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Soon my first book, Helping Children Learn to Read Through Multi-Sensory Reading Activities – A Handbook and Resource for Parents and Teachers, will be published. Since this week marks the Fifth Annual Celebration of Literacy week, I want to share a multi-sensory teaching activity included in my book.

Multi-sensory teaching activities used in reading lessons are not only add phonics instruction, but incorporate all the learning pathways of the brain – visual, auditory and kinesthetic (hands on).

Because children have their own unique learning styles, it’s important to present reading lessons that meet every child’s learning needs.

Here’s a multi-sensory reading activity, called Alphabet Bingo, for beginning readers who learn best with visual and hands on reading activities.  And, a fun activity parents and teachers can enjoy with their own children or students, to help them memorize each letter of the alphabet.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White Construction Paper – Create a grid of squares on the sheet of construction paper. Make sure you have 26 squares. You may end up with more squares depending on how many rows you draw horizontally and vertically.
  • Black Marker – Randomly write each letter of the alphabet on each square. Repeat letters in additional squares. Note! Make sure you write out each letter uniformly. Alphabet letter/symbols should look exactly like the letter cards you are going show (while playing Alphabet Bingo). Remember, learning the symbols that represent each letter of the alphabet, is the goal of this game. Uniformity and clarity are critical.
  • Plastic Dots – or anything small such as pennies or beads to place on the square, when alphabet letters are called out.
  • Alphabet Cards – Buy a deck of alphabet letter cards. Alphabet cards are very inexpensive. They can be purchased in both bookstores and teacher supply stores.

Here’s how to play the game:

Begin playing Alphabet Bingo by saying aloud the alphabet letter name, then holding up the card so it can be seen clearly. Direct your child or student(s) to match the alphabet letter card, you are holding up, with the alphabet letter written on their construction paper grid. Next, direct them to place a dot, penny or bead on the square, to cover that letter.

After playing Alphabet Bingo time after time, you will notice that your child or student(s) start to memorize each letter name. Soon, they won’t need the letter card to remind them of the letter name, when they hear it. Hint! Parents repeat the letter of your child’s name in the additional spaces.

As far as how you want to reward your child, or students for recognizing and matching each letter correctly, is up to you. There are many version of traditional bingo. With your child and students in mind, decide how you want to reward their progress. Also, the main point for parents and teachers of children who are just beginning to read is to help children enjoy reading.

“The single best prediction of students’ end-of-year reading achievement—regardless of instructional approaches—was their ability at the beginning of the year to recognize and name upper and lower case letters” (Adams, 1986).


Carol Fraser Hagen is a former elementary Reading Specialist and Dyslexia Therapist from the Midwest. Carol has a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education, holds a Masters degree in Special Reading and has an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to writing about reading education Carol is a freelance writer and a published children’s writer. Stop by Carol’s website for information on dyslexic learners. Also, need more tips on reading education? Subscribe to Carol’s free newsletter at for a weekly dose of professional advice and resources for parents and teachers.

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