By learning how to write lower-case letters, children are afforded the basic skills that they will need to communicate effectively throughout life. Teaching kids how to remember the shapes of letters and produce them on paper is a task that is approached in many different ways, but repetition is often the key.
Recognizing Lower-Case Letters
Point out lower-case letters
Point out lower-case letters of the alphabet in an everyday context. According to Erin Pearson Beauchamp of the George Mason University Literacy at School and Home site, kindergarten teachers often encourage students to look at the writing on frequently used objects, such as signs, toys and clothing. She explains this helps them to understand that writing is an important means of communication. For children completely unfamiliar with the alphabet, it may also be a good way of introducing them to the concept of letters.
Ask children to find a certain lower-case letter of the alphabet in the house. Ms Beauchamp described a game in which parents tell their kids to look around the house for an example of a particular letter. This could be from anything in the area that has writing on it, including shampoo bottles, tins of food and toys, rather than limiting the child to books and other publications. After the child has located the letter, ask him to give you a letter to search for. Once you have found an example, show this to the child and discuss how the same letter of the alphabet can look different depending on its font.
Play "I Spy" with the alphabet. Encourage children to look for lower-case letters in the outside world, for instance on shopping trips, Ms Beauchamp recommends. They should be asked to look for the letters in the order of the alphabet. If they are not familiar with this order, they may simply look for all 26 letters in a more random way. Jot the letters down and cross them off when the children find them.
Use flash cards. Tammatha R. Conerly wrote for Walden University's ConnectEd resource that drawing lower-case letters onto cards and showing them to children can help kids learn to recognize the alphabet. It may be easiest to do this several times and make the sound of the letter as you show the card. Ms Conerly suggests children be encouraged to copy the letter they are being shown with a pen and paper once they are advanced enough to do so.
Learning Lower-Case Letter Shapes
Line the bottom of a pan with sand or flour.
Trace the shape of a lower-case letter in the substance using your finger.
Ask the child to copy the shape you have made in the sand with her finger.
Learning to Write on Paper
Draw a large picture of a lower-case letter on some paper.
Place tracing paper over the picture.
Ask the child to trace the letter with his finger until he is used to the shape.
Ask the child to trace the picture with a pencil or crayon.
Allow the child to color in the letter she has drawn. The technique of using tracing to learn letters is the first step for kids learning how to write.
- ['Paper', 'Pen', 'Sand or flour', 'Pan', 'Tracing paper']
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