Many kindergartners come to school each year eager and ready to learn. Many students may come already knowing their alphabet letters and sounds, but many students also start without knowing most letters and sounds. As a former kindergarten teacher, I completely get how it can be challenging to get these students to master their alphabet while also trying to teach them how to read.
Often, many of these children that enter kindergarten without a firm foundation with letter recognition and beginning sounds just need to be taught their letters and sounds. Some students may not be developmentally ready. Others may have special learning needs. Whether the students just need someone to teach them or some of the students have special needs, it’s important to provide a variety of hands-on and engaging activities. Today, I am going to go over 14 ways to teach the alphabet. This will cover letter recognition, handwriting, and beginning sounds. I will also be sharing a nice size freebie with you that includes all these activities that I mention for the letter A.
Letter Recognition Activities
- Identifying the letter out of a group of many different letters is an important part of letter recognition. Find it activities are great for helping students to identify and discern between the different letters.
2. It’s important to use a variety of approaches of activities when teaching the alphabet to keep things interesting and engaging for students. Bubble activities are another way for students to discern between different letters. Students enjoy using bingo daubers, so this makes it extra fun for them.
3. When it comes to writing a sentence, students will need to know the uppercase version of their letters in order to use an uppercase letter at the beginning of a sentence. Matching up the capital with the lowercase letter helps students to learn pairs like capital A and lowercase a.
4. Sorting uses more higher-level thinking, so it is important to incorporate sorting with letter recognition. That way, students are thinking more deeply as they learn to recognize letters.
5. Children love to stamp, so definitely include stamping as a letter recognition activity. For differentiating, you can include all the alphabet letters for those breezing through letter recognition or just a handful for those who are struggling with mastery more.
6. Students should also be recognizing how letters are part of words. By having students find the letter in a word, they will be making that connection.
7. Coloring in the letters leads students to pay attention to the form of the letter. This help with recognition, and it helps prepare them for writing the letter.
8. Tracing is something you probably already have students do. It really helps to build up confidence for actually writing the letter and helps them to also pay attention to the form of the letter.
9. Of course, with handwriting practice, there should be actual writing of the letter. Adding a fun element like having their handwriting practice as part of an alphabet book increases engagement.
10. Students enjoy breaking out the crayons and markers. Having the students write the letters in rainbow colors just makes it more fun.
Beginning Sound Activities
11. Simple pictures that represent a beginning sound provide visuals for students, so they can distinguish between words that begin with the letter a and words that do not. Students can find and color pictures that begin with the targeted letter.
12. Like I mentioned before, sorting uses more higher-level thinking. Having students sort between pictures that begin with the targeted letter and those that do not is an important activity to use when teaching letter sounds.
13. Illustrating involves creativity. Creativity is also a higher-level thinking skill. Many students also enjoy drawing. By having students illustrate pictures with the targeted beginning sound, you will be activating their memories more.
#14 Making Alphabet Books
Alphabet books are a great way to reach your students that need to master their alphabet letters. Cutting is a process that takes time and helps develop fine motor skills. By having students cut out alphabet letters, students are processing how that letter is formed in a concrete way. They are learning letter recognition. They are developing their fine motor skills. They can also work on a variety of activities that help them to master letter recognition and sounds by making alphabet books that include these activities. Also, the act of publishing gives purpose to their learning activities. Students enjoy creating alphabet books to show to their family and friends. It’s a win across the board.
It is also very important to let them do the cutting of these, so they are receiving more out of this activity. The objective of making the alphabet books is not for them to have perfectly cut books. It is the process of making them that is important.
Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class!
Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class