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Lesson 3:

Sue teaches the letters with an alphabet chart

Sue teaches the letters daily by conducting a drill in which she reviews the letters on the classroom alphabet chart. In this drill, she methodically reviews all letter names and sounds, starting with the letter Aa and ending with Zz. For example, “Aa says /a/, Bb says /b/,” etc.

Why this lesson falls short for some children...

First, the repetitive nature of drilling can cause some children to get bored and to stop paying attention.

Second, the presentation of the letters on the alphabet chart (in alphabetical order and paired up in uppercase/lowercase) is arbitrary. This arrangement does not promote the process of recognizing or sounding out specific letters as they actually appear in words.

Third, although children may be successful in parroting back the letter names and sounds during this drill, they may still struggle to apply the knowledge of each particular letter in an actual reading or writing context. The teacher must be mindful of the gap between the general presentation of the letters on the alphabet chart and the specific real-life instances in which the letters are used.

Learn to teach this lesson properly

  • Teach the letters of the alphabet without boring drilling methods.
  • Use charts effectively with young children (such as the alphabet chart).
  • Teach the letters in ways that will help children to later apply the information to real-life reading and writing contexts.

Improve your instruction of young learners

To learn the specific methods for teaching this lesson correctly, please see Programs and Get the Books.