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Language and Communication form lower case letter shapes  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Multi-sensory work on the formation letters and linking to its sound (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences - GPC's)

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Writing
P-scales/Curriculum level:L1c
TAP skill:Writing
TAP level:TAP52
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Formation of a letter / linking to it's sound (1)

Some or all of the following:

Feely letters / magnetic letters & bag (or water tray) - use lower case letters

Play dough (or similar)

(LDA Rol 'n write alphabet letters and marble, if available - see

Small sand tray with dry sand or salt

Finger paints?! (Messy but fun!)

Rough surface (e.g. carpet)

Smooth surfaces


Big white board & pens

Small white board & pens

Selection of coloured pens / pencils

1. Child closes eyes - selects feely letter or magnetic letter from a bag (or water tray).

2. Child guesses letter by feeling the shape. (Make sure they holding it the right way round.).

3. Child opens eyes & watches while adult models using forefinger to trace over the shape of the letter saying the sound - child copies.

4. Child makes the shape of the letter using play dough and / or in similar material.

5. Child rolls the marble on the Rol 'n' Write letter (if available) watching the direction the marble rolls, then goes over the letter with forefinger, saying the sound.

6. Child traces the shape of the letter with forefinger (while saying the sound) on different surfaces - rough carpet, smooth table, soft cushion, etc.

7. Child copies the shape of the letter (while saying the sound) using different writing tools - painting, wax crayons, big white board / pens in different colours etc (as available).

8. Go onto the next activity 'Formation of a letter / linking to it's sound (2)', or end with adult tracing a letter shape on child's back / child guesses it.

This activity is best done one to one - especially for children struggling to remember grapheme phoneme correspondences (gpc's).

Child should already be able to recognise (read) the letters by sound or name.

As a general rule - work on two or three letters at a time but move at child's pace.

Child will need the necessary motor skills in order to do this work - although these activities could also link to a child's Occupational Therapy work.

Additional activities:

Could also - make the lower case letter shapes in collage, in pegs on a peg board, in Lego or in cooking with a letter shaped pastry cutter.

Or outside - in soil, in wet sand, 'water' paint on the ground etc / try to link to child's interests.

Links with other TAP activities:

This activity links to TAP Activity ER P8 recognise half the letters of the alphabet - but can be used for digraphs and trigraphs as well. It also links to "PA Phon listen for beginning and ends of words") on

Formation of a letter / linking to it's sound (2)

(Based on the principle of 'Multisensory Links' from the Dyslexia Institute)

Small white board & Pens

A4 sheet of paper divided into quarters


Coloured pencils or felt tipped pens

1. Child watches as adult writes letter on the white board saying the sound - modelling correct starting point and correct formation.

2. Looking at this model - The adult and child together practice 'sky writing' the letter saying the sound.

3. Using the paper, repeat step 1 - adult writes on the first section of the paper in pencil or in a highlighter pen saying the sound.

4. The child chooses a coloured pencil / pen and traces over the adults letter saying the sound.

5. The child then copies the letter in the second section of the paper and checks with the first section.

6. Adult folds the paper hiding sections 1 & 2. (Ensure the white board is covered or the letter erased.)

Child writes the letter from memory in section 3, saying the sound, then checks with the letter shape from sections 1 & 2.

7. Child then places pen at the correct starting point for the letter in section 4 of the paper - child closes eyes and forms the letter saying the sound. Child checks the letter. (This can be repeated on the whiteboard).

8. Finally on the other side of the paper child produces their 'best' version of the letter. This could be kept in a record book.

This activity follows on from the previous activity.

Remember to Teach:

*Correct grip of writing tool

*Use of hand rather than whole arm movements

*Correct sitting

*Correct position of paper.

If the child knows the letter names as well, instead of just saying the sound when writing the shape of the letter, encourage the child to say for example:

"SSSS" (letter sound) "is

Es" (letter name).

For letters that are frequently confused or reversed e.g. b / d - it will help to have a picture clue to show from step 1, and focus on the starting point of the letter - so for letter b have a picture of a bat and ball and focus on the top of the handle of the bat as the starting point (unless the school encourages full cursive writing in which case all letters start from the baseline - check the school policy).

Further activities

Link to ICT - useful letter formation demonstration and activities:

Words and Pictures Magic Pencil Handwriting at also

'abc-CD V2' from

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