Early literacy is very near and dear to us. See this blog post to find out why. But, we also realize that children shouldn't be learning through worksheets and drills at a young age. That's a great way to burn a child out before they ever even really get started down the path toward literacy.
So instead, we can begin to work with children in a fun and play-based manner with skills that will ultimately help them be successful later on. This Sound-Symbol Alphabet Puzzle is a great way to practice tons of skills.
1. We us the puzzle to practice upper and lower case matching which begins to develop their orthographic skills in recognizing the patterns of letters.
2. This puzzle works to begin building sound-symbol association with the most common target sound of each letter and working back to tie that sound that the student hears with the letter representation.
3. You can use this puzzle in ways far beyond just putting it together. Often we will put 4-5 letter options out and ask the child to find the letter that makes the /b/ sound for example. You can begin at the easiest level by asking the child to do this when the puzzle is put together so they can see the bat and start recognizing that sound correlation and as they progress on you can ask the child to perform this activity without having the bat image. You could also have the child sequence the upper case letters in order. Many of our struggling readers really struggle with sequencing and so this can be a great activity for them. You can start by putting several letters out in order like A, B, C, _, E and ask them to find the missing letter.
Practicing letters and sounds doesn't have to be boring, you really can do a lot of things to keep kiddos excited and engaged about this process. We hope you will try this out. Let us know how it goes!