Most preschoolers are already familiar with the alphabet. Many can sing the alphabet and identify letters. In kindergarten, students can begin strengthening their ability to identify letters and the sounds they make. Work can focus on teaching them how to identify the letters in words, how to associate those letters with certain words or sounds and how to put letters together.
Teach Students Their Own Name
Fun-a-Day says that children learn best when the material is linked to things that kids know or that are important to them. When teaching the alphabet, one of the best places to start is with a child's own name. Start by introducing the first letter of the child's name, and then introduce each of the other letters. Once the child feels more confident in recognizing the letters and sounds in his own name, focus on learning last names and the names of family members, friends and teachers. Note contrasts and similarities, such as "Rob sounds like Robin" and "The K in Kristina sounds like the C in Clark."
Color Pictures for Each Letter
Simple and fun activities can help kids learn. One effective way to teach the alphabet to kindergartners is to provide pictures that students can color of items that correspond to the letters and the different sounds they make. Clip art and coloring books can both be used. Provide a few images for each sound that a letter makes, such as the long and soft "A" in "ate" or "apple." Talk about the sounds as children color.
Make an Alphabet Book
Hands-on activities can help children learn. An alphabet book is a great way for students to express their creativity while learning their letters. Ask students to write each letter on a separate sheet of paper. If they cannot write their letters, ask them to cut out the letter from a magazine or some construction paper. Then ask them to draw pictures of items that start with that letter or cut out the pictures from magazines. Bind the book together when they have finished all 26 letters. This project can take place over a semester or a year as students complete their study of all the letters.
Play Letter Games
Playing games together can make learning fun. You can play "Alphabet Soup" by dumping foam letters and toys that match the letters, such as a duck for the letter D, into a big bowl or pot of water. Students should fish out the items and match them up to the letters. In Letter Bingo, children get a bingo card with random letters of the alphabet, and they mark off the spaces as their letter is called. The game is just like real bingo, except you can include pictures and letter sounds on the spaces, or you can use just the pictures without the letters. When you call out the letter, kids look for the item that matches that letter. A matching game is also an easy game with letters and sounds.
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