Letter recognition is the ability to visually recognize letters, differentiate one letter from another, and name the letters of the alphabet. It is the foundation for learning letter sounds, spelling, reading, and writing. In fact, early skills in letter knowledge are a strong predictor of reading success
We spend much of the school year working on this skill and sometimes you just want to go back to keep working on that foundation. I am always looking for fun and engaging ways to help my students practice identifying, forming, and working with their ABCs. I am excited to share some of my favorite alphabet activities
Engaging Your Learners
When it comes to teaching the alphabet, keeping the activities engaging and bringing in different learning styles is key. Using activities such as letter sorts, tracing activities and puzzles is a great way to make learning the alphabet fun for students. Students get to use different skills with a variety of activities, making the learning more interactive. When you are planning letter activities for your students, be sure to remember their skill level and think about how you can differentiate each activity. One simple change can make it work for all your students and their needs.
I use these materials with small groups of students (4-6) who are demonstrating a similar reading level and generally similar strategies and skills.
However, sometimes I pull just 1-2 students from a group to work on a piece of a skill before calling the rest of the group to come over and join us.
We focus on one set of letters based on the order I introduce them to the class. Each set features letters that are formed a certain way curves, straight-line or angles and have distinct sounds.
Letter sorts are a great way to help students differentiate uppercase and lowercase letters and their attributes. Use manipulatives for them to sort so students can see a variety of styles of letters.
Letter Arcs- I use these to work on speed and accuracy in letter recognition. Start with a few letters that have been learned. Work up to the full alphabet. You can also match lowercase letters to the uppercase arcs and uppercase letters to the lowercase arcs.
Catching letters- Pick a card and name the letter. Write the uppercase letter on their whiteboards with a dry erase marker and hold it up for each other to see. Place the card in the basket after everyone has had a chance to see it and write it. You can also do this by writing lowercase letters.
Letter Dice- There are so many activities to do with these. Roll and say, roll and color or write, identifying vowels and consonants, or even letter sounds for those students who are ready.
You can grab a few of these activities over in my resource library. Tying in interactive activities makes learning the alphabet feel more like play to students, even though they are still learning. I hope this has sparked some ways to use alphabet activities with your students.
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