Children at this age will write more frequently, and their letters will begin to look more accurate. They also will begin to understand letter-sound connections, so they will write one or more letters representing the sounds they hear when trying to spell a word. Help your child learn more about words by creating a Name Dictionary. This activity may take several weeks.
- construction paper
Step 1: Create a homemade book using construction paper, with one page for each letter in your child’s first name. Use a dark-colored marker to write one letter of your child’s name on each page of the book. For example, a book for “Julie” would have five pages, each with one of the letters in her name.
Step 2: As you come across a word that starts with a letter in your child’s name, ask your child to copy the word and draw a picture. For example, as you are making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your child, you might say:
Look, jelly starts with J just like your name. Get your Name Dictionary. See if you can copy the word Jelly on the J page and draw a picture of jelly.
Provide extra support and modeling. As you come across words that start with the letters in your child’s name, you might print the words in your child’s Name Dictionary and then ask your child to draw the pictures. For example, as you are making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your child, you might say:
Look, jelly starts with J just like your name, Julie. Get your Name Dictionary. I will write the word Jelly on the J page. Why don’t you draw a picture of jelly?
You might also encourage your child to write just the letter J.
Ask your child to think of other words that start with the letters in her name. For example, your child might identify ‘juice’ and ‘jump’ for the letter J. Ask your child to write the words she names. Do not be concerned if she doesn’t spell them correctly. Even the process of trying to figure out what letters to write will help her develop stronger spelling and reading skills for the future.