Blog #10: the little letters

An Imaginative Way To Introduce The Lower Case Letters

One fine afternoon the Big Letters got all dressed up and went for a promenade. Although they took their children, hardly anyone looking at them noticed this, for the children were so bashful that they hid behind their elders. The parents chatted easily with each other as they strolled through the streets.

After a time little p peeked out from behind his mother, Big P. He saw little l looking at little n, who noticed him, and then little w whispered something. “What did you say?” inquired his mother, Big W.

“I said, ‘I wish there was something for me to do’.”

Finally, Big Z who was at the end of the parade and could see everything said, “I never realized how much our kids resemble us. And how quick and clever they are. They have so much energy!”

The others could only nod their heads in agreement.

To this day, when we want to begin a sentence or to write someone’s name or a book title we use the big letters, but for most writing we use the little letters.

Making Use of the Story of The Little Letters

It is not at all difficult to draw the letters in the illustration, with head, arms and feet; in fact it is fun. Doing so will enhance the children’s feelings for writing and for language study in general. This is always the case when an artistic, imaginative element is brought in.

The people watching from balcony may be omitted.

Any alphabet strip or chart will clearly reveal that the letters from Ss to Zz are diminutive forms of the upper case letters. To have this pointed out is very striking.

It is also a perfect place to get started looking at the letters.

This might be followed by specifically comparing upper and lower case pairs and finding which other ones are the same (Cc, Oo, Kk, etc.), which resemble each other (and how so), and which are the most different:

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Call attention to which of the little letters are one space high and which are two spaces high.

For each pair one might point out the relation between the two. For example, the ‘b’, keeps the lower curve of the B. Likewise, the curve of the D slides down, decreases in size, and flips to the other side. Did they notice?

Note the similarity between both the upper case and lower case I & J.

Aside from pointing out the similarities, demonstrate the gestures. For eg., make a full gesture of arm and leg for the capital K (leg placed forward and right arm upraised at appropriate angle). Then bend the elbow and take slightly smaller step forward to make the small k.

M is angular, like young mountains, while m is rounded like well-worn ones.


The P drops down below the line to form the lower case p.

The r is a rascal, so different than the upper case R.

The e is used in so many words that it can’t have 4 big, straight lines like E.

The small f can be seen in giraffe, like two giraffes looking over the bushes.

The tall House of H becomes the smaller hut of h.

To further delve into the possibilities that studying the letters presents please see my book LMNOP and All the Letters A to Z and its accompanying manual, Working With LMNOP. There are many more discoveries to be made.
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