Recently, during the demonstration of our Hanson Reading, Phonics Chart System at the Winter Homeschool Conference, I asked the kindergartner, “What sound does the “j” make, and she correctly responded with “juh-jellybean.”
That response was certainly correct, but an attendee asked me why on CHART 2, the Chart of CONSONANT SOUNDS, I didn’t have pictures like the ones in alphabet books.
Alphabet books are great, but when children are at the stage where they are beginning to learn how to read, I take the information they know and put it into a filing system, the Phonics Chart System for efficient learning.
There is an important reason I do not use an illustration for each consonant sound on Chart 2.
When children are looking at a consonant, they are looking at a font, and they are trying to determine what sound it makes. They don’t always have an illustration with that font, but they always have the font. Because fonts vary, I have my own font. I have found that by helping children learn HOW to look at that font, the font becomes the picture, an Imaginary Picture. It is always the same, and it’s almost always the same in any book or printed material.
For each consonant on Chart 2, Hanson Reading has an Imaginary Picture and a short story to help develop imagination to be helpful in determining the consonant sound. Children have great imaginations, better than any actual picture, and they seem to be able to remember pictures better than letters.
There are many benefits learning to imagine each font as a picture, an Imaginary Picture.
- 1-Learning the SOUND the consonant makes
- 2-Learning to develop a MENTAL IMAGE of the consonant
- 3-Learning the STROKE ORDER for forming the consonant
- 4-Establishing and reinforcing DIRECTION: left-to-right order
I have used these Imaginary Pictures for years, and have found that I can teach a lesson on Consonant Sounds one time, and almost all the children will know the consonants sounds, but it takes me longer to get them to be able to say them quickly, :25 seconds for preschool, :20 seconds for kindergarten and :15 seconds for 1st grade and beyond.
More detail on Imaginary Pictures on the next Post.
My best to you.