Sandpaper Letters - Lowercase
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The Sandpaper Letters (sometimes known as the 'Textured Letters') are a fundamental part of the Montessori Literacy Curriculum.
These letter symbols provide a tactile sensation so that a child can form both a visual and sensory impression of each letter.
A parent or teacher can utilise the 'Three Period Lesson' format to help the child to relate the phonetic sound to each letter symbol.
As the child uses the fingertips to trace the letter shape a 'muscular memory' is developed and reinforced. This will translate to success and confidence during later attempts to write letters as the hand and mind are both familiar with the movements required to form the letter.
A video of the Three Period Lesson for the Sandpaper Letters is coming soon to our YouTube channel!
When introducing letters for the first time please remember to choose letters that are significantly different in both sound and shape. For instance, 'd' and 's' are strongly contrasting in appearance whereas 'b' and 'd' are too confusingly similar to be shown together. Similarly, 'm' and 'n' are too close in sound whereas 'm' and 'i' would make a highly contrasting pair.
A summary of the Sandpaper Letter presentation can be found here on 'Wikisori'.
The Sandpaper Letters also provide opportunities for countless language exercises, for example...
- A piece of paper can be placed over the top of each letter and the child can be taught to gently rub back and forth with a flat-sided crayon in order to make a 'rubbing' replica of each letter.
- As you introduce (or revise) letter sounds a small selection of Sandpaper Letters can be placed in a basket with a collection of objects to match the sounds. For instance, the letters 's', 'r' and 'p' could be in the basket along with a sponge, a rock and a pencil. The child can practice matching the objects to the letters based on the 'initial sound' of each word. As the child's skill progresses you can add multiple objects for each letter then add more letters at a time.
- When a child has mastered 'initial sounds' you could repeat the previous step but with objects that match according to 'end sounds'. For instance, in our example of using 's', 'r' and 'p' as the letters in the basket you could use objects such as a doll's dress for 's', a toy car for 'r' and a cup for 'p'. Once a child has mastered both initial and end sounds then you can focus on introducing the vowels to highlight 'middle' sounds.
- A child could go on a 'Letter Treasure Hunt' using the Sandpaper Letters as a point of inspiration. Demonstrate to a child how to pick a letter, lay it on a Floor Mat (or table) and then search the home or classroom environment for something starting with that letter. The child could proceed through the whole alphabet for an engaging and challenging activity.
We are proud that our Sandpaper Letters are Australian-made!
Please note: The image for this product shows an example of the format and design but please view the second gallery image to see the exact script/font used for the letters!