A few weeks back, I saw an excellent article about teaching letter recognition. Phonics is the building blocks of language, and when teaching young learners, it’s vital that they learn how to recognize letters quickly and accurately.
But that brings to mind one question: Which letters should be taught first?
That can be difficult to answer. Consonants or vowels?
Well one good way to begin is to have kids practice writing their names. Ask them what their names are, and teach them the first letter. Then teach the second, third, and so on. The article showed this nifty chart to help teach order.
Have each student practice writing his/her name. You can create tracing sheets to give them a guide, and then work up to free hand writing.
As soon as kids can recognize the letters in their names, you can move on to sets of words beginning with a particular consonant. It’s good to practice uppercase and lower case letter recognition, since we see both cases in everyday life.
When students can quickly recognize consonants and vowels easily, you may move to consonant blends such as “ch-“, “sh-“, “cl-“, “gl-“, etc. and even vowel diphthongs. Use plenty of games to help them understand. Worksheets are fine but should be limited. Songs and chants work well, too.
You know your students’ learning needs best and some methods may work better than others. The order in which you teach letter recognition should be tailored to your students’ needs. There is no rush, as learning happens across a continuum. 🙂