Orthography in Linguistics Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about orthography in linguistics with this helpful lesson plan. Your students will study a text lesson, take a related follow-up quiz, and participate in two helpful, hands-on activities.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • Define the term 'orthography' as it relates to linguistics
  • Differentiate between alphabetic, logographic, and syllabic orthographies
  • Explain how punctuation and other elements affect orthographies


1-1.5 Hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Alphabetic orthography
  • Cuneiform
  • Languages
  • Logographic orthography
  • Phoneme
  • Syllabic orthography

Curriculum Standards


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.


  • Inform your students they will be studying orthography in linguistics.
  • Ask if anyone is familiar with this subject and have them discuss it.
  • Review the key vocabulary terms.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson, Orthography in Linguistics: Definition & Examples.
  • Read the introduction and the first section, 'Spoken Versus Written Languages.'
    • What are three reasons languages are important?
    • What is a spoken language?
    • What are three traits of a spoken language?
    • What is a written language?
    • Can a written language completely represent a spoken language? Why or why not?
  • Next read the section 'Orthographies and Alphabets.'
    • What is an orthography?
    • What is a logographic orthography?
    • What are three examples of logograms?
    • What is an advantage and a disadvantage of logograms?
    • What is a syllabic orthography?
    • What is an example of a syllabic orthography?
    • What is an alphabetic orthography?
    • Is English an alphabetic orthography?
    • What is a phoneme?
  • Now read the section 'Other Elements of an Orthography.'
    • What does punctuation help us to do?
    • For what is capitalization used?
    • What do stylistic choices show? What are two examples?
    • What does the spacing between words show us?
  • Lastly, read the 'Lesson Summary' section, recap the text lesson completely, and answer any questions your students may have.
  • Allow your students to take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their understanding.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account