Annie Apple, representing the letter “A,” was captured by Red Robot, representing the letter “R,” on Tuesday at East Wake Academy.
Red Robot then reported back to his robot commander that he and Annie Apple, when combined, make an “ar” sound.
That’s an example of how Letterland creates a visual path toward learning how to read. Every letter of the alphabet is assigned a fictional character, allowing young students to make associations that help them spell out words.
Kindergarten and first-grade students at the Zebulon school spent the entire day in Letterland on Tuesday, dressing up like their favorite characters from the fictional realm and participating in activities at 16 stations representing different letters. It marked the second year the school has held the event.
“Everything has a story and it teaches children the basics of phonics, the foundation of reading,” said first-grade teacher Jennifer Hinton. “There are different things we do in Letterland, like word detectives and we do live spelling. Each child dresses up like a Letterlander during class. The kids are actually dressed up, holding cards and we sound out and figure out the pattern.”
What some students, like first-grader Will Connolly, liked the most about Letterland Day was simply the opportunity to have fun all day long. After all, it was the equivalent of a field day used to reinforce the approach to literacy.
Ryland Luberecki said getting to dress up, play games and participate in activities makes learning more enjoyable. Jase Adams said dressing up like the Letterland characters makes it easier to remember the different lessons he and his peers have learned.
Kelann Hawkins created links between the characters and different foods she likes. She said she has a better grasp on words involving Annie Apple, simply because she likes apples.
“Letterland has basically helped us with our reading and writing and basically what the letters are and what the sounds are,” said classmate Aiden Lynch.