5 – 7

The secret life of letters


The secret life of letters

What to do with this activity?

Your child might enjoy this story about what the letters and words in books get up to when we are asleep!  

With the above story, you can choose to read it yourself, or have it read to you. If you choose to have it read out loud, notice that the American way of pronouncing the letter z is "zee", where in Ireland we usually call it "zed". Use the pause button to stop the story if you like, and talk with your child about the story. Talk about how each letter has a personality based on a word that starts with that letter. For instance, b is for the boss; h is good at hiding; g grumbles a lot; and so on. Your child might remember some of the letters and characters from this story. 


  • Why am I doing this?

    The written word is everywhere and by pointing out words around you everyday, your child will realise the usefulness of reading and how it brings information and knowledge of the wider world into your lives.

    Reading together shows your child that you think reading is important. It helps your child to link the words on the page to how they are spoken and to begin to recognise words.

  • How can I do more?

    Encourage your child to read by giving them books or information about what they are interested in, for example, if they are interested in cars, give them books about cars – it’s a great motivator. Use comics, magazines and newspapers to provide lots of new words and facts. Your child can use the pictures for information about the words they are reading.

    Read longer books to your child. This will help with memory.

    You could do ‘paired reading’ – your child chooses a book or comic to read.
    -  At first, both of you read aloud together. When the child is ready, they carry on reading alone.
    -  If they don’t know a word, you say it for them and both of you continue to read together until they are ready to read alone again.
    -  No pressure is made to get them to read by themselves. They only do it when they are ready. This is useful with older children when they find text books difficult.

    Your child might like to practise their reading skills by reading to younger children.
    Discuss with your child’s teacher if they are having difficulty reading.

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