Immersing children in a print-rich environment can help them become familiar with letters. Surround them with books, poems, rhymes, posters, and labels. They can also play with letter puzzles and games. The goal is to teach children to automatically recognize each letter, based on its physical appearance.
To help children learn the letter “v,” display an alphabet poster and provide children with their own individual alphabet charts to keep at their table or desk. They can refer to these visuals when recalling the letter. Provide children with opportunities to explore manipulatives such as magnetic letters, letter tiles, and letter stamps. Use small groups of letters and have children find all the letter “v’s.” They can also use flashcards, make the letter “v” with playdough, and go on a letter hunt to find as many “v’s” as they can.
Verbal pathways are used to guide children as they print letters. They say the phrase aloud or inside their head, which cues them with which direction the pencil should go. For the letter “v,” teach children the phrase, “Slant down, slant up.” The same phrase can be used for both the lowercase and the uppercase “v.” It will be important, however, to teach children that the lowercase letter is short and the uppercase letter is tall. Say the phrase as you model how to print the letter. Provide students with opportunities to trace the letter before moving on to printing it independently.
In addition to pencil and paper activities, have children explore other writing utensils such as fingerpaint, chalk, and whiteboard markers to practice printing. They can also use sand or salt trays and use juggling scarves to practice the motions needed to form the letter “v.”
To help children learn the sound that “v” makes, have them think of words that begin with “v.” For example, they can associate “v” with violins, vests, and vans. Pair the words with pictures that children can refer to when trying to recall the sound. They can fill a block letter “v” with pictures or drawings of the objects. They can also make their own alphabet book with a page for each letter. Include the correct lowercase and uppercase “v” formations and have children add their pictures or drawings.
Provide children with further opportunities to learn letter sounds by matching the beginning sound to pictures. (e.g., Match the “v” to the vase.) They can also color pictures that begin with the correct sound. (e.g., Color the vest. Do not color the shoes.)