Give your child lots of opportunities to practice pairing of letter names and letter sounds. Remember that before he can read words, he must have an understanding that each word is made of letters and that each letter has its own sound to form that word.
- uppercase and lowercase magnetic letters
- cookie sheet or refrigerator door
Step 1: Gather several letters of the alphabet, some uppercase and lowercase, and display on a cookie sheet or refrigerator door. Bring your child’s attention to the letters and explain the game.
Let’s play a game with these letters. I will say a little chant and see if you can find what I need.
Step 2: Say the following chant to play the game, adding drama to your voice and a motion to emphasize the words.
My letter is lost! (Hold your head as if worried and use a worried tone of voice.)
Please look around. (Hold hand over brow as if looking and use a pleading voice.)
I do remember… (Tap your temple as if you have a thought.)
It makes this sound - /d/ /d/ /d/! (Make the letter sound at least three times while pointing to your mouth.)
Can you find a letter that makes the /d/ /d/ /d/ sound?”
Step 3: Encourage your child to find the letter. If needed, give a description of what the letter looks like.
The uppercase letter that makes the /d/ sound has a stick and a great big curve from top to bottom.
When your child finds the letter say:
You found the letter D, hooray, hooray! The letter D has saved the day!
Step 4: If your child found the uppercase letter, see if he can find the lowercase letter. Repeat the letter name and letter sound together. Continue the My Letter is Lost! chant using another letter sound.
Choose the letters in your child’s name only.
Ask your child to name something that begins with the sound. Take turns and reverse the roles. Let him say the chant and a letter sound and you find the letter to save the day!