The Sound City Reading handwriting materials are presented using pictures from the Sound Story. If they have not already done so at the readiness level, students should hear the Sound Story read aloud by the teacher. It is used to introduce sound pictures that represent all of the sounds used in our language. The pictures show everyday events that can be related to a particular sound. For example, some of the pictures show a growling dog, a ticking clock, and a cawing crow. As the students practice saying the sound for each picture, they are preparing to associate that sound with a particular alphabet letter or group of letters.
Then, when each letter is introduced, students see the related sound picture on the page with the letter. Because the sound pictures are based on real environmental sounds, they help students learn to associate the appropriate sound with each abstract letter symbol. For example, the letter r represents the growling dog sound, and the letter t represents the ticking clock sound.
Students learn to write the letters by first tracing large patterns in a booklet called Big Letters to Trace. Students trace first with a finger, and then with a pencil. Students should say the sound of the letter each time it is traced. Using the large muscles of the arm and hand to form the letters helps students internalize the correct sequence of movements. If the student practices these movements until they are automatic, it will make him much more efficient when beginning to write words. The student will be able to attend to the meaning and spelling of the words, instead of how to form the letters.
After learning how to trace the letters, students will be ready to write the letters on lined paper. First they will trace and write large letters on the lined Handwriting Introduction sheets. These sheets are printed on legal sized paper, with two new letters per sheet. Then they will practice tracing and writing the letters on the lined sheets at the back of the Big Letters to Trace booklet.
First grade review handwriting pages are also available. These pages include several words and pictures along with the letters being studied.
The handwriting materials are designed to be used with a teacher, parent, or tutor. Students should not be expected to do the pages independently. However, students who have practiced the handwriting skills with an adult first, may want to repeat the same pages independently for extra practice.