31 ways to use the Arabic Alphabet Discs

31 ways to use the Arabic Alphabet Discs

We've started implementing Montessori at home for almost a year now and the boys are flourishing in their own prepared environment. Yaseen, who is now 3 yrs & 9 months, has been learning the Arabic alphabet using the Montessori Method. This method has a few principles we followed which has made it much easier, more interactive and whole heap of fun!

These principles are:

  1. Identify letters by their sounds, not their names. 
Before we begin teaching children the letters, they need to develep phonetic awareness. We begin with each sound a letter makes.  This allows children to associate visual letters with the sounds they make, which then makes reading and writing come naturally.

  1. Start with the 'Short Vowel Sounds'.
The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters each with it's own 6 vowels (3 short and 3 long vowels). The short vowel marks add sound to the letters similar to the English alphabet.  Some of these letters are close to the English language while others aren't. 

          Short Vowel Marks:
  • Fathah ( َ  ): A short diagonal stroke above the letter creating an "a" sound, like the 'a' in bath. For example: letter ب  is pronounced 'b + a =  ba.'
  • Kasra ( ِ  ): The same dash but written below the letter creating an 'i' sound, like the 'i' in sit. For example: letter ب is pronounced 'b + i = bi.'
  • Damma ( ُ  ) : a looped symbol above the letter creating an 'u' sound, like the 'u' in put.  For example: letter ب is pronounced 'b + u = bu or boo.'
(As for the long vowels and other important marks we will write part II of this blog, Insha'Allah.)

  1. Start with the symbol.
Unlike English words, Arabic letters are formed differently depending on where they're situated in a word. Each letter has a beginning, middle and end. Once the letter symbol has been mastered, you can start teaching the 3 formations. Keep in mind the Arabic alphabet script starts from right to left. 

We created these Arabic Alphabet discs to grow with your child. Your children will be able to use them from 18months + (with supervision).  We want your children to establish a profound love for the Arabic language which will then continue in their Qur'an journey, Insha'Allah. With the purchase of our Discs, you will receive an additional digital learning pack FREE, normally valued at RRP $79.99. Please view our Create + Play Range for more details. 

1. Letter Match Up - Ask your child to match each letter on the Letter Chart.

2. Illustration Match Up - Ask your child to match each illustration on the Illustration Chart.

3. Word Match UpAsk your child to match each word on the Word Chart.

4. Shadow Match Up - Ask your child to match each disc to their correct shadows on the Shadow Chart.

5. DIY 
Posting Box -

- Small Box, Velcro Dots, Stanley Knife, Ruler

To Make -
  • Cut 3 slots on top  (make them 1cm x 5cm long)
  • Add one velcro sticker above each slot.
  • Print extra sheets (letter, illustration, shadow and word). Cut and laminate individual discs.
  • Place velcro dots at the back of each laminated disc.
To Play - 

Place 3 paper discs on top, then have your child match up and insert the correct wooden disc. Start with the letter symbols.  Once they master this, move on to the illustrations, shadows, then words.
    This will further develop their cognitive skills, pincer grip and wrist movements. 

    6. Chronological Order - Randomly place 3-5 discs (letter side facing upwards) in front of your child, then have them place discs in chronological order. Once they master this, try adding a timer to make it challenging and more interesting. 

    7. Mystery Language Bag - Place discs in a small bag and get your child to close their eyes (or use a blindfold.) Ask them to pick a letter and trace the groove.  Now ask them to say the sound.

    8. Photography Match Up - Use real life photographs of the disc illustrations and ask your child to match them up. Once they've mastered this, match them up with the beginning sounds. 

    9. 'What's Missing?' -  On a piece of paper, write down the Arabic alphabet leaving out 2-4 letters. Ask your child to fill in the blank spots with the correct letter discs.

    10.  Montessori 3 Period LessonThe best way to start with phonics is with the Montessori 3 Period Lesson. The main aim is for you child to learn phonics or the name of the object.  For this example we will be using the Lion disc.

    Period 1 - Name the objects
    Place 2-3 discs in a tray and say , " هذا اسد" or "This is an Assad."

