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First Grade - Capital Letters
updated June 30, 2009

Waldorf is unique in the way it teaches literacy; see


Several Waldorf alphabet books exist, among them Living Alphabet and LMNOP and All the Letters from A to Z (see left for some illustrations from these books). A CD and wall cards are also available for the illustrations from LMNOP. However, all you need to teach the alphabet is your imagination! Simply tell a story and then illustrate it for your child -- within the illustration your child will find the shape of the letter.

The cover of Putting the Heart Back into Teaching by Stanford Maher and Yvonne Bleach (see left) shows uppercase and lowercase illustrations for N = needle, T = tree, G = goose, D = dragon,
H = hut, C = cave, S = swan, and M = mountain.

Should you wish to teach this the traditional way, with Grimm's Fairy Tales, I recommend Barbara Dewey's excellent book Waldorf Reading for Homeschoolers. She gives a fairy tale for each letter, along with the corresponding page number in the Pantheon edition of Grimm's, and includes a suggested order for teaching the sounds. She recommends doing letters that make one sound first (such as N and B) before moving on to letters which make more than one sound (such as C).

If your child has already learned his/her alphabet or is able to read and you want to do it again in the Waldorf way, I recommend The Wise Enchanter: A Journey through the Alphabet by Shelley Davidow as a bedtime storybook. This wonderful story takes a narrative form and children discover each letter along their journey and enter it into a Magic Book (much like a main lesson book). Black and white pencil illustrations are included for each letter.


The Letters

If you decide to do a narrative instead of a selection of fairy tales (Eric Fairman recommends this in his Path of Discovery Volume 1: Grade 1), you might want to consider the following design:

    B - bear
    see "The Letter B" sample lesson from Live Education!

    C - cave

    D - door

    F - fish

    G - goose

    H - hut

    J - jump

    K - king

    L - ledge

    M - mountain

    N - net

    P - prince

    Q - queen

    R - river

    S - snake

    T - table

    V - valley

    W - wave

    X - xylophone

    Y - yew

    Z - zigzag


It is easy to imagine a brave traveler wandering down a path in the forest when suddenly he meets a bear and is forced to take refuge in a cave. As he wanders through the mysterious caverns below the earth he comes to a door... And so on.

Suggestions for letter stories are welcome! Simply join our Yahoo Group and share your ideas!

BTW, Fairman ends his travelers up on a beach (W = wave) and then has them discover a stick laid out on the sand which contains a mysterious message. The next day there are two sticks laying side by side. In this way he introduces the Roman Numerals (Mathematics is the third MLB in 1st grade, following Form Drawing and Capital Letters).


The German Alphabet

Here are some notes contributed by Susanne W. If you are teaching the capital letters in German, and have notes of your own, please share them!

Note: Nova Natural has German alphabet cards and German spelling cards available.


b: Bear/Baer - The Willow Wren and the Bear/Der Zaunkönig und der Bär

f: Frog King/Froschkoenig - The Frog King/Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich

g: goose/Gans - The Golden Goose/Die goldene Gans

h: house/Huette - The Hut in the Forest/Die Waldhuette

k: king/König - King Thrushbeard/König Drosselbart

m: wall/Mauer - The Tinderbox by Hans Christian Anderson /Das Feuerzeug

p: princess/Prinzessin - The Tinderbox/Das Feuerzeug

t: table/Tisch - King Thrushbeard/König Drosselbart



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