WITS uses Zoo-phonics ® during our Early Childhood Summer Program to teach students alphabet recognition. Zoo-phonics ® is a research supported method that was developed by two teachers, Georgene “Gigi” Bradshaw and Charlene “Char” Wrighton, to teach the sounds of the alphabet and phonemic concepts to their students. This method of teaching makes children strong readers by using a “phono” (hearing), “oral” (speaking), “visual” (seeing), “kinesthetic” (moving), and tactile (touching)—whole brain approach to teaching the alphabet.
“I think Zoo-phonics ® is a great and fun way for young children to learn to identify letters and their sounds. While looking at a large letter card, that shows a letter and an animal, the children say the letter name, the animal character, and the letter’s sound while acting out a movement for that letter. The children seem to quickly learn the letters and their sounds because they are visually seeing the letter, orally saying its name, and doing the animal movement. I noticed that some children when seeing letters in a different context, would first say the animal name and sound and then be able to identify the letter. Most importantly, the children had fun while learning letters and their sounds and were able to identify the letters and their sounds in different settings by using what they learned from Zoo-phonics ®.” – Audrey Benes – Chicago Public School Teacher