Alphabet(s) Mastery Instructions For Clay
This exercise follows when your child has learned how to Go to the Spot.
If you ask a kindergartner to say the alphabet, there is a high probability that you will get a rendition of the alphabet song. If the child knows the alphabet “cold,” the child might tell you the 26 letters as fast as they can. Both of these recitations of the alphabet indicate the child has memorized the alphabet.
Note: Memorization is the enemy of learning and, unfortunately for the dyslexic, they are usually quite adept at memorization.
To Master the alphabet (upper- and lower-case), a child must consistently and confidently correctly picture and name each letter every time they see it in print or touch the clay representation of the letter.
Use the templates of the letters to make your set of clay lower- and upper-case alphabets letters.
On a table that can be left unchanged for several days with the letters on it...
First, lay out the Upper-case alphabet strip. Then, have your child make the letters in clay from A to Z. You can use playdough or artist’s clay to make the letters. The upper-case letters are to be approximately 2 inches tall.
When the Upper-case alphabet letters are mastered to the point of certainty (this will be seen in your child’s face and heard in their voice as they identify letters); On the same table, Lay out the Lower-case alphabet letters strip. I have your child make the ladders in clay from a to z. Lower-case letters are 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches tall, including masts and tails.
With eyes closed, the child palpates all sides/surfaces of a letter until they can see it in their mind’s eye. They will see a 3-dimensional picture of it, not a picture of a flat letter.
Then they move onto the next letter, and repeat experiencing the letter.
When your child says they can picture all the letters they have touched, move on to step 2.
The parent takes the child’s hand and randomly picks a letter to place the hand on... the child feels the height, width, depth of the letter until they can identify it as one that they can see in their mind’s eye.
Watch for certainty in their voice and face, even if they name the letter correctly.
Then move the child’s hand to another letter... the child repeats the activity with this letter.
Continue this step 2 until your child correctly and with certainty identifies all the upper-case, and then the lower-case letters.
The parent now moves their child’s hand (eyes still closed) onto random sequence of upper- and lower-case letters, until the child with certainty correctly identifies all letters, A to Z, upper- and lower-case.
It is time to move onto Mastering the Alphabet(s) and Punctuation.
Alphabet Letter Templates for Making Clay Alphabet Strips
Alphabet Letter Templates to Make Your Clay Letters
The Punctuation Pause (video)