These SEVEN Secret Alphabet Activities Will Make You Kindergarten Teacher of the Year!
Think the alphabet song is the only way to teach the alphabet? Wrong. You’re only teaching them the name of the letter. How do you teach the identification, sound, and formation?
Your students are missing out on major concepts if the only way you’re teaching your students about the alphabet is through a song.
Here are seven MUST HAVE alphabet stem activities for kindergarten!
1. Letter Identification
Give students a variety of letters and have them hunt for a specific letter. Students can circle, dab, or color the matching letter.
It’s important to model different letter formations. This can include fonts, italics, bold, uppercase, and lowercase letters as students advance.
2. Letter Formation
Give students a chance to trace the letters with markers. You can even use these fantastic specialized pens! There is a lot more friction on the paper that creates a slow drag.
This helps young children control the pen and builds confidence with penmanship. I recommend using a vis-a-vis on paper for this.
3. Phonemic Awareness
Challenge students to listen for words that begin (or end) with the specified letter. Use a high-frequency word list to model the beginning and ending sounds. Use this editable list for practice.
Turn it into a game by reading the word. Students are to say the first letter of the first sound they hear. If they answer correctly, they earn a token (counter). The student with the most tokens wins.
4. Alphabet Letter Songs
Ever listen to a song and get it stuck in your head for the entire day? Well, we can do that with our students, except we can use meaningful songs.
There are so many things I love about Letterland. One of them is that it provides students with a visual to remember the letters.
In addition, I love that it includes an alliteration for each letter so that students are able to understand the letter makes the sound. For example, Q is named Quarrelsome Queen.
Check out letterland here! For an extra bonus, add some motions to each letter.
5. Alphabet Letter Mats
Letter mats are versatile and fun for any time of the season. These provide excellent practice for letter formation. It gives students practice to strengthen students’ fine motor skills.
For example, students can roll the dough to form the letter. They can even pinch-poke the dough to form the letter. I use play dough most often with my letter mats. I use this Salt Dough recipe.
You can switch this up by having students use different materials to manipulate. You can even give the letter mats a holiday twist by using seasonal candies.
6. Alphabet Letter Books
I love introducing my students to new books. Letter books are a great way to practice letter identification and excellent for working on print concepts.
This is an excellent opportunity for a teachable moment. The books I created have simple sentences and illustrations for emergent readers. Check them out here!
7. Kindergarten STEM Activities
These STEM challenges focus on a single letter of the alphabet. On the other hand, they not only integrate literacy, but also math and science.
These FUN projects get shoved into the long term memory part of the brain. This is because children learn through experiences. They will create mental images and associate them with the letter and letter sound.
Want another fun way to learn about letters?
Give your students one simple word (cat). Subsequently, let your students change one letter to form a new word. Have them share their new words. You could have a pat, cab, cot, etc.
Let students form new words with the previous word they formed only changing one letter. If we’re using the examples above, you could get pay, car, pot, etc.
Add the words to a chart for the class to see. Now you have a word wall to form stories with.
Certainly, there are infinite amounts of ways you can teach the alphabet. These are just a few of my favorite. What are your favorite ways to teach the alphabet? Share in the comments below!
Want to know more about how to incorporate these activities once per week? Click HERE to check out this article about doing weekly STEM activities!