From letter recognition to letter names and sounds teaching the alphabet to our youngest learners requires a lot of repetition and practice. Gone are the days of memorization alone. We know our students learn best when they are engaged and having fun. Using interactive craft activities helps engage students in learning and mastering letters of the alphabet. I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite activities for teaching the alphabet that are not only fun but also proven to help your students love learning the letters of the alphabet.
Teaching the Alphabet with a Letter a Week
Don’t feel like you need to focus on teaching the alphabet all at once. That can be extremely overwhelming to your new learners. Instead, pace your lessons by focusing on one letter a week. By taking the time to focus on just one letter at a time, you will have the time you need to use lots of different fun activities to help your students really learn to identify the letter in both uppercase and lowercase form, as well as name the letter and give its sound. Exposing students to the focus letter as often and in as many different ways as possible throughout the week will be the key to your student’s success.
Monday: Letter Introduction
Monday is the first day your students are going to be seeing their focus letter. I love starting the week with something exciting and memorable to get my student’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the week. This is the letter anchor chart. I also love any excuse to bring in a snack for my students. Offering a special snack relating to the focus letter is a great way to get your students excited for what’s to come. Helping your students build connections with the letter, its name and sound will lead them on the road to mastery.
Letter Anchor Chart
Teaching the alphabet using alphabet anchor charts is a great way to introduce the letter of the week to your students. These interactive anchor charts are a great way to focus on a variety of alphabet skills. Starting with just the letter, the students can work on identifying the shape of the letter and naming the letter.
Once students have learned to identify and name the letter, it’s time to focus on the sounds the letter makes. Your students will LOVE turning each letter into a picture that represents the letter’s sound. The brain connection with the image and the letter really helps students remember the letter’s shape, name, and sound.
The final step to the anchor chart is adding other words that have the same beginning sound using picture cards.
These interactive anchor charts are so fun and engaging for your students to complete together with you as a class. You can find all of the alphabet anchor charts in the Emily Education store.
Interactive Letter Folder
For our first independent alphabet craft activity of the week, I give my students a folded piece of 12X18 construction paper. This is going to be where they keep all of their alphabet activities throughout the week and makes for an awesome take home on Friday!
First up, it’s time for students to “build” their letters. I focus on both uppercase and lowercase letters at the same time. Each letter craft turns the letters into a recognizable object starting with the focus letter. This helps your students to remember the letter name and sound as they progress through the week.
Once they have created their letter character, they glue the capital on one side and the lowercase on the other. These are so incredibly cute and my students always love finding out what type of character they will be turning their letters into each week.
Tuesday: Beginning Sounds
On Tuesday, I have students grab their letter folders they started the day before. We review the letters by tracing them with our fingers and saying the letter name and sound again.
Now, it’s on to identifying objects that start with the focus letter sound. I love to ask students to name some objects they can think of that start with the focus letter sound.
Use printed and colored letter cards to hold up for students to practice sorting. I hold up a card with an image and ask the class to either give me a thumbs up or down or shout out “YES” or “NO” to tell me if the card matches the letter sound we are focusing on. It’s totally okay to help students identify the image if it’s something a little more abstract they may not be familiar with yet. It’s a great way to help build new vocabulary words into your phonics lessons.
Finally, students are given their own set of cards with the focus letter sound to color, practice writing the letter in both capital and lowercase, and glue to the front of their letter folder. The cover of our letter folders is now done.
If there is extra time, I ask students to do a quick pair, share with their neighbors to practice saying the letter name and sound, and show off their colorful cards. They love to identify the pictures and practice naming the letter and its sound.
Wednesday: More Fun with Beginning Sounds
Now that your students have finished the cover of their letter folder, it’s time to start digging into the inside activities. As always, we start with letter identification and sound review. You just can’t review enough as you are introducing new concepts to students. In addition to tracing the letter and saying the sound, we also practice saying the names of the objects from the letter cards on the front of the letter folder. This gets us ready for our next activity, coloring objects that begin with the focus letter.
Each week, I give my students a worksheet with a set of images that includes some that start with the focus letter and some that don’t. The goal of this practice activity is to get students saying the names of the objects and recognizing the beginning sound.
Depending on the level of your class, this could be a group activity or an individual activity. If you need to, consider creating some leveled break out groups. This will give you the opportunity to give more focused attention to students who need it, while allowing other students the ability to complete the activity independently if they are ready.
This letter sound identification activity is also a great way for you to quickly assess your student’s understanding at the midway point in the week.
Thursday: Letter Writing
Thursday is all about practicing the correct letter formation. When we are doing our review activity using the front cover of our letter folders, I spend a little extra time on air writing the letters. I ask students to follow along writing the letter in the air with their fingers or pencils.
You can even let students take turns coming up to the class letter anchor chart to trace the letter. Whatever works best for your class is perfect.
Next, I pass out the letter formation activity we will be putting in our letter folders. Using the “I can trace” worksheet, students are able to see the correct formation of the letter and practice tracing the dotted letters as well as independently writing the letters on the lines below.
It’s really important to teach the order in the letter writing strokes. This process actually starts on day 1 as we introduce the letter. By modeling and talking about the order of the lines, students can practice writing the letters independently later in the week.
The bottom of the worksheet also includes a traceable word with an image of an object starting with the focus letter. These will be pasted to the inside center of the letter folders.
Friday: Directed Drawings
After reviewing everything that we learned earlier in the week your students are going to be ready to finish up their letter folders with a directed drawing activity.
Directed drawings are always a crowd pleaser! I love seeing the pride on my student’s faces when they have successfully completed a directed drawing. The directed drawing worksheet can be completed step-by-step as a class. If you have students who are ready to take on the challenge, they can also complete the activity independently.
When your students have completed the directed drawing activity, they will paste it to the left inside flap of their letter folder. They now have a complete letter folder. The letter folder includes each of the practice activities they have completed relating to the focus letter for the week.
My students are always so excited to take these home to show off to their families on Friday. It’s also a great way for them to switch roles and become the teacher. They love to go home and teach their families about the letter, the sound it makes, how to find words with that sound and more. I love hearing stories and reports back from parents that their child was so excited they had to share their love for letters with the entire family!
Letter Folders For The Win
All of the letter activities included in the letter folder are fun and engaging for your students. They also help your students practice letter identification, formation, and sounds in so many different ways. We all know practice makes perfect, but fun and interactive practice builds mastery! These letter activities and the creation of the letter folders can be used to support any curriculum or program you are using. While I love to use them with the interactive anchor charts, they can also be used on their own. They are a great resource that you can as your focus or as a supplement!
Just check out all the fun your students will have with these amazing letter craft activities!
Grab Your Interactive Alphabet Crafts and Directed Drawings GROWING BUNDLE
You can grab the Interactive Alphabet Crafts and Directed Drawing Growing Bundle in the Emily Education store. With these intentional activities, you will be teaching the alphabet and your students will be mastering their letters in no time!
Save These Fun Activities For Teaching The Alphabet Ideas
Pin these fun activities for teaching the alphabet to your favorite classroom Pinterest board. Your students will not only love learning the alphabet but they will master important phonics skills too!