Creating a print-rich environment will support children’s ability to identify letters. Surround them with materials like books, poems, rhymes, messages, and environmental print like signs. This will help them not only learn the letter names, but identify each letter based on its physical appearance.
To help children recognize the letter “h,” consider displaying an alphabet poster for them to refer to. You may also want to provide them with their own individual alphabet chart to keep at their table or desk. Give children opportunities to work with manipulatives such as magnetic letters and letter tiles, for sorting activities. They can also participate in letter hunts, use letter stamps, and create the letter “h” using playdough.
It is important for children to learn how to form letters properly. Focus on making sure they know the correct point to start the letter and the motions that follow to complete the letter. With practice, forming letters becomes automatic, freeing up valuable energy to focus on the content of the message they are writing.
It is helpful to teach children verbal pathways that will guide their letter formation. These are phrases children recite or think in their head, as they print letters. For the lowercase “h,” teach children the phrase, “Pull down, up, over, and down.” For the uppercase “H,” use the phrase, “Pull down, pull down, across.” Begin by modeling this phrase as you slowly and deliberately print the letter. Give children opportunities to trace the letter first, moving towards printing it independently.
In addition to using a pencil and paper, children can use materials like whiteboards, chalkboards, sand or salt trays, and fingerpaints to practice printing. They can even use juggling scarves to practice the motions necessary to form the letter “h.”
When teaching children the sounds that letters make, associate each letter with familiar items that begin with the sound. For the letter “h,” children may relate it to a heart, hammer, or hat. Have them fill a block letter “h” with the objects, using cut out pictures or drawings. Referring to their block letter will help them recall the sound that “h” makes.
Children can make their own alphabet books to support their acquisition of letter sounds. When the letter “h” is introduced, have them complete the appropriate page in their book. The page can include the proper formation for the uppercase and lowercase “h,” as well as pictures of words that begin with “h.”
Additional activities to support learning letter sounds include matching and coloring tasks. Have children match the letter “h” to the objects that begin with its sound. As well, you can have children color pictures that begin with “h.” (e.g., Color the hot dog. Do not color the cloud.)