Teaching the Alphabet – What’s the right approach?

Learning the alphabet is the basis for the English language

One of the foundations of learning a language is to learn the letters it is based on. As important as it is teaching the alphabet, it is also a very precarious process. As a teacher, you need to be sure that your student has appropriately learned his/her letters.

They will base their words and eventually sentence formation on what you’re going to be teaching them right now. Pat yourself on the back for being such an important part of your student’s learning journey.  

The way to know how to teach the alphabet, we ought to understand what letter recognition is. 

Letter recognition is the ability to distinguish one alphabet from another and verbalize the alphabet you are learning. Some children have already learned the Alphabet Song, this is great! But it would help if you also had them to remember the letters and name them.

This article will try to help out with that and provide a guide for teaching the alphabet and point out some of the mistakes you might be making.

Ways To Teach The Alphabet

Use Songs 

Songs, in general, are a great way to help in learning. Singing the alphabet to your students introduces them to letters in a fun way -in a less blatant way. Usually, parents teach their children “The Alphabet Song” early on, which is great for you because some students might know when you introduce it in class. This might inspire others to follow suit.

Alphabet Puzzles 

After you’ve gotten the students comfortable with the letters, they have started recognizing them. You can bring in exciting activities like alphabet puzzles. These are excellent tools to teach alphabets. Students can randomly select letters and fit them in where they see the impression.

Use Alphabet Books 

Reading alphabet books to the children can be conducive to their learning. There is an element of repetition attached to reading alphabet books that will help your students learn the alphabet quicker. You can get different books, each with an intriguing design to keep the children rapt with attention, if not through the repeated words, then the book’s design.

Do not get too distracted by the book. Keep returning their attention to the letters being learned.

Teach letter by letter 

Don’t rush teaching the alphabet. Take as much time as the student requires it. Try the “letter of the week” approach. It is a helpful structure when designing learning activities for children. Communicate the letter to the parents, get them to remind their child of the week’s letter actively.

The parental involvement in this can especially be an effective way to teach alphabets.  

Keep bringing the whole alphabet.

Congratulations, you’re progressing with your lessons for learning letters. If you’ve also introduced multiple activities to the children, it is likely that they can forget the previous letters learned.

Take some time, design activities now and then where you bring back the whole alphabet, or to the point you’ve taught it to your students.

Be flexible 

You may realize that the students have learned all the alphabets and recognize them too. You don’t need to feel tied to the activities you were previously doing. The goal has been achieved. However, you should pick and choose some activities to do now and then to have an update on the students’ retention. 

Maybe sing the Alphabet Song twice a week, play a game involving the letters, etc. Of course, consistent activities like “letter of the day” do not need to be repeated.

Mistakes to avoid when teaching the alphabet

eaching the alphabet to your student can involve pitfalls. Sometimes you might overdo the lessons, introduce other letters too early, the activities become redundant, and so on. Below are some mistakes you ought to avoid as you begin teaching the alphabet to young students.

Chockful of worksheets 

Worksheets are great for learning. They’re visually stimulating (if you’ve made them so), writing down what students have learned helps a lot. You’ve also probably come across a lot of Pinterest worksheets that are incredibly engaging. Should you use them?

Yes, sometimes you can. Worksheets do help you know how much your student has learned. But don’t use them too much, because technically, the student is not learning anything new. Pull out the worksheets after you’ve taught them the alphabet, and even then, only those that your students are going to enjoy.

Less variety 

Mix up your activities. Even the ones that are consistent like “letter of the day.” While it is useful, it can also be boring for you to teach and for your student to learn. How about you search up weekly activities for teaching the alphabet and change it up a bit.

Expecting activities to be done your way

Preschoolers have a mind of their own. You’ve designed an activity, and you also have a goal in mind, but that does not mean the students do. Sometimes the activities also fall flat, you thought they were interesting, but they weren’t received. In this instance, always have a plan B instead of insisting that your students do the activities you’ve prepared for them.   

Less hands-on learning 

Often, teachers use worksheets or activities to stimulate learning. Often, these are restricted to the paper and pencil. Try to do sensory activities related to alphabets or fine motor activities. Find a world beyond worksheets for your students.

In Conclusion

A lot of the information we have provided to you above does not imply that you don’t work hard when it comes to teaching. Alphabets are an important basis for reading, writing, and understanding in the later years. To know how to teach the alphabet requires you to go the extra mile.

If you want more teaching tips, how to write lesson plans, anchor charts, and so on, visit our blog at Digiteachers.