Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: Reading (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



High frequency words are words that appear often within text. These words often contain unfamiliar letter/sound patterns. In the past, educators have encouraged students to learn high frequency words beyond their level of decoding skill by techniques such as memorization, chants and mnemonics. Research is showing that students are capable of decoding words with unfamiliar letter/sound patterns; when they use phonic skills to do this work the words are stored in their memories. Orthographic mapping provides a structure by which students are able to practice listening for sounds, and determining corresponding letter patterns. Students are capable of decoding challenging letter/sound patterns, and when they can read words with automaticity, they are then freed up to focus on meaning. When students build these skills, their comprehension, vocabulary recognition and self teaching skills are positively impacted. This project seeks to give teachers instruction on how to build their students decoding abilities through orthographic mapping. The project focuses on mapping routines, word lists and vocabulary word study. Educators will have an opportunity to reflect on current approaches and goals around their teaching of high frequency words and vocabulary words.