Teaching our youngest learners is no easy task! With all of the learning goals we have for one year, this can be overwhelming. We all know how important teaching the letters of the alphabet is for our students. It’s the foundation of a life-long love of reading and writing. But where do we begin? With the letter A of course! I’m excited to share with you the fun and engaging Letter A activities I use in my classroom.
While I am going to focus this post on the letter A, just know that I follow the same or very similar method as I teach each of the letters of the alphabet. As primary teacher you likely already know the power of repetition. Repetition is the key to success for our youngest students. Using a variety of targeted letter activities, students are sure to get the repetitions they need and have an “A-mazing” time all while learning about the letter A.
As I teach the Letter A I have four goals in mind. I want students to learn to (1) identify the letter, (2) name it, (3) learn the sound it represents, and (4) learn the proper letter formation. Each of the activities I choose for my lessons helps to meet at least one of these goals. And if I can meet two or more goals that’s even better!
Letter A Interactive Anchor Chart
Interactive Anchor charts are so important in my classroom. My students love collaborating with me to create a visual representation of our learning. I use the Letter A anchor chart as our first introduction to the letter.
When we begin the lesson we start by adding the letter A in it’s uppercase and lowercase forms. My students really enjoy coming up to the chart to practice the correct letter formation by tracing their fingers on the letter. The other students can follow along at the same time by “air-writing” the letter, tracing it on their hands, or finger writing on the floor.
Next, is the step that really makes the anchor chart come to life! We turn the letter A into an characters that help us remember important things about the letter. My students LOVE adding some special details to turn uppercase A into an alligator and lowercase A into an apple. These cute characters not only help students remember the letter formation but they also give us our introduction into the short A sound.
Next up, we continue working on the short A sound by brainstorming words that start with this sound. Not only can we practice and reinforce the letter sound, but we can also weave in some phonemic awareness as we identify beginning, medial and ending sounds in the words the students share. I always have a variety of picture cards ready to add to the chart. If students get stuck, I can hold up a picture and give them a little help. And . . . if students come up with words that I don’t have a picture for, I always keep some post-it notes nearby so we can do a quick drawing and add the word.
While one single anchor chart doesn’t sound like much of a lesson, we are able to do so much with it. With the letter A anchor chart we can work on upper and lowercase letter identification, upper and lowercase letter formation, letter A sounds, phonemic awareness, words that begin with A, and vocabulary building. I don’t know about you – but working on all those skills sounds like a great lesson to me!
Interactive anchor charts get students involved in the learning process and help build those brain connections or mental anchors. My students love making the visual connection to the letter sounds and it really helps to build their confidence as they learn.
Letter A Practice Pages
Learning to write the letter A doesn’t need to be boring! In my classroom, we focus on hands-on activities to practice our fine motor skills and get students engaged in the learning process. We use a variety of different activities to work on identifying the letter A and letter formation. My students love using ink daubers (think BINGO) to fill in the dots on the Dot the A activity page. The whole room fills with a drum-like sound that’s music to my ears as my little people are having fun while they learn.
But we don’t stop there. We also work on letter formation using pom poms, watercolors, crayons and pencils. Remember that important part about repetition? Well, repetition is the name of the game here. And since I know that kids like variety, I like to focus on the skill in multiple ways. It really helps to keep them engaged and learning.
Want to hear “You’re the best teacher everrrrrrrrr!” from your students? Just pull out the Paint the A worksheet gives students a chance to use their favorite art supply… paint! I love using watercolors, but if you are really daring you might pull out the good stuff! It’s also a great opportunity to practice color identification, which makes our art teacher’s heart sing!
In addition to working on letter identification and letter formation, there are also Letter A practice pages for the letter sound. Students love naming pictures and then deciding if it begins with the /a/ sound. I love hearing them as they really segment those sounds and emphasize the short a sound. They truly have no idea how much they are exercising their phonemic awareness brains with this activity.
There are so many different activities for students to complete in the Letter A Worksheets, they will never get bored.
Digital Letter A Activities
Yep, I use digital activities in my classroom. While I know that this can be a hot topic in the primary community, I don’t ever want to be accused of doing or avoiding something just because it is what everyone else says or does. I use digital activities because my kids are growing up in a digital world. I want them to know that technology is a tool they can use to learn and produce with and I want it to be natural for them and not something only seen as a reward or entertainment. BUT . . . I balance the use of digital activities with lots and lots of traditional activities too. I make sure that there lots of opportunities for working on handwriting, fine motor skills, learning through play and technology. They all work together!
These are two digital learning platforms that my students love! We use both for our Letter A activities. While the activities are similar I like to use them both to provide my students expose to different platforms and skills.
SeeSaw is a great learning platform for young students. It is easy to use and students pick up the interactive features really quickly. If your students are anything like mine, they LOVE using their classroom computers and tablets for interactive activities.
One of the activities that I love on SeeSaw is that students can write and trace the letters. This makes a great opportunity for students to practice this important skill with a different type of sensory input. Writing with a pencil and tracing on a screen provide different types of input to the brain. The step-by-step tracing of the capital and lowercase forms of the letter A are easy to follow and help my students practice the correct formation of the letters.
There are also Letter A activities that students can complete using a drag & drop technique where they move interactive items on the screen. This is great for hand-eye coordination.
These SeeSaw Letter A activities are great for an independent center activity, morning work, or even sharing with parents for at home use.
Google activities are another digital activity that I like to include in my classroom. With Google’s variety of online programs and apps, learning can be very effective online. These Letter A activities use Google Slides. Students will work on letter identification and letter formation with these activities. While the activities are the same as the SeeSaw activities, the way students will write on the screen is different. This provides my students with practice in another technology skill.
If my students have access to both tablets and computers, I like to have them do both. I generally use SeeSaw on the tablet and Google Slides on the computer. The computer activities give students practice using the mouse, not just a touchscreen feature.
Letter A Headband
As we wrap-up our learning of the Letter A I always love to include a culminating craft. Alphabet hats are a huge hit in my classroom and the letter A headband is no exception. My students are so proud to show off their special accessories and about their learning with anyone willing to listen.
The headbands have an uppercase and lowercase A on them along with pictures that represent the short A sound. While students are working on their headbands, it’s a great opportunity for me to do some informal assessments. I ask my students questions like “What other pictures could you put on this hat?” and “When we write the letter A, where do we start?” Asking these open-ended questions helps students to formulate answers to demonstrate their learning and understanding of the concept.
The letter A headband is a fantastic culminating activity my students always look forward to. It’s perfect for a Friday afternoon project sure to keep kids engaged!
Grab ALL of these Letter A Activities for FREE!
I love using these activities so much, and I’ve seen them be so effective with my students that I want to share them all with you. Download them. Try them. Use them in your classroom. I’m sure you and your students will love them! Grab your free Letter A activities here!
And . . . just in case you forget where they are
pin them to your favorite classroom Pinterest board too. I don’t know about you, but I have “lost” so many great teaching resources in the endless pit I call my downloads file. So now, I download but I also save them to Pinterest so I can quickly and easily get back to them.