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4 and 5-year-olds need to move around while they are learning.  This instructable shows how to create a super fun kinesthetic reading lesson.  By using physical gestures with letter cards, students will be able to be able to remember the sounds and names of all 26 letters.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:

marker

pencil

8 inch squares of construction paper  -- about 26


Step 2:

Use the marker to write one upper case and one lower case letter on the square construction paper.  Go through the whole alphabet.

Step 3: Select the Letters in Your Child's Name From Your Alphabet

It's best to start with the letters in a child's name.  If your child has more than one specific letter, then make a second letter card.  It's important to start with only a few cards--around 5-6 cards.  Introduce new cards every week.  Try to focus on high utility letters that are used more often--Letters like s, t, m, c, a, e, f and g.

Step 4: Create a Movement for Each Letter in Child's Name

Now that you have picked the letters you want to use, sit down and talk to your child.  Remember, only start with 5-6 letters.  Show the letter cards that you selected to your child.  Talk about the names of the letters first.  Then talk about the sounds these letters make.  Help your child decide what gesture/movement should go with what letter.  This works best if the child comes up with the gestures themselves.

For example, the 'b' card could stand for bounce.  Have the child pretend to bounce an invisible ball.  Write the new gesture on the back of the card with a pencil, so you can remember the gesture later.

Here are some ideas my students have come up with:

elephant for 'e'--make a trunk out of your arm and swing it back and forth

rabbit for 'r'--make rabbit ears

hop for 'h'--jump in one spot

sit for 's' -- sit down

say "mmmmm"  for 'm'--rub your belly as if you have eaten something yummy

touch for 't'--touch your fingers together

Step 5: Read Cards With Child

Each day go over the cards with your child.  Start with your child standing up.  Show the child how to say the name of the letter, then remind them of the gesture that goes with it.  After a few days, your child will associate the letters with the corresponding gestures.  The gestures will give your child a memory anchor for the names and sounds of each letter.

Go over the letter cards each day.  Each week create a new gesture for a new letter. 

Step 6: Letter Easter Egg Hunt

Once kids have about 10 letters down, you can play a few games with them.  One game can be an Easter Egg hunt.  When the child is out of the room put the letter cards all around the house or yard.  Ask the child to hunt down and find specific letters.  For example you could ask the child to find the letter 'r'.  You can also ask a child to look for the letter that makes the /mmm/ sound.

In addition to to these cards you could also:

Use chalk on the sidewalk outside--kids love to write giant letters

While on a walk, have your child look for letters on signs

While reading to them, have your child look for letters in a book

Put rice or sand into a cooking tray, then have a child trace letters in the rice/sand


Take a look at this other instructable too:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-get-your-two-year-old-to-spell-her-name-bef/

Nice! This is totally awesome.

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