Blackboard Activity for teaching Reading with XYZ Symbols

by Bill Janiak
(Miami, Florida)


XYZ - This activity is remarkable, as it teaches the beginning stages of reading left to right and it converts a body sound to a symbol.


This means that two parts of the brain are used. The first symbol is “X” written one time on the blackboard. In a few seconds, the “X” is converted into a clap, as the teacher says, “When I point to the “X,” I want you to clap the symbol.” (Everyone in the class should clap at the same time to the "X.". It may take several times to see this happen.)

Once this is established, the teacher will add 3 more “X’s” on the blackboard going to the right. The class with the teacher pointing to each “X” will clap. The class is now reading the symbol "X" left to right by thinking the "X" (one part of the brain) and then converting the symbol "X" to the hands (another part of the brain.)

Once this is completed, a second line has a “Y” as a snap of the fingers. *One day a child went to the sink, had their hand under the sink water doing the motions with her fingers of snapping and then she brought her hand out of the water, and out came the snap loud and clear. When the class snapped the "Y," the other 3 "Y's" were added.

The teacher starts at the "X's" first and then to the "Y's." (By adding a second line, reading is introduced from moving from line 1 to line 2.)

Once achieved, the teacher points to the “X’s” and then the “Y’s.” A third line is added with a “Z” as a stamp of the feet. The same procedure is repeated till all three lines are achieved together. The blackboard should be as the following:

X X X X

Y Y Y Y

Z Z Z Z


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