Posted in Be a PhD, Headlines, Infant, Letter and Word Recognition, Literacy, Preschooler, Quick Tips, Toddler

First Explorations with Letters

Before children are even using writing utensils to attempt to write letters, they are making them with whatever they can find. Here are a few basic items to have in your classroom that children can use to explore the shapes, sizes and structures of letters for the first time:

Wooden pieces, sand, playdough and fingerpaint

First let the children explore the materials, and see what they create. As you shift the focus to creating letters, model this work and talk out lout about what you are making. Almost every child starts by creating the first letter of their name (this is almost always the first letter they learn). You can model this practice by creating the first letter of your own name.

I use this activity to jump start our discussion of Writing in my Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Education class. When I tell my students to explore the materials and create letters, they always make the first letter of their name. I guess the practice carries through the years. Here is Amy’s work:

Provide these materials to young children as an introduction to letters and writing. See what letters they make first and ask them to identify the letters they are making. It is a fun and hands-on way to begin the letter recognition and the writing process.



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