism, -ity,

                -ize, -ary, -ery


    STEP 11 -- Additional I, E, Y Vowel Work

    11.1 -- y in open, closed, VCE syllable  

    reply, gym, type

    11.2 -- The Y Spelling Rule

    enjoyable, player

    11.3 -- i in an open syllable pronounced as /e/   i as /y/  

    Orient, genius, million

    11.4 -- ie/ei  

    piece, ceiling, vein

    11.5 -- igh, eigh  

    light, eight

    STEP 12 -- Advanced Concepts

    12.1 -- Split vowels: vowel team exceptions  

    create, violin

    12.2 -- Silent letters: rh, gh, mb, mn, kn, gn, wr  

    rhyme, ghost

    12.3 -- 'w' influencing vowels  

    water, worship

    12.4 -- ch, que, /k/  

    chorus, clique

    12.5 -- ti, ci, tu, ture  

    patient, official, actual, torture

    12.6 -- Chameleon prefixes  

    correct, accent

     Unlike the Just Words Wilson program which does units in 2 week instruction blocks, the Wilson system moves at the pace of the learner. Sub-steps are mastered one at a time in order. Students can stay in a sub-step for as little or as long as needed to reach mastery. 
    The 10 part Wilson Lesson

    Parts 1 - 5 Emphasize decoding skills

    Part 1: quick drill:

    • Sound Cards: This includes a 'quick drill' of the phonemes with the teacher showing a sound card and the student(s) naming the letter(s) and corresponding sound(s).  Key words are always used with vowels and as needed with other sounds. 

    ​Part 2: Teach/Review Concepts for Reading:

    • Blank cards and letter cards are used to teach phoneme segmentation and blending (initially).  Students are taught to segment sounds using a finger tapping procedure.  Beyond Step 2, syllable and suffix cards are used to teach total word structure.  Every lesson involves this manipulation of cards to teach word structure and practice reading.

    Part 3: Word Cards:

    • Skills learned in section 2 of the lesson are applied dto reading single words on flashcards.  Review words are included in the stack of cards presented.

    ​Part 4: Wordlist Reading:

    • Skills are applied to the reading of single words on a controlled wordlist in the Student Reader containing only those elements of word structure taught thus far.  In group lessons the students are charted before progressing to the next substep.  The list changes with each lesson so that students never memorize the list.

    Part 5:  Sentence Reading:

    • Word attack skills are applied to reading within sentences.  All sentences contain only the elements of word structure taught thus far.


    Parts 6-8 emphasize encoding skills

    Part 6:  Quick Drill (in reverse):

    • Letter formation is taught as needed.  Every lesson includes a phoneme drill with the teacher saying a sound and the student identifying the corresponding letter(s).

    ​Part 7:  Teach/Review Concepts for Spelling:

    • Initially, the student spells words with phoneme cards and blank cards.  Students apply the finger tapping procedure to segment sounds for spelling.  Beyond step 3, students use syllable and suffix cards.  Students spell words using the cards to sequence sounds, syllables, and word parts.

    Part 8:  Written Work:

    • Sounds, single words, and sentence dictations are included.  The teacher dictates sounds, words, and sentences that are controlled; they only contain the word structure elements directly taught thus far.  The students repeats the dictation prior to procedure is followed for independent sentence proofreading.

    Parts 9-10 Emphasize Reading Comprehension

    Part 9: Passage Reading:

    • The student silently reads a short passage with controlled vocabulary containing only the studied word elements.  The student retells the passage in his own words linked to visualization of the passage.  The student then reads orally.

    Part 10: Listening Comprehension:

    • In this part of the lesson, the teacher reads 'non-controlled' comprehension skills at a higher level than current decoding.