The Mnemonic Picture Game has picture-letters for all 26 letters, which are divided
into four separate games. Two more games include the consonant digraphs (ch, sh, wh, and th) and dr, tr, and str, which some children confuse with j, g, and ch. The first four games are especially useful in kindergarten and grade one, while games 5 and 6 should be saved for the end of grade one or the beginning of grade two. Winning is based on luck and not skill. The pictures are simple, and the rules are uncomplicated, so tutors, parents, and home schoolers can use the games with minimal preparation.
Letters are easier to visualize than printed words, but some children have trouble memorizing the letters because their names and sounds are too abstract to be learned as easily as meaningful words. These games break the naming bottleneck because
the pictures in the picture-letters are part of the every-day vocabulary of most children. Go fish games with picture-letters act like training wheels, making it easier to memorize which meaningless letters go with which meaningless sounds.
These are not lock-step workbook pages. You can play all the games or just some of them over and over every lesson because children this age like to play go fish (and
like to win!). If you have ever dragged a reluctant child through books that were too hard or worksheets that were too easy, you know that individualizing makes tutoring a lot more fun, especially when you see how the pictures speed up the learning process.
As you incorporate writing into your lessons, the pictures help because you can say things like "You need another hump for the other mitten" or "The u looks like the
handle on the umbrella."