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Letter Introduction Order
Before you dive in and start teaching letters, you need to decide the order in which you will teach your students. You may have a curriculum map that you need to follow or you may need to make your own letter map. While I think it is important for kids to be exposed to all of the letters, I focus on teaching only a few at a time.
When I introduce a new letter or set of letters, I always go back and review the ones previously taught. There are certain letters that I avoid teaching together because kids can easily get confused when letters look similar.
For the most part, there is no right or wrong way to teach letters. All children learn differently so we need to have a million different ways to teach the same skill. You’ve got to do what works for your kiddos. And each year that might mean something different. What worked for learning letters one year might not work the next.
One way that remains the same is you’ve got to read to your students! Read often. It may sound silly or obvious, but reading is an important step to learning letters. Reading to little ones lets them see why letters are important and how we use letters (to make words). I love using books as a way of teaching letters. Pictured below are a few of my favorite alphabet read alouds.
Letter Singing & Dancing
Learning Letters Hand Motions
Qq is for quack. Open and close your hand to quack like a duck.
Rr is for rip. Put your hands together in front of you. Move hands in opposite direction and pretend to rip a piece of paper.
We sort letters to practice visual discrimination. Visual discrimination is a person’s ability to differentiate one object from another. This is an important skill because our brain is constantly discriminating letters and words as we read. Plus, this is a great activity for exposing kids to different fonts so that they become more comfortable with different texts and environmental print.
Alphabet Flip Books are another hit in my classroom. I do the first few with my kids, but after that they can put these together on their own. There is so much learning with ONE piece of paper. First, we cut the pictures apart to get a little fine motor practice. Next, we rainbow write the large letters for some handwriting practice. Then, we say the letter name, letter sound, and identify the beginning sound pictures.
The kids love bringing these books home to read to their families. There’s 31 flip books included (one for each short and long vowel sound), and you can check them out in my TpT shop here.
Learning Letters with Magazines
Use magazines to go on a letter hunt. (Be sure to preview the magazines first and remove any articles or advertising that is not Kinder friendly.) Students look through the magazines to find matching letters. They cut them out and glue them on the page. You can have students match uppercase letter to uppercase letter, or hunt for the lowercase letter match.
You can download the magazine recording sheet HERE.
Learning Letters Spinner Activity
Have students hunt for letters in a word search book. You can pick these books up at the Dollar Tree. Look for the ones with the largest font. To prep this activity, tear out the pages, add several different colors of highlighters, and the alphabet cards (download link below the pictures).
Students will pick a letter card and a highlighter. They hunt for the letter on the page and highlight it when they find it. They can pick another card and use a different color highlighter to find the new letter.
I only put out a few letter cards at a time so you may want to make two copies of the letter cards, depending on how many students will be using the activity at a given time.
You can download the alphabet cards here.
This is another class favorite for learning letters. Honestly, I think any time there’s bingo dabbers involved, it’s a favorite! Be sure to read this post for tips on introducing bingo dabbers to your students.
This packet includes 8 center activities with “I Can” visual directions pages. There are 3 different center types included: match the uppercase letter to the lowercase letter, match the lowercase letter to the uppercase letter, and decide if a given set of letters is a match (ex: Mm vs Fe).
The center cards and recording sheets are picture coded to keep your organized. Also included are extra no-prep pages for additional practice. I use these for center activities and for remediation as well. You can find these here.