One Big Essential Tool for Success in Orton-Gillingham

How do you start Orton Gillingham lessons with a student? The answer starts with Drill Cards. All OG lessons start with drill cards.

In Orton Gillingham, the “Jewel Box” is an important tool for holding these cards. According to the OG Manual, the “Jewel Box” (or Jewel Case) got its name from children, and the name stuck.

The Jewel Box is a box that holds card decks for lesson drills. These cards should be used in each lesson to teach speed and automaticity of the letters and concepts. The box can be anything, but I have found durability and portability are important. When I first started, I used a photo box, which disintegrated over time. I replaced it with this current box and have never looked back. The new one travels well and is extremely durable.

Decks in My Jewel Box

  • Reading Consonants
  • Reading Vowels
  • Reading Vowels with R
  • Diacritical Markings
  • Roots
  • Short Vowel Strips
  • Suffixes
  • Syllable Division
  • Language Vocabulary
  • Prefixes
  • Sight Words
  • Blends
  • C&G Rule
  • Spelling Consonants
  • Spelling Vowels
  • Spelling Vowels with R

Using Drill Cards in a Lesson

Always start a lesson drilling what a student has already learned, then introduce new concepts. When a concept is new, you show the card and the student says the sound and the keyword (if there is a keyword) with the sound. They should also write the letter(s) in something like sand or on paper (rough surfaces work best for a tactile experience).

How do you know if a student has conquered the sound or concept – they can say it as fast as you can flip the card. The goal is speed and automaticity.

To Buy or Create?

Should you buy these cards or create your own? You can purchase these cards, but with a little time invested, they are easy to make at home. For some of my cards, I printed the front and wrote on the back with a pen, but when I had the time, I printed the front and back.

The OGforALL workbook store also has a Drill Cards book of cards that contains fold-over cards and a fill of stickers you can print and put on index cards.

I also like this label maker for making tabs.

Here’s how to create them yourself

I created a free template to make creating cards at home easier.

Here are samples of different cards I have made.  

This is a video to help with adjusting the paper holder to fit the cards and which way to put in the card to print.


Link to Jewel Box –
Jewels of Orton Gillingham –
Drill Card Template (for Jewel Box Cards) –
Workbook/Worksheets Store –
Drill Card Workbook: Drill Cards (PDF Format) Orton Gillingham Based – Orton Gillingham for All (
Scope & Sequence Book Bundle (4 Books) –

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FTC: Some links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). My product recommendations are not sponsored.

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