The beautiful letters family

InterestEng. is very pleased to work with an educational organization in the Pune region of India called Akshara.  The teachers work in villages giving quality, life-changing education to remote village children. Here, Lahu, whose native language is Marathi, cleverly teaches children the importance of the vowels through a creative story. 

A LONG, long time ago, there was a big alphabet family. They all lived in the jungle. There were 26 members altogether and they all had different, beautiful names like A, B, C, D, E, F, G . . . to Z.  They lived in five groups called A, E, I, O, U.  There were five members in each group and  A, E, I, O, U  were the spokespeople of each group.

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      In Family A, there were five people called B, C, F, T and A. One night, when the moon was very bright, all the family members were resting near a pond. They were very tired and wanted to go to sleep, but the moon was keeping them awake. Suddenly B ran away from the group hoping his running would make him tired so he could sleep. After a few minutes a loud, booming voice said,
     “Stop, B!” It was Language talking! “Aha! Now I have you, little B! Now you will take me to your alphabet family. We want your help to make the English language. For that, we need your alphabet family.”

     B took Language to his family and introduced him to each of the group members and they introduced themselves, each in their own way:

A said, “I am A.  A is for Alligator. I can wiggle my hips. Can you?”   

“I am C.   C is for crocodile. I can also wiggle my hips. Can you?”

“I am F.   F is for fish. I can wiggle my fins. Can you?” 

“I am T.    T is for Tiger. I can wiggle my toes. Can you?” 

“I am B.   B is for boy I can rest my body. Can you?”   

After all their introductions, they all went to sleep. 


The next morning, group A took Language to group E.

Group E’s letters, E, H, J, M, and L introduced themselves in their own way.

“I am E.  E is for Elephant. I’m going on a safari in the jungle.  What do I see? I see a Happy Hippo looking at me.  Happy Hippo, Happy Hippo what do you see?” 

“I see a Hungry Jaguar looking at me.”  

“Hungry Jaguar, Hungry Jaguar what do you see?”  

“I see Swinging Monkey looking at me.” 

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“Swinging Monkey, Swinging Monkey what do you see?” 

“I see Roaring Lion looking at me.”  

“Roaring Lion, Roaring Lion, what do you see?” 

“I see lots of wild animals looking at me!” 



     After that, they all moved to group I. When they reached group I’s location, I came forward and welcomed them all, and asked some questions for I is very inquisitive. 

What animals live where
there is ice and snow?

What animals live there,
do you know? 

Tell me their names if you know!


S for . . .

Y for . . .

N for . . .

P for . . .


Then I asked another question!

How do they stay warm
in the ice and snow?
How do they stay warm,
tell me, do YOU know?


Oyster

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Then they reached the place of group O

O was king and Q was queen of that kingdom. They had many brave and strong warriors to protect their small kingdom. O introduced himself and his group too.

I am O.  O is for Oyster. Do you like oysters?

She is Q.  Q is for Queen of the kingdom. 

He is G.   G is for Guard of the kingdom. 

He is W.  W is the Warrior of kingdom.  

He is X.  X is the kingdom’s shield. 

  

     Finally, after another day, they all reached the place of group U. All the members of group U were chatting with Z. They were discussing the Jungle Zoo, and how to save jungle animals because the group U was in charge of protection. Each letter was given a job to protect the others.

     U saw all four groups coming with Language. He welcomed them and then asked Z to see if all alphabet letters were present or not.

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    So, Z said, “Letters! Get in line, and call your names so we know that everyone is here!” 

     The letters called out their names as they got in line:
“A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V,
 W, X, Y, Z!” 


      Then Language took the alphabet letters and made some words with them:  Alligator, Bear, Crocodile, Donkey, Elephant, Fish, Giraffe, Horse, Ice, Jaguar, Kangaroo, Lion, Monkey, Newt, Ostrich, Pig, Quail, Rabbit, Sheep, Tiger, Unicorn, Viper, Whale, X-ray fish, Yak, and Zebra!  He explained that from words we can make sentences, and with words and sentences we can communicate with each other.

    Then Language said, “Letters! You each are very important for making the English language. But each group spokesperson (A, E, I, O, U), these are the most important of all, for they give a voice to all the rest of you!” 

     Finally, Language said, “Children of the world! All the letters, words and sentences would mean nothing without you!  When you are willing to work hard to learn them and use them, then they come alive.” 

                                                                                                                          —Lahu

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com