Assalamu’alaikum & Marhaba!
Today I wanted to share how we introduce Arabic letters to young children from the ages of 2.5 to 4 years.
2 – 3 Years
At this age, I introduce the letters very loosely. I teach the letter sounds without any vowelization. Using the DIY Arabic sandpaper letters, we trace over the letter with our fingers and say the sound as a three-part lesson.
I make object baskets with the initial sound of those letters. Once they master that, we move on to pictures of more objects with that initial sound. We repeat this for all of the letters.
Depending on the child’s age and ability, you can decide to introduce one to two letter sounds in one sitting or three to four. At 3, my daughter was able to learn three to four letter sounds together. In addition to this, we do different crafts of the letter. We use pasta, beans, seeds, play dough, do-a-dot markers, q-tip painting, etc. with Arabic letter templates to “write” them.
This is the time when some children are entering the sensitive age for reading and writing. It is important to be aware of your child’s interest. If you push it too early, they may not be ready which is completely okay!
After some trial and error, Layaan’s tutor found a comprehensive way to teach Arabic letters to her. There are two main components to consider that are unique to Arabic; the different forms the letter can take depending on the letters position in the word, and the three initial vowels the letters take.
First, Layaan’s teacher introduces the letter using the sandpaper letter followed by a short video of a song about the letter. Second, they do an art activity of the letter since arts and crafts appeal to Layaan. Here they painted a large version of the letter, and glued on pictures with words beginning with each of the vowelizations. Or, they make crafts of words that begins with that letter.
The next day, she introduces the three vowelizations and pictures with the words written underneath for each. The first letter and vowel point are red in the word, while the rest of it is in black ink for emphasis. She models how to sort each word under the correct vowel points on the letter. This activity is repeated daily until Layaan masters the activity without any assistance.
Finally, it is time to teach the various forms the letter can take depending upon its position in the letter. For this activity, her teacher only prints out the words without any images. The letter being taught is in red ink while the rest of the word is in black ink. The words are sorted underneath the correct position. This activity is repeated daily until mastered. In addition, her teacher makes different activities and games to review the letters she learned.
Stay tuned for the next post on how Layaan practices writing the letters and “writing” words using a DIY moveable Arabic alphabet.
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