Integrated Pictograph Mnemonics

Why Sunform?

The Sunform method integrates elements of synthetic phonics with developmentally appropriate letter formation instruction. Beginning letter sound knowledge (along with phonemic awareness) comprises the alphabetic principle, and the Sunform approach is consistent with the Simple View of Reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1986) and Orthographic Mapping (see Kilpatrick, 2019) models of scientifically-based reading. The development of word-reading skills builds upon automaticity in the lower level skills. These building blocks lead to reading fluency and comprehension and are essential for all children, not just those who evidence language impairment (LI) or difficulties learning to read.

Neurologically integrated pictograph mnemonics is consistent with the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council of Exceptional Children Recommended Practice/Instruction/INS6. by: 1) appealing to the right visual gestalt hemisphere, which experiences a growth spurt between ages four and seven (Hannaford, 1995) making it appropriate for alphabet instruction at pre-K/K; 2) transforming abstract symbols into meaningful letters; 3) teaching letter sounds before letter names, to automaticity; and 4) teaching letter shapes with a developmentally appropriate motor plan that enables students to cross the midline and form directionally correct, well integrated legible letters. Pictograph mnemonics is also consistent with INS12 in that the approach teaches letter sounds precisely and consistently as to avoid confusion for English Language Learners and Standard English Learners, both historically underserved groups.

Gough, P. B., & Tunmer, W. E. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disability. Remedial and Special Education, 7, 6-10.
Kilpatrick, D.A. (2019). Assessing, preventing, and overcoming reading difficulties. Online course. Colorado Department of Education. Retrieved from:
Hannaford, C. (1995). Smart moves: why learning is not all in your head. Arlington, Va.: Great Ocean Publishers

Sunform Rapidly Boosts Literacy Outcomes for These Student Subgroups:

  • Preschool

  • Regular Education K-1

  • Title I

  • Remedial Reading

  • RtI Tier 1, 2 & 3

  • Special Education

  • English As Second Language (ESL) / Bilingual/ELL

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