What’s in the IRC Today? // Learning Letters

Jim Damico, 126 TCCS

I’m convinced that if our counterparts would teach more phonics in their students early years, that it would pay huge dividends as the kids got older. But it all starts with learning the letters. Today, I found a nice little gem in the IRC (Information Resource Center aka ‘the lounge’ at PC in Bangkok) called “Learning Letters through All Five Senses” by Lois McCue. It is a language development activity book.

In this little book (it only has 79 pages), there are two pages devoted to each letter of the English alphabet. Each section starts with “Educational Background” and each topic is different such as ‘learning through play’, ‘listening skills’, ‘classification’, and ‘movement and learning’ to name a few. For the activities, all the materials needed are listed out. And all look to be easy to find here in Thailand. For attention getters, there is always an easy song or nursery rhyme. There are main activities and optional follow-up activities too.

learning letters

Here’s what it says on the back cover:

When young children learn, they learn all over. And they are learning all of the time. Lois McCue takes advantage of this and helps young children master language development skills. By including all the senses, we can help children learn with their entire bodies. In this way, children not only learn the basic building blocks of language, but also experience them.

A wide range of sensory experiences is provided for each letter of the alphabet. In learning the letter “P” for example, children can:


  • Push an imaginary box
  • Smell perfume
  • Dance to a polka
  • Sing “Polly Put The Kettle On”
  • Mold P out of play-dough
  • Read a story that starts with P


  • Find things in the room that start with P

I think these activities would be great for any P1-3 class. I’m not sure I’d use all the activities for all the letters but it might be useful to do the activities for those letters the students are having difficulty with.


Just another wonderful item in your IRC at Peace Corps in Bangkok. To find it, look for the “Teaching/Training” shelves on the back wall.

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