The Benefits of Orthographic Mapping: How to Boost Your Child's Reading and Spelling Skills

science of reading structured literacy teaching reading tips Apr 15, 2023

by Aja McNair


Orthographic mapping is a crucial process in the development of reading and spelling skills. It is the process of connecting the sounds of spoken language to the written letters or graphemes that represent those sounds. By creating a mental map of how words look and sound, children become more skilled at reading and spelling, which is essential to becoming successful communicators.

In this blog, I will discuss the importance of orthographic mapping, provide a free orthographic mapping template, and suggest some activities to support orthographic mapping development.


What is Orthographic Mapping?

Orthographic mapping is a science of reading aligned best practice that is essential for becoming a successful reader and speller. It is the process of creating a mental map of how words sound and look. This mapping process helps children to recognize words quickly and easily, which leads to more effective reading and spelling skills.


Orthographic Mapping Template

To support the development of orthographic mapping skills, I have created three free orthographic mapping templates that you can download and use with your child or students.

The template includes a space for writing the word, drawing a picture to represent the word, and a space for writing the sounds that the word makes. By using this template, children can visually map out the sounds and letters of a word, which can help them to remember the word more effectively.


Orthographic Mapping Activities

There are many fun and engaging activities that parents and teachers can use to support the development of orthographic mapping skills.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Sight Word Memory: Create a memory game using sight words. Write each word on a card and have children match the words with their corresponding pictures.

  2. Word Sorts: Have children sort words by their sounds. For example, they can sort words that end in "at" versus "an."

  3. Word Wall: Create a word wall in your classroom or at home. Add new words each week, and encourage children to practice reading and spelling them.

Interactive Tutorial Video on Orthographic Mapping in Action

To learn more about orthographic mapping, I recommend watching this interactive tutorial video that provides a clear and concise overview of this process. The video also offers practical tips on how to support children in developing their orthographic mapping skills. You can watch the video HERE.


In conclusion, orthographic mapping is a critical process for developing reading and spelling skills. By using the free orthographic mapping template and engaging in activities that support orthographic mapping development, children can become more skilled at recognizing words quickly and easily. 

Grab your FREE ORTHOGRAPHIC MAPPING SHEETS plus SO MUCH MORE with this amazing Reading Toolkit.


I hope this blog has been helpful in understanding the importance of orthographic mapping and providing tools to support its development.

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