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Curricula and Learning Links - Language Arts

Handwriting - Reversals

Here are nine simple ideas for helping your child stop reversing letters like b and d.

Make a face of a man, simple like, and put a keen top hat on his head. Now, instead of the circle for the face, replace it with the lines of d and b. The d makes the Left ear, the b makes the Right ear. Like this.. d b So, when the child wonders if it is a b or d, he can have a picture of Mr. db in his head and it will help him figure it out. You can have him draw Mr. db at first, and maybe trace it onto a index card for future reference. - Marla

The child needs to be in the same seat and not change locations for writing. Relate b and d to your home. For us, the bunny sleeps inside the garage (points to the right), and the dogs walk by outside (to his left). - Mary Leggewie

Bat then ball is b -- drum then drumstick is d. - Darla

Draw a picture of the word bed like this. Write b e d on a piece of paper and draw a line connecting the top of the "circle" in b, over the top of the e, and end on the top of the "circle" in d. (Like you placed a mattress on the top of the word and the lines from the b and d are the headboard and foot board.) You should have made a picture of a bed from the word. Then remind the child that b comes before d in the alphabet and in the word bed.

Another trick is to make a fist with each hand, turn your hands so that your bottom knuckles are touching. (It should look like you punched yourself.) Then stick up each thumb in the air. You will now have your left fist looking like a b and your right fist looking like a d. Again the b comes first and the d second. - Lorinda

Big B and little b BOTH face the same way. (The word both starts with b.)
Big D and little d face DIFFERENT ways. (The word "different" starts with d.) - Laura in MO

when the child comes to the letter and doesn't know which it is, he is to make his mouth match the first part of the letter....if it is a line, his mouth should make a line, therefore the only the sound that can come out is /b/. If the first shape is an o, the child should open his mouth and the only sound that can come out is /d/. This works for writing too, if the child wants a b, the child holds the /b/ sound and draws the shape which matches his mouth--a line first. If wanting a d, child draws the shape that his mouth is making--an open 0 first. - Heidi in IN

My mother always told us to make the bed. Little b is the headboard, little d is the footboard and the e is the bed. Whenever I saw my boys stop to think, I'd just say, "Make the bed", and they would know immediately. - Tammy

I made my four year old son a book with pictures each letter of the alphabet made out of objects beginning with that letter. For b I drew a baseball bat and baseball together in the shape of a b. For d I drew a drum and drumstick. For p, I drew a pumpkin vine and pumpkin. For q, I drew a quarter and a quilt strip together in the shape of q. - Michelle PA