Learning Styles and the Alphabet



The alphabet is not s simple collection of letters and sounds. The ABCs are the building blocks of language.

In order to become literate, children need to recognize each letter, both in order and out of order, as well as the sounds connected with that letter.

Once the children have that knowledge, they are on the road of reading and writing.


Where to begin?

Depending on the age of the children. If you teach young children do not attempt to teach the 26 letters at once.

Concentrate on a few letters at a time.

Let them see, touch, eat, smell, hear the letter.Help children learn the letters of the alphabet by playing ABC Bingo! Print off the above template (including the Teacher's Mat and Cut Outs). Call out letters and have children place game markers on the letters that are called. Once a child has five in-a-row, they call out "ABC Bingo" and they are the winner! For more difficulty, call out the letters their "uppercase" or "lowercase" name. Once they have mastered letter identification, you can call out the letters by their sound!

Providing children with opportunities to examine letters helps them recognize the special features of each letter.


Visual Learners

Write letters in different colours; let your child choose the colour for each letter.

Use different fonts on a computer to make the letters.

Find different examples of letters in magazines, newspapers.

Use different art supplies to decorate letters.

Make your own alphabet book or flashcards. You can use an empty album for photos, a scrapbook, or staple 28 pages together

Glue in letters cut from magazines/printed from your computer, or write them in.

Draw or glue in pictures.

Use pictures that are meaningful and familiar to your child. Check that pictures have the correct letter sound at the start , for instance orange for o rather than onion.

This are some of the ABC cards I made for my second graders. As we were doing a unit about school I took my camera and took some pics for each letter of the alphabet. These are some pictures.



Tactile Learners


Most children will learn better by handling materials and objects. Use a variety of textures and experiences to help establish learning:

Alphabet magnets are good because they can feel the shape of the letters.

Sensory letters are easy to do using different extures such as felt, sandpaper, corrugated cardboard,

textured wallpaper offcuts and children can trace over the letters with their fingers.

You can also make a sensory alphabet book but with textured letters/pictures for instance, a is for aluminium, b is for buttons, c is for cardboard, etc

Put some sand , noodles, rice in a large shallow dish or deep tray and let your child draw letters in it.

Play “guess the letter”- take turns to draw a letter on each other’s back - or on a partners' palm while they keep each other’s back - or on a partners' palm while they keep their eyes closed.

I made these letter boxes with objects inside. Children have to identify the letter in the box, then closed their eyes and felt the object in the inside of the box. For example Q, quilt. You need empty matches boxes and props.


Auditory Learners

Many people are naturally auditory learners, "hearing" sounds, spelling, songs, rhymes etc in their heads. Here are some ideas to help with this kind of learning:
You can chant the letters and their sounds- “Ay says ay and Ay says a; Bee says b, Cee says s and cee says ck"etc.

You can look for (or make up) tongue twisters using a repeated sound, e.g. “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers..”

You can play “I spy”, using letter sounds rather than names.

You can  make up silly sentences using one letter sound as often as possible, e.g. “Annie and Alice ate ants and apples”.



Physical Learners

Many children learn best by "doing"; they may find it hard to sit still and learn, so it's good to involve some movements:

You can act out something that represents a letter, or something that starts with a
letter sound (like charades/I spy), e.g. a princess for p, a giant for g,  a cowboy for c.You can make letter shapes with their bodies (lying down or standing etc); they need

to say the letter sounds (and name too if they like- e.g. "I’m a dragon and I say d”).

You can draw huge letters: in the air/in the dirt/ on a path in the playground (with water &
paintbrush or chalk), with paint or fingerpaint on paper or a table.

You can make big letters on the ground with sticks/rocks/shells/writing, then dance around the letter, chanting or singing its sound.

You can hop, stomp,  jump, dance, sway or clap in time to a letter/alphabet song, rhyme or tongue twister.



Multisensory Learners


Most children fit into at least one of these learning categories, and often more than one.
The strongest learning is likely to be when two or more senses are involved, so combine strategies, and even add smell or taste to the range.

It’s easy and fun to say the first sound of an item of food as you eat, to involve the taste buds. You can also have fun with related sounds- “Mmmmm”, “y for yum”, “dd- d-delicious”, etc.

Use smelly  resources to write sight words; use scented oils, concentrates (e.g. eucalyptus, peppermint) or perfume to add an extra sensory experience to an item or activity; or use scented notepaper to write on. 
Smell is a very evocative sense, so try to link one kind of smell with a particular learning experience or letter.



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