Learning Letters Through Multiple Intelligences

No doubt, knowing the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes are important pre-reading skills. While some kids pick this up with little effort, for most these abstract concepts do not come naturally.

Making sense of something so abstract and strange as a letter making a sound is not easy for children. But when you can encourage a child to explore a difficult concept in a way that keeps him feeling safely within his “comfort zone”, the difficult concept suddenly doesn’t seem as difficult. Learning happens more easily.

Here are a few ideas that will help children with strengths in the following intelligences learn letters and sounds more easily:

  • Linguistic– while reading a story, carefully pronounce the letter sounds within a word as you run your finger under each letter. Play word games like stringing several words with the same beginning sound together, rhyming words, etc.
  • Logical/Mathematical– Write a letter on a card and place it in or near a shallow dish. Place a variety of small objects on a tray, including several that begin with the letter on the card. Encourage children to sort the objects by placing those that begin with the sound on the card into the shallow dish.
  • Spatial– Encourage children to say the sound of each letter as they place them properly in the puzzle.
  • Kinesthetic– Encourage children to make alphabet letters with their hands or bodies. Say the sound of each letter as children complete the form.
  • Musical– sing alphabet songs or songs with a lot of rhyming or alliteration (many words with the same beginning sound strung together).
  • Intrapersonal– focus on the letters in the child’s name. Talk about personal attributes that begin with the letters in the name. For example, Eli is exciting, his legs are long, he likes ice cream.
  • Interpersonal– set out several letters of the alphabet and several objects that begin with those letters. Invite children to work together to match each object to its letter.
  • Natural– invite children to collect natural objects. As you look over the collection, emphasize the beginning sound of each. Make a letter card for each object.

Once you have an idea of the types of activities your child is naturally drawn to, use that information to your advantage. Let the child’s interests be the motivator. All you have to do is create the opportunity to let the learning happen.

For more great ideas to encourage letter learning, check out the World of Wonder Letters and Sounds Kit or Activity Binder.


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