Updated: Mar 8
So you've taught your student or child how to read the letters and now its all about getting them to do the following things:
1) Recognising and remembering each individual letter
2) Remembering where the sound of the letter should come from (makharij)
Let's just pause here and consider how overwhelming it must be for a child to be able to master these things at once. Patience is key here and over correcting can lead to them feeling like they are not good at this and some may even feel a bit put off.
However we need to explain that we understand it may seem hard (not IS hard, otherwise they will remember this and keep thinking it is hard), but that with practise and time, they will definitely come better and will soon start reading as great as everyone else. Look into positive mindset for learning if you're interested in how to nurture a positive outlook to learning and how to use words to encourage children to continue learning. I will link a poster here soon that can be displayed in your house or in the classroom.
How to get children to recognise and remember the letters
I highly recommend lots of practical hands on activities. A study carried out by Cambridge University found that: 'using a practical activity can help structure a lesson and improve engagement and knowledge retention: Many students learn more easily by actually “doing” activities.
These activities can be as simple as colouring pages, writing or tracing. My students love practising on whiteboards or on the tracing cards I have. Alternatively, you can get children to practise writing the Arabic letters with blocks, magnets, or for a more fun approach, try getting them to write in foam or even on tables (with washable markers of course!).
Another way to get children to remember is to use rhythm. Whilst breaking into a sing song voice whilst teaching the Arabic alphabet might not be everyone's cup of tea, the rhythm will help children quickly familiarise themselves with the sounds and will hopefully be the first stepping stone to them reading the letters independently. If you as a teacher, are uncomfortable with signing, then play the Arabic alphabet song on Youtube. However please be careful that the pronunciation is right as there are so many videos out there where the pronunciation is incorrect.
Use picture association to link letters to images. For example 'Baa for Bat' or 'Meem for microphone.' Showing the child a poster for each letter, where the letter and the picture are showcased together would be ideal, and Understand Quran Academy have individual posters for all of these letters. I will also try to upload my version in the coming future Insha Allah.
You can also play a variety of games to help children recognise and remember the letters.
Spot and dot, mix and match, or mix and order correctly are all great little games that can consolidate their learning.
These little pastel cards are great, they don't take much space and can be used by children in small groups. Click on the picture if you're interested in buying these to download and print. Or become a member and get access to ALL our resources on the website.
I hope these tips have helped shed some light on how to get children to recognise letters. Insha Allah, the next blog will focus on games that help children learn and remember their letters!