    Period 2 - Play Games (Recognition and Association)
    Play games to see what objects they can identify. Say, " أرني الأسد" or " Show me the Assad."  They show you the Assad, and we say, 
    " وجدتني الأسد" or "You found me the Assad."

    If they choose the wrong item, we do not correct them and say "no". We say something like "Oh, you found the Shams." Take a mental note of what they got incorrect and next time we can go back to period 1 to relearn the names.

    Period 3 - Testing or Recall (Cognition)
    When you know your child has mastered the name of the object, point to the lion and say, "ما هذا؟" or "what is this?"

    11. Bingo -  Place discs in a bag. As you pick out one disc, hold it facing the children. Say the sound and allow the children some time to find the letter on their sheet.  This can be done with all 3 elements of the disc - letter, illustration and word.

    12. Find the Correct Object - Choose a letter and find 2-3 objects that match it. Set them up as pictured below. Say the phonic out loud, each object in Arabic then end with the phonic. Now ask your child to find the correct one.

    13. Find the correct Phonic - Choose an object and place 3 letter discs (one representing the object) underneath. Say the object, followed by the letters. Ask you child to choose the correct letter.

    14. Beginning Sounds Alphabet Match -  Have the Letter Chart in front of your child. While holding a disc (illustration facing them), say the name of the illustration then ask your child to repeat it. Ask them to find the letter on the chart and place the disc on top.

    15. Letter Sound Card - This activity uses the images from the spare files. Choose an illustration/word image. Get your child to say the word and sound it out with the letter discs.  

    16. I spy - Start with 3 small objects found around the home.  Hide the discs that begin with those objects around the room (making letter visible). Hold one object in the air, then say: 'I spy with my little eye something begins with the same letter as this 'mention object'. Child has to find the matching disc.

    17. Word Building - This is a great way for your child to identify the sounds in words and develop their  cognitive and handwriting skills. 

    18. Seek and Find - Hide 3-5 discs around the room. Child has to find them in chronological order. If the wrong letter is picked up, they must place it back and continue. Add a timer to make it fun!

    19. Arabic Vowels - An extended sheet which helps further develop your child's phonic awareness. 

    20. Nature Letter Play - Have your child recreate the letter using materials such as leaves, pebbles, twigs or beans etc.

    21. Letter Recognition with Play Dough
    Have your child create the letter with buttons using play dough as the base.

    22. Sensory Disc Tub - Hide the discs in a tray of sand, beans or powder. Using the letter chart, ask your child to pick a letter. Your child now has to find particular disc. You can use a blindfold for older children.

    23. Play Dough Letters -  Your child can recreate letters using play dough with discs as an aid. 

    24. Letter TracingHave a tray filled with sand, flour or polenta. Child uses finger to trace the grooves of the wooden disc. Then attempts to mimic the letter in the tray. Child will be able to SEE the letter, HEAR the sound and FEEL the letter by tracing it.

    25. Play Dough Stampers -   Your child can have fun while stamping illustrations in playdough. This is a great opportunity to practice sounds and identify illustrations.

    26. Water Play - Your child can recreate the letters by drawing with water on the fence or ground.

    27. Storytelling -  Ask your child to choose between 4-7 discs. Allow some time for them to see all illustrations, and then create a story either verbally or in written in a journal.

    28. Drawing - Children draw a scene on a chalkboard and use illustration side of discs to tell a story.

    29. Letter Formation - Ask you child to randomly choose 3 discs. Challenge yourselves to recreate the letters using your bodies. This makes a great bonding activity too!

    30. Air Writing - While showing the
     symbol side of the disc to your child, get them to say it out loud and write it in the air.

    31. Role Play - Randomly choose a disc and say i.e. "أ  is for Assad". Have your child repeat it then act it out the illustration  i.e Assad: child roars like a lion.


    Lastly, talking to your child when you're out and about will build vocabulary, stimulate questions and develop reading comprehension. Children will also build social skills if working together with other children on the activities listed above.    

    We hope this blog has been beneficial for you and your child, we encourage you to keep going and continue to make learning fun and fresh for them, insha'Allah. 
    You can view our whole children's range HERE.

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