Mavis Love December 14, 2020 Alphabet Worksheet
Visual evolution of writing Evolution of writing is reflected in its visual characteristics. We can easily see the salient visual distinction between alphabets and pictographs. Alphabet is a standardized set of letters. They usually comprise tens of letters, and are derived from complex pictographic scripts. Pictographs are complex and huge in amount. It is understandable to think that they have not evolved visually. If evolved visually, why becoming simpler instead of more complex? If writing is taken as visual art, it should evolve towards greater complexity. However, writing is a means of communication, representing and recording knowledge. The clarity, convenience, efficiency and suitability for reading thus become main concern. At the beginning, drawings were to depict something directly, as pictures. They were arranged usually in lines to represent meaning continuously. Apparently, the complex pictographs are not easy to recognize, lowering reading accuracy. It affects the reading fluency since more time is spent fixating at one pictograph before moving to the next. Complex symbols are discarded or simplified to facilitate linear reading. Some symbols had simpler and clearer visual pattern and were more frequently used. Long time passed, only a set of symbols are left and standardized. We call them alphabets. The reduction in number, simplification and standardization facilitate visual manipulation and memorization, leading the alphabets to supersede pictographs. Alphabetic writing is more suitable for reading than pictographic systems. We use the word legibility to denote the concept fit for reading, which we think is the central in evolution.
Another important contribution of the Romans came in the fourth century AD when someone came up with the idea of cutting the scrolls that had been in use until then, into oblong strips and then sewing the strips together down one side to form the first books. The advantage of a book is the ability to easily access information without unrolling an entire scroll. Early cuneiform letters are combinations of straight lines. Later, circles and arcs were included as the means to draw them became available. The Etruscan alphabet had 20 letters. The earliest Roman (Latin) alphabet had 21 letters. By the end of the Roman era, the letter Y and Z from the Greek letters Upsilon and Zeta had been added for a total of 23 letters. Then in medieval times the letters J, U, and W were added to bring the total to the 26 letters of the modern alphabet.
The Chinese still use this kind of writing in syllables. The trouble is that there are so many different syllables, it takes a scholar years to learn them all. In the Chinese language, there are more than fifty thousand and most of these are being used even today. A Chinese student does not master the writing of his language until he is beyond the age at which an American student may have graduated from college-say, twenty-five years old. In comparison with his thousands of characters, the American schoolboy has to learn only twenty-six letters. Therefore the next step in the development of the alphabet was to have a symbol, or letter, for each sound that was used in the language being spoken. There are many more sounds that a human being can use than we have in our alphabet, and the alphabets used for other languages have in them certain letters that we do not need in writing the English language. But also we have some letters that they do not need. No alphabet needs more than thirty or forty letters. A child can master these in a year or two. Writing with letters instead of with pictures is more than five thousand years old. Just as we got our alphabet from the Greeks, they got theirs from the Semitic peoples-the Phoenicians and the Jews and other ancient peoples who spoke Semitic languages.
The world of web has been really blissful in these matters. You can find ready made alphabet coloring pages in hundreds of styles and colors. The use of these coloring sheets is perfect to teach preschool children the alphabets and also make them read and write them in proper fashion. The coloring sheets make perfect alphabet games as they come in funny shapes or associated with things children love like dogs, monkeys, fairies, flowers, garlands, cartoon characters and others. To get the alphabet coloring pages it is very simple. You just need to click on the pages listed in the site and select them. As new window opens you find the full view of the pages. Now go to the option Print in the File Menu and command Print. The printer connected to your computer or laptop would print the page/s. Once you are done, close the window. It is that simple. You can find hundreds of such useful coloring pages with alphabetical games that enable your kids not only to learn the alphabets, but also memorize them and write them properly.
Proof Visual info of text is taken in by eyes. Fit for reading denotes fit for being taken by the eyes. Legible writing should fit visions characteristics. One of visions characteristics is horizontal-vertical asymmetry. Adapted to natural environment, our eyes are shaped and aligned horizontally. We view broader horizontally than vertically. When looking forward, we detect info better in both sides than up/down. The eyes (visions) characteristics of reading in different directions correlate with writings characteristics in those directions. Horizontal and vertical readings essential difference has to do with the asymmetry between horizontal and vertical visual spans, which has anatomic and neuroscientific evidences. Horizontal visual span is larger than vertical visual span, as mentioned in  among others. It is consistent with the anatomy of macula (of retina), which is oval-shaped with long horizontal axis  .
Create artwork with your children. While fingerpainting a flower, you might help the child fingerpaint the letter "F" for flower. Guide your childs hand in forming letter shapes to imitate those seen on alphabet blocks and such, or paint a letter and work it into a design. Create letters in paint and in clay, carve them into bars of soap, draw them in crayon, scratch them in the sand at the beach, form letters in shaving cream on the bathroom mirror - use whatever is at hand to create spontaneous moments of joyful sharing with your child. Variety of media, times of day, and places will keep it all fresh and fun and reduce the risk of boredom. Learning should not be dull or tedious. Its a key part of life and there should be no arbitrary boundaries between daily life, learning and play. (Also, beyond the immediate goal of promoting alphabet skills, positive learning experiences at an early age can make learning, itself, an exciting opportunity for discovery and feelings of accomplishment. Self-affirming early learning experiences help children start school with more positive attitudes that can affect their success in school... and in life.)