Planting ABC in a Garden of Memory

Research has shown that one of the best predictors of spelling and reading
abilities in children depends upon a child’s knowledge of letter names and
sounds at an early age (Hammill, 2004; Scarborough, 1998; Schatschneider,
Fletcher, Francis, Carlson, & Foorman, 2004).

How This ABC Book Works:

  1. You begin by tracing the letters in the garden, showing your child each of the letters as you come to it, such as in the image below. This allows for spatial memory to help your child remember the letters.
ABC Learning Map
ABC Learning Game
  1. Then, on the following pages, you visit each of the letters and repeat the rhyme, which makes use of acoustic memorization. For the first time through it it’s best to allow the child to examine the images for as long as they want. Focusing on the rhyme will come after a couple times of walking through the garden (see the images below). You will also find it helpful to flip back and forth from the letters to the map and show your child where the letter was.
  2. On the next pages you review where each of the letters was in the garden and what animal, object, or insect went with that letter (see images below), further pinning in the letter with the location, and the rhyme.
  3. Lastly you play the 3 games and print off and give your child a certificate of achievement after each game is won. When you child has earned all 3 certificates they will be incredibly strong in their understanding of the ABCs (games and certificates can be found below).
Alphabet Book

Samuel learning his ABCs
“After we read Planting ABCs, Samuel said “I do it” and went through the book himself, and then the map, following the trail with his finger, saying the names of the letters out loud.”

Child learning Letters
Child Learning ABCs
Child Learning Alphabet

Below are the games that can be found in the book Planting ABC in the Garden of Memory.
Play the games below to help your memory of the ABCs grow, until you become a Master of the ABC Garden of Memory.


Game 1: Where are the letters in the garden?

On the following page, place your finger on the garden gate and say what letter belongs in that spot. Then trace your way through the garden saying each letter as you come to its spot. When you remember where all the letters are then you have achieved the level of Builder of the ABC Garden of Memory. This may take some time, but with practice you will remember all of the letters.

Game 2: What animals, objects and insects go with each letter?

On the following page, place your finger on the garden gate and say what animals, objects, and insects started with the letter that belongs in that spot. Then trace your way through the garden and do the same for each of the other letters. When you remember all of the animals, objects, and insects for each letter then you have achieved the level of Keeper of the ABC Garden of Memory.

Game 3: Can you remember the rhyme?

On the following page, place your finger on the garden gate and repeat the rhyme for the letter that belongs in that spot. Then trace your way through the garden repeating the rhyme as you come to the next spot. When you remember the entire rhyme then you have achieved the level of Master of the ABC Garden of Memory.