As my regular readers are aware, I teach a letter of the alphabet in isolation each week and support it with lots of whole alphabet activities. Sometimes, simplicity can give some of the best results, as was the case with this initial sound cross out activity.
During our phonics practice in preschool, I introduce a new letter for the week. We find it in the alphabet, say the letter name, a chant, and the look at some phonics photos that begin with the same letter. (In my literacy curriculum, I offer clipart images in replace of the photo cards). Then, we follow up with the letter activities at the preschool table.
On the second day of the week, we review the letter name and sound, review the phonics cards and then use the cards for a phonics game where we can review several letters at once. This is how my initial sound cross out game came about.
Initial Sound Letter Cross Out
- phonics cards or objects beginning with the focus beginning sounds
- whiteboard or large piece of paper
- marker appropriate for the above
First off, select the letters you would like to review and set aside the corresponding items or phonics cards. On the whiteboard (or large sheet of paper), write out the focus letters in random order, one letter for each phonics card. Place the phonics cards in random order in a pile, facing down.
Invite a student to draw a phonics card and name the picture. To reinforce phonics skill, walk the student through a dialogue that sounds something like this:
Teacher: What is on the card?
Teacher: What sound do you hear at the beginning of /l/ ladybug?
Teacher: What letter makes the /l/ sound?
Teacher: Can you find letter L on the whiteboard?
The student then finds the correct letter and marks it out.
Now, preschoolers have a lot of fun with this for one reason. (They get to write on the whiteboard). That happens to meet another teaching objective for me. (They get to practice their pencil grasp in a new and intriguing way).
With the right scaffolding, this activity goes fairly quickly and keeps the children’s interest. Sometimes, if the letter is relatively new, we will do our letter chant as a whole class before finding the letter and crossing it out on the whiteboard. And activities like this letter review help support individual letters in a more holistic manner.
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