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A fun and meaningful way to learn about letters

Kindergarten and grade one students engage in many letter learning activities at home and school, and this video is an excellent example of a fun and meaningful way to do so. By using photos of family members and tactile letter stickers, kids will have fun doing the activity and learning about letters at the same time. The book used in the video is similar in structure to the alphabet book used in the Reading Recovery program and kindergarten and primary classrooms to help children consolidate what they already know about letters, and add to as they learn more.

In the attached video, this fun activity was done in alphabetical order as a gift for a child. It can be an interactive, instructional, letter learning activity as well. This activity works best with one child at a time, but can be done in pairs or small groups.

Creating a personal alphabet book:


  • Get the book ready ahead of time, with a page dedicated to each letter, and the upper and lower case version of that letter written on the page before beginning the activity
  • Have ready access to a large collection of images, whether it be photos, clip art, flyers, coloring books, stamps, stickers or the internet, or be prepared to do some drawing! It is helpful to have a photo of the child, mom, dad, siblings and a pet prepared ahead of time
  • Materials such as scissors, glue stick and markers should also be handy

Explaining the process to the child:

  • making a book takes time, and it will take a number of different days to create this very personal alphabet book
  • the first letters to do are the ones the child knows best, perhaps his or her name, then some others
  • when the child sees the letter, or hears that letter sound, the word that pops into his or her head right away is what the picture should show
  • this book will be special because no one else will choose the same pictures for each letter, the pictures are individual to the child who creates the book
  • the pictures that go into the book have to match the sound of the letter on the page (for vowels, the short letter sound, and try to avoid combination sounds and exceptions)
  • once all of the known letters are finished, it is time to stop and ‘read’ the story so far

Following the initial creation of the alphabet book, the adult and child will read what is in the book, and select another one to three pages to add a picture to each day. There may be a letter that is too difficult, or unrecognizable to the child at that time. Name that letter and sound for him, give a couple of quick examples, then leave it for another day.

Children learn best when they are happily engaged in what they are doing, and when they have their own sound alphabet that they have created from the words and names most meaningful to them, they gain confidence in their memory of letter sounds and using these sounds, with and later, without, their alphabet book. It is the ultimate reference guide for the early readers and writers of the world!

A letter learning book filled with photos of family members, stamps, stickers and drawings of one’s favorite things, can you think of a more fun and meaningful way to learn about letters?

Do you remember letter learning from your own childhood? How are things different for your own child(ren)?

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