How to teach the english alphabet to kids

Written by susan corey
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How to teach the english alphabet to kids
Recognising and matching letters to their sounds builds basic reading skills. (alphabet image by Blue Moon from

Learning the letters and sounds of the English alphabet creates the foundational skills needed for understanding written language. Children who are learning to read first need to recognise, name, and connect their letters to sounds. Then they can begin to decode each individual sound. Decoding enables learners to string sounds into words and sentences. You can teach the alphabet to kids by using a variety of hands-on activities, according to Learning A-Z On Line.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Alphabet flash cards
  • Salt or sand trays
  • Letter alphabet books
  • Letter matching object cards
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Modelling Clay
  • Alphabet blocks
  • Magnetic letters
  • Wooden alphabet puzzles

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  1. 1

    Ask the children to find letters in their surroundings, such as on signs, or to find objects that begin with a specific letter by playing a game like "I spy."

  2. 2

    Sing the alphabet song daily. Trace letters in salt or sand trays. Play concentration games with letter cards. Circle letters in print, such as magazines and newspapers. Cut out pictures from magazines that start with the letters you are teaching. Use modelling clay to shape each letter of the alphabet learnt, according to A to Z Phonics.

  3. 3

    Pass out lower case and upper case letters to the class and have the children find their letter match. Put the children in groups of four have them form letters with their bodies. Give half the class letter cards and the other half picture cards of things that begin with each letter distributed. The letter T card, for example, could match a picture card of a turtle. Ask the children to walk through the classroom and find the child who has the picture or letter to match their cards.

  4. 4

    Stack alphabet blocks and name each letter in stacks. Practice putting magnetic alphabet letters in sequential order on a white board. Play with wooden alphabet puzzles that depict objects whose names begin with the letter sound you are teaching.

Tips and warnings

  • Listening skills are important for learning the alphabet. It is essential for a child to hear, recognise, and isolate sounds daily. Educational stores have many listening games that assist in building and sharpening those abilities.

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