The Orton-Gillingham method is multisensory. This means that it uses the visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic learning modalities.  One of the tactile/kinesthetic approaches I use with the kids in the PRIDE Reading Program is Sky Writing.

Whenever I am teaching a new concept, I have the kids use the Orton-Gillingham Sky Writing to memorize the formation of the letters and also the sound that it connects to.  

“What is Orton-Gillingham Sky Writing?”

The student writes a letter in the air and names the letter at the exact same time he/she is writing it. The student then underlines the letter in the air and says the letter’s sound.

This approach allows the student to use their whole body when learning the correct letter formation and sound that it makes. Students will also visualize the letter or letters floating in the air.

When doing the Orton-Gillingham Sky Writing, the student will stretch their arm out as far as it can go.

They will use their pointer and middle finger to form the letters in the air at least two feet high.

Using the entire body to form letters  helps cement the idea of how each letter is formed, both physically and audibly. This whole body experience uses muscle memory to store the information to the brain, which then is used later on for writing with a pencil on paper.

“How do you do it?”

I first model it for my student by forming the letter in the air, while saying the name of each letter and then the sound the letter makes. The student then follows my instruction forming the letters in the sky independently three times.

A sample script I use from the PRIDE Reading Program using the Orton-Gillingham Sky Writing is as follows: 

Hold up short a Sound Card. “We are going to Sky Write this sound. Let me demonstrate first.” Stand up and extend your arm all the way out in front of you. “Ready?”  /ĕ/  (Say the sound.)  e  (Sky Write and say letter as writing it.)  /ĕ/  (Underline the sound and say the sound.)

Have student repeat 3 times.

You can watch me teaching a student with Sky Writing in this video.

Thank you for reading my post today!  You might also enjoy reading my posts:

My Favorite Sight Word Activities

How to Teach Spelling Words

Multisensory Reading Activity: Beach Ball Toss


Please don’t leave without checking out the PRIDE Reading Program.  The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is used by teachers, tutors, and homeschooling parents worldwide with great success.

The PRIDE Reading Program


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com
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