The ABC, See, Hear, Do Series makes it simple to teach beginning reading skills in a way that addresses the needs of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Four books are available thus far:
- ABC, See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words
- ABC, See, Hear, Do 2: Blended Beginning Sounds, Learn to Read 51 More Words
- ABC, See, Hear, Do: Writing Practice
- ABC, See, Hear, Do: Coloring Book
The first two books provide the phonics instruction, the third teaches children how to print letters, and the fourth reinforces lessons through coloring activities.
Children should already have been introduced to the letters of the alphabet before starting the first book. The book teaches the sounds of letters in groups of four letters at a time then introduces vowel-consonant-vowel words made up of only three of those letters. For example, the first four letters taught are c, a, m, and t. The words taught are cat and mat. If a child is not yet ready to blend sounds into words, don’t worry. Just continue to teach the individual letters and return later to work on blending.
Each letter is taught with a colorful, cartoon character illustration and hand motions. The letter c is illustrated with a cat with outstretched claws. At the top of the page it shows “C…c…C”—both uppercase and lowercase letters. The parent or teacher is to pronounce the sound of the letter rather than its name. At the bottom of the page it presents the hand motion: “Make your hands like claws and scratch.” Similarly, a flamingo illustrates the letter f, and its motion is “Flap your arms like a flamingo.” When words are presented, the small image of the animal for each letter is immediately below each letter as a visual reminder of the action and sound of the letter. This method of presentation is likely to be effective with children whether they learn best by hearing, seeing, or doing, since it involves all three activities.
The set of practice words for each new group of letters increases to four words per set, then five. On these pages, words are all presented in uppercase letters. At the end of the book, two pages have lists of words for practice, with 48 words per page. One page features words printed with all uppercase letters and other presents a different set of words, all with lowercase letters.
ABC, See, Hear, Do: Writing Practice helps children learn to print both lowercase and uppercase letters individually, so it fits perfectly alongside or after ABC, See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words.
ABC, See, Hear, Do: Coloring Book also works best alongside the first book since pages are blackline versions of the pages within the first book that teach individual letters. Pages include the same text as the pages in the instructional book.
ABC, See, Hear, Do 2: Blended Beginning Sounds, Learn to Read 51 More Words teaches consonant digraphs (i.e., two-letter phonograms) such as bl, sc, and th, all used in short-vowel words like blot, scab, and that. As with the first book, cartoon characters and actions help children remember the phonogram. For example, the phonogram cl is illustrated with a clam, and the motion is, “Palms together, open and close your hands like a clam.” Three new words are presented for every phonogram, and a list of 40 practice words is at the back. This book sticks with only lowercase letters rather than mixing both cases.
Kindle versions are available for the first two instructional books and will work well if you have a device with a color display rather than black and white.
These books present only the beginning of a phonetic program for learning to read, but they offer a simple, interactive way to do so that should be enjoyable for both children and their parents.