When students are first learning to read, written letters look like meaningless shapes on a piece of paper. They might as well be squiggles or scribbles – letters don’t have any rhyme or reason. But this fun little alphabet chant changes all of that because it helps students connect each funky shape we call a letter to its most important job: making a specific sound.
Snag your copy of the alphabet chant below and then join the waitlist for the Science of Reading Formula membership so you can unlock THOUSANDS of brain-friendly teaching tools that will help you teach reading the smarter (not harder!) way.
Although we don’t often think about it as fluent readers, letters are actually codes for sounds. Just like detectives use clues to solve mysteries, once students learn the sound each letter makes, they can string those sounds together to read words.
And this alphabet chant is the best tool I have found for introducing kids to those very important relationships because it connects each letter to its sound, a word it starts with, and a corresponding action like this…
“A is for apple. /a/ /a/ /a/.” (Hold your hand to your mouth as if you are biting into an apple.)
“B is for baby. /b/ /b/ /b/.” (Pretend to rub your eyes with your fists as if you are crying.)
“C is for cat. /c/ /c/ /c/.” (Draw imaginary whiskers on your face.)
The key to this activity is its multi-sensory approach. Kids see an alphabet flashcard, say the chant, and do the action so they are using multiple areas of the brain at the same time. Not only are students building neural pathways based on visual inputs, but they are simultaneously developing fibers based on auditory (sound), and kinesthetic (movement) inputs. It is a supercharging trifecta of brain growth!
Because the goal with this initial introduction is simple awareness of the letter-sound connections rather than actual memorization, you can teach the chant quickly.
In my kindergarten class, I added five new letters each day so that we could practice the entire chant from A to Z in a little over a week. Although most of my kindergartners did not learn all of the letters and sounds in that short time, they began understanding that those once random shapes they saw in books, on walls, and on billboards were not as arbitrary as they once seemed.
Grab Your Copy
Ready to see the magic of this alphabet chant for yourself? Click the big blue “download here” button below to snag your set and then join the waitlist for the Science of Reading Formula membership so you can unlock THOUSANDS of brain-friendly teaching tools that will help you teach reading the smarter (not harder!) way.