Friday, February 20, 2009

the alphabet story

2 friends telling the alphabet story

"Teach the alphabetic principle before you teach the alphabet.

Before beginning formal instruction in letter-sounds, show the child how to use her phonemic awareness to identify an alphabet letter by its sound when the letter is linked with an object or picture. Because the child now understands the alphabetic principle (that letters and speech sounds map onto each other), she is prepared to understand, identify, learn and remember the 26 alphabet letter-sounds."

-Randall Klein, reading specialist & Montessori teacher

I am a huge fan of Randall Klein, and his reading program. Our school's language curriculum is largely based on his materials and ideas. If you ever get a chance to listen to him speak, you'll leave feeling not only wiser, but truly inspired and ready to teach your child to read. The way he explains language development is straightforward, with an emphasis on quick, fun games you can play with your little one basically anywhere. Visit Randall here.

Here's how we tell the alphabet story:
**singing the letter sounds to the tune of "up on a housetop"

a-a-apple, b-b-bird, c-c-cat, d-d-door, e-e-elephant

f-f-fish, g-g-girl, h-h-house, i-i-igloo, j-j-jet, k-k-kite,

lll-lamp, m-m-moon, n-n-nest, o-o-octopus, p-p-pig

q-q-queen, rrr-rainbow, s-s-sun, t-t-turtle, u-u-umbrella

v-violin, w-w-watch, x-marks the spot, y-y-yo-yo so much fun

z-z-zebra he really can run, we just sang our alphabet song,

next time won't you sing along?

For continuity in the beginning, we always associate the same pictures/objects with the letters (for example, "a" is always an apple). As the child becomes more familiar with letters, it's second-nature to associate them with other things that begin with the same sounds.


  1. awesome work Annie, today was an insanely language-y one point every child was simulateously doing some kind of lang lesson, it was funny. Tate said he wants to do every lesson that will get him to reading train and he wondered exactly how many days that would take... pretty cute. Today he did a version of the alphabet story, little cards on a table, with the matching pictures on a rug and matched the whole thing. love it

  2. Your blog is just so inspiring to me! It makes me want to learn so much more about the Montessori theories and practices... I think I need to start with some books from my local library. Any recommendation for a good one to start with. I have a 10 month old, an almost 3 year old and a 4 year old who I want to try and incorporate some montessori teaching methods with at home to supplement preschool and public school...


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