Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Their Mark

A child's first introduction to writing letters often starts with the child's name. If your child is showing an interest in writing letters, try this lesson on learning how to write your name.

Indirect Aim: Writing.

Direct Aim: To make the child aware that sounds have symbols.

Age: 3 to 4 years.

Materials: Sandpaper letter(s), pencil, paper.

Example of child's name: Sarah

1. "Today we are going to write your name." (Or you can just write the first letter of the child's name: "Today we are going to write the first letter in your name.") "What is the first letter in your name?" If the child gives the name for the letter 's' (es) you say, "Its name is 's' (es) but it says the sound ‘sss’ like snake.

If the child has a blend, like 'ch' for Charlie, 
say "The letters 'C' (see) and 'h' (ay-chu) make the sound 'ch' like chair. 'ch' is the first sound in the name Charlie.

2. Take any kind of paper (or chalkboard) and a normal size pencil (or white chalk), and start with first letter in child’s name. Use a capital letter. Trace the capital letter 'S' with two fingers (use pointing finger and middle finger and always top to bottom, left to write) then write it. Do a whole line of the letter 'S', if the child can wait. Or, at some point, ask the child to have a turn to trace the letter 'S' and write it. Trace it first, then write it, trace it again, then write it again, repeat this pattern of tracing and writing, tracing and writing.

3. "Now we are going to write the second letter in your name." (Or you can write the second letter another day.) "The second letter in your name is -------" (for our example, Sarah, it would be 'a').

4. Use a lower case letter 'a'. Trace the lower case letter 'a' with two fingers (use pointing finger and middle finger and always top to bottom, left to write) then write it. Do a whole line of the letter 'a', if the child can wait. Or, at some point, ask the child to have a turn to trace the letter 'a' and write it. Trace it first, then write it, trace it again, then write it again, repeat this pattern of tracing and writing, tracing and writing.

Continue with the next letter in the child's name, or wait until another day.

You can also have the child's name written out on a piece of paper or cardstock, and place it near the pencils and paper for her to go and get when ever she wants to write her name. Later, she will want to write her sibling's or her friend's name, have that child's name written out on a piece of paper or cardstock, and place it near the pencils and paper for her to go and get when ever she wants to write it.

Optional: You can use dots to write the letter(s) and have the child trace over the dots.
The adult writes the name in yellow marker and the child traces the name in a darker color.
In our classroom we have a cornmeal tray.  This is a shallow tray with a thin layer of cornmeal.  The children trace the letters they know in the cornmeal.  This is great fun and is used by all the children. 

Markers: allow the child to decorate her paper with markers after she has practiced writing her name in pencil HOWEVER, for children who have difficultly writing (or may be hard to motivate) allow them to use markers to practice writing their name.  Our goal is leaving the activity with a feeling of success!

Encourage the child to always write her name on her artwork.:)

4 comments:

The Dotterel said...

I'm trying this with my (sub) three year old at the moment, and he's showing great signs of letter recognition.

Alice Law said...

Thanks for sharing the tips! Hi, greeting from My Little Sprouts! I'm a mama of 2 lovely toddler, you have a beautiful blog!^-^

Have a great weekend!

Autumn mama said...

What a lovely blog... i am in childcare here in Canada and i love peeking at this blog! What a peaceful and gentle way to encourage them to continue making their mark through life... well done
light and peace
autumn mama

izzy said...

Thanks for the tip! I love the cornmeal idea..

Im Izzy, a new follower, cheers!

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