Each letter has a story to teach that letter's sound. Since the sound of the letter is more important than the name of the letter, each story repeats that letter sound on average of 50 times. The story is told twice:
1 - to use the picture cards and
2 - with questions to help develop comprehension
Picture Cards - Each story has 8-12 picture cards to allow the children to interact with the story. The child can point to the picture card as it is mentioned OR the pictures can be mixed up and the child can put them in order as he hears them named in the story.
Questions - To help develop comprehension, each story has questions at the beginning (to help the child know what to listen for) and at the end (to see if the child was able to understand the story and know the answers to the questions).
Theme - Each story has a moral or theme(s). This allows for easy integration of other subjects, activities or projects within each letter. In the Letter "A" story, the theme is focused on "animals" and "accidents." To lesson the "trauma" of an accident, it is so important to know and do the right thing when an accident happens. This is a great time to teach about safety, 9-11, asking for adult help, etc.
This story can be effectively used to teach what to do in case of an accident. (Note: Usually, we teach through positive examples, but we thought it might be important to learn about accidents and the harm that can be done through Ant and Adam doing some things right and wrong, so the children can be taught the importance of learning how to do things right without real people getting hurt by using others examples. This is the only story where "negative" approaches are used.)
A couple of things Ant did that could be discussed are:
a) getting help from someone bigger (positive)
When we're little, we can ask an adult for help. If we're alone and don't know what to do, we can call 9-1-1.
b) giving Adam medicine without knowing certain facts; in this case - Adam had allergies (negative)
It is so important children know when and from whom to take medicine, pills, drinks, etc.
Adam also did a couple of things we could learn from:
a) he "stuffed" his mouth with food, which caused him to choke on the apple, and
b) Adam didn't cover his mouth when he sneezed, which could have made Ant sick.
Both of these should be discussed so the children know possible outcomes and better ways to do things. This story has a delightful ending about the lump in Adam's throat and can be used to introduce the "Adam's apple" in our throats that each of us have.
Each story can also lead into different projects or activities in science, art, math, etc. (Click on the link to see examples for the Letter "A.")