Babies in Bloom… IN ACTION with Elaine Conway
Early Literacy Tip (Example): Letter Knowledge, Method: Shapes/Colors (May 2014)
To identify letters, children have to be able to distinguish things that are alike and different. For example, a lowercase n and a lowercase h look almost the same—just the length of the line is different. (n and h flannel pieces) So, noticing things that are alike and different helps later with letter knowledge, a prereading skill. (show two colors, two shapes on flannel board)
While we read this next book together, we will point out shapes, and other things that are the same or different. As I point them out, you can trace them to show your children.
For this hands-on tip, I created a flannel board that showed the specific differences between the letters n and h and colors (two differently colored circles) and shapes (one purple circle, and one purple square) and followed it by identifying the shapes in our choral reading book, The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
I noticed during play time that a few parents had picked up the tip and were talking to their children about the shapes of blocks and the play mats, tracing them together. I was pleased to see them take it right to hand. I’ve since used this tip/flannel one more time as the group changed over. Alas, babies grow so fast.