Letter reversals are common among young learners. Use these strategies to help your students stop confusing b, d, p and q. Here are some engaging activities and a free printable for mastering these tricky letters!
Letter reversals are really common and can be super tricky for students. Let’s be honest: b, d, p and q are basically all the same shape, just turned and flipped!
It’s not hard to see why students who are just learning these letters may get confused. These activities are fun for students and provide lots of practice with the most commonly confused letters both individually, and in groups.
When I administered reading tests to all students reading below grade level in first, second and third grade, I learned SO much about my students. (They were long days, but worth it!)
One of the errors I saw nearly every hour was due to reversals of the letters b and d or p and q. I created some games and activities for mastering these tricky letters so that it no longer causes reading errors!
This activity gives students the chance to differentiate between the letters, side by side. I included clip art with beginning sounds so they could attach meaning to the shapes of the letters. (It also incorporates math. #sneaky)
Sometimes q is written without the tail and then it looks like p. Here students have to differentiate between p, q, b and d.
These cut and paste letter sorts include letters in ten different fonts. These make great “take home” activities!
This beginning sounds game can be played with or without the teacher! Students choose a card. (All cards have pictures that start with b, d, p or q.) Students point to, paperclip, or clothespin the letter that correlates with the beginning sound.
Here, students roll and then color, highlight, or daub (dot paint) a picture that starts with the same sound.
Finally, we practice writing the letters with these fun flower spinners. This added engaging feature makes it feel like a game!
No letter reversal lessons would be complete with the b-e-d trick! Hold both hands in front of you. Touch your pointer fingers and thumbs together. Then say the word “bed.” Your hands will create the frame of a bed, while your fingers create letters that show the proper directions of b and d.
This is a trick your students can use anywhere, anytime! To remind them of this visual, I printed the large b-e-d poster for my focus wall and the small posters for student folders, binders, and backpacks.
You can click to download the free letter reversal posters.
The rest of these activities can be found in my Letter Reversals pack on TeachersPayTeachers.
Do you have tips for correcting letter reversals?