Today One Sharp Bunch and I are teaming up again for our monthly Teacher Talk segment. Our Teacher Talk topic this month is alphabet activities for small groups. In this post, I will share a few different alphabet activities that you can use for your small group instruction. These activities would work well during your literacy centers or for individual practice at school or at home.
The first group of printable activities I will share are differentiated. This means that each activity has 3 or 4 levels of instruction. They are for children learning to identify lower and upper case letters, letter sound, and matching letters to pictures starting with different sounds. I am also sharing my favourite YouTube alphabet videos, a DIY gel bag, my Pinterest board full of fab alphabet activities.
The activities are all hands-on, easy to implement and teach, and provide a lot of FUN, engagement! Read on to see how you can grab a FREE bundle of activities to try!!
Alphabet Board Games
Kids love board games! What a fun way to practice the alphabet!! Children will practice identifying upper and lower case letters and pictures to move spaces along the game board.
Alphabet Bingo is a game all children love and know how to play. Play as a whole group or in small groups and provide each player with a bingo card that is appropriate for their level. Children can cover a spot on their bingo card when a letter or sound is called. Children can yell “Bingo!” when they cover a line straight across or the entire card.
Search & Color
Alphabet Search & Color printable worksheets are perfect for practicing letter identification and locating pictures to color that start with a certain letter sound. They must search for a specific letter (upper and lower case) and pictures, then colouring those in. Children will enjoy searching and colouring in the pictures!
Flash Card Activities
There are tons of fun ways to use flash cards to review letters and sounds. These activities can be played alone or in small groups. These quick activities are great for small groups because they require very little prep and can be played whenever you have a free minute.
- Memory Match – Turn over the cards you want to practice. Take turns turning over 2 cards at a time looking for a match (upper and lower case letter match or letter and picture pair).
- Order Up – Provide one type of card (upper or lower case letters) and place the cards in alphabet order.
- Drill – Pile the cards upside down and turn them over one at a time and call out what it shows. If playing in groups, flash a card one at a time at two students who race to call out the answer.
- Name It – Flash a letter card one at a time to students and they can call out something that starts with that letter.
Here is a video I took at home with my son (4 years) doing a flash card drill. It is a simple activity that provides a lot of practice!
Creating a gel bag is super simple! Grab a Ziplock bag, buy a large bottle of hair gel, and something pointy to use for writing letters. I bought green hair gel but you could buy clear and add food colouring and glitter to it if you want. Simply squirt the gel into the bag and seal it tightly. We used the back of a paintbrush because it was readily available. I’ve seen other people use Q-Tips to write with.
Put out letter flash cards or something to copy for letter formation. This way your student has a visual example to copy. They will enjoy practicing letter formation this way!
I love using videos to help teach important skills. Using YouTube videos is great for our visual learners and those needing to move. Children love to watch and move along with the songs and videos. The alphabet videos below are a few of my personal favourites!
The Sesame Street channel on YouTube has this fabulous video from Usher and the gang! What kid doesn’t love Sesame Street? Those lovable puppets and Usher came together to sing a brand new alphabet song that will make your students want to dance and sing along!
Having a good selection of alphabet books available in your classroom and for your small groups is important. My favourite alphabet book is “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. Here is a live read of the book by a child that you can show your class.
Have Fun Teaching on YouTube has this simple video with a catchy tune that reviews the letter sounds with upper case letters flashing through.
Looking to teach your class some actions to learn the letter sounds? Getting kids moving will help them learn and remember the sounds more easily. This video from Letterland teaches easy to follow letter tricks for each letter.
If you’re like me, you often head straight to Pinterest to search for an idea or activity for your classroom! It is a main source for inspiration! I spend a lot of time pinning and building boards that have activities that teachers would love. My Alphabet and Letter Activities board is no exception. It is jam-packed with tons of great alphabet activities for small groups to help you teach the alphabet!
The printable alphabet activities available in this post are part of Reaching Readers Differentiated Alphabet Games Unit 1. To see what these products are all about, read the descriptions and feedback, and take a closer look at the previews, click the images below.
Right now you can grab the Reaching Readers Differentiated Alphabet Games Sample for FREE! It is 38 pages long and you can try out each of the 9 games included in the larger bundle