Karen Boon in Vietnam asked me how to teach her preschool pupils to write in English.

I have bought your stories and have used them extensively in my classroom. Your resources are just great and the kids love them. I was just wondering if you have any resources relating to teaching preschool children to read & write?

Teaching writing to 3 year olds is not my speciality since I prefer to focus on understanding and speaking.  However if it’s a requirement of the school to start on writing that early then here are some tips.
When teaching the alphabet to three year olds, and especially in countries where the alphabet is different, teach three letters at a time.  Don’t teach the alphabet for the whole lesson since it’s a dry topic compared to others.  It can be taught in a fun way of course, using games, but it’s still abstract and dry for young children.

For writing I recommend copying and tracing letters and there is a font in Word called AbcDNManusDottedLined.  That font is a ready made copy and trace font.  If you are using my stories I recommend writing words from the story out for pupils to trace, preferably with a space where pupils draw the object next to the word.  An advantage of using words from a story pupils know is that it adds meaning to the task.  If pupils copy and trace the name Hetty, from Hetty and the Lion, they know Hetty, so there is more of a connection to the task.

Put letters in order using scrabble letters, or better big plastic letters where children feel the shape and letter in their hands.  Tactile learning is helpful for preschool children.  Brighly coloured tangible letters will make the task more interesting.  Cut out big cardboard letters and decorate them with glitter and coloured cardboard.  Place the letters next to objects starting with that letter around the classroom and regularly revise all letters covered to date with games.

A few game ideas are to point, run, hop, crawl to the letter you name, make the letter shape with your body while saying the sound of that letter (as in L for Lion rather than L rhyming with Elle).  Play sorting games matching words to letters, playing snap when pairs of letters come up.  Nearly all the games in the Preschool games book are adaptable to teaching letters instead of vocabulary words by using cardboard letters instead of flashcards or word flashcards rather than pictures.