While teaching reading in second grade, I used this “alphabet cheer” with my students who were struggling with the alphabetic principle. The alphabetic principle states that letters and combinations of letters are the symbols used to represent the speech sounds of a language based on systematic and predictable relationships between written letters, symbols, and spoken words. We would say this cheer while looking at a picture that represented each letter + sound.

Now, as a mommy, my LO and I say this cheer while at the changing table. It just came out one day when I was taking a long time putting on her clothes, and it has stuck ever since! Of course, we are not equipped with letter representations and picture anchors at this location.

It goes like this:

  1. State letter name.
  2. State an object that begins with that letter / sound. Ideally you want it to be the same object every time so it is familiar to the child and they can use it as an anchor down the road of their learning to read adventure.
  3. Say letter sound 3 X.

And that is the alphabet cheer!

Letter Object Sound (x3) Sound Type
A apple /a/ /a/ /a/ short a
A acorn /a/ /a/ a/ long a
B ball /b/ /b/ /b/
C celery /s/ /s/ /s/ soft c
C cat /ck/ /ck/ /ck/ hard c
D dog /d/ /d/ /d/
E elephant /e/ /e/ /e/ short e
E eagle /e/ /e/ /e/ long e
F frog /f/ /f/ /f/
G giraffe /j/ /j/ /j/ soft g
G gate /g/ /g/ /g/ hard g
H hat /h/ /h/ /h/
I igloo /i/ /i/ /i/ short i
I ice cream /i/ /i/ /i/ long i
J jack-in-the-box /j/ /j/ /j/
K kangaroo /k/ /k/ /k/
L lion /l/ /l/ /l/
M monkey /m/ /m/ /m/
N net /n/ /n/ /n/
O octopus /o/ /o/ /o/ short o
O oval /o/ /o/ /o/ long o
P potato /p/ /p/ /p/
Q queen /q/ /q/ /q/
R rat /r/ /r/ /r/
S snake /s/ /s/ /s/
T turtle /t/ /t/ /t/
U umbrella /u/ /u/ /u/ short u
U unicorn /u/ /u/ /u/ long u
V van /v/ /v/ /v/
W wagon /w/ /w/ /w/
X xylophone /x/ /x/ /x/
Y yo-yo /y/ /y/ /y/
Z zebra /z/ /z/ /z/