Guest Author - Alissa Moy
As a classroom teacher, homeschool parent or playgroup leader, teaching the alphabet is protocol for preschool. How can you add some zing to your lesson plans and activities when teaching the ABC's? Here are some unique ideas to spark your creative juices and excite your imagination!
1. Make an Alphabet scrapbook. Collect and cut out pictures of things that start with the letters A-Z. Your preschooler can not only collect these pictures and small items, but they can also glue them in the book. The book can be made from large cardstock, 26 pieces, with holes punched in them. Tie the book with a pretty ribbon and it becomes a treasure for the whole family to enjoy!
2. Play Alphabet Bingo! Cut out both Upper and Lower case letters from a printable, or write them on squares of blank paper yourself. Have a master set of letters on flashcards or index cards you can make yourself. Take turns either calling out the letters or showing the index card, specifying upper or lowercase letters. Each time a child wins they not only be thrilled to be mastering their alphabet, but they will also have fun!
3. Play Alphabet Freeze Tag- Similar to the Freeze Tag of yesteryear, children attempt to tag one another and when they do they must shout a letter. The child being tagged then needs to give a word that starts with that letter- for example “A” could elicit apple or ant. They are safe if they can think of a word in 5 seconds. If not, that child becomes “it”.
4. Have a letter of the week show and tell. Using the letter of the week, offer the children the opportunity to bring in an item beginning with that letter. It could be a toy, food, book, or maybe even a pet! Be sure to limit the time each child has to present their item or you may end up doing show and tell all day!
5. Line up the children alphabetically according to their first names, then do it again with their last names. Ask the children to help you figure out the order in which everyone should be in.
6. Create a letter of the week discovery table. If your letter is c, for example, have a discovery table out with items that start with the letter c. Examples are chocolate chip cookies for munching (check for student allergies), books that start with the letter c, play items to “cook” with, etc.
7. Encourage the children to practice writing their letters using creative means. Try chalk, sand drawings or finger painting them.
8. Let your children take turns sorting and playing with magnetic alphabet letters. Have them put upper and lowercase letters together in separate groups, or pair up the matches of the same upper and lowercase letters.
9. Find a song or a nursery rhyme that starts with your letter of the week. The letter M might be “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, and the letter O might be “Over the River and through the Woods” Consult with a good nursery rhyme and song book for ideas (there are suggestions for these at the end of this article).
10. Have a letter of the week snack, if not the whole week of snacks! A could be apples, apple juice, apple jacks, animal crackers and apricots.
However you choose to add excitement to your alphabet lessons, your preschoolers are sure to have a fantastic time learning!