Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Letter People Still Popular as Phonemic Awareness Program

One way to tell a program was well designed is to watch how people try to hold on and recapture the methods that work. This has been true of the Letter People program. The resale market for both the classroom Alpha 1 program issued by New Dimensions and the World Book-Childcraft Reading Readiness Program Version convinced Abrams & Company Publishers to issue an updated more PC version of the program which is being marketed to schools and parents today. The genders of the consonants and vowels have been balanced and food and other issues that bothered some about the original characters have been removed. For those who liked the series but would prefer a more PC version, checking out Abrams options is something to consider. For those who are seeking the older version, I’ll be including some links on another entry to help you find some additional resources.

The Letter People are still sought after by parents and educators because they work. Combining music, a personal connection to the letters, and activities that build on that connection motivates children to learn basic phonics lessons.

Any phonics alphabet program has a system of when to introduce letters. The Letter People system is not different. I have not reviewed the newer system, I only mention it for those who want to buy new materials or want the updated PC version. The older version of the Letter people is the only one I have ever owned or used. The Parent’s Guide from the Childcraft version suggests the following teaching progression for the letters:

M, T, F, H, N, A, B, E, S, R, P,L,Z,O,D,C,I,G,U,K,V,W,Y,J,Q,X

You do not need to follow this but if you are acquiring the materials or watching some of the videos, you may find the material does build on the knowledge of the sound patterns.

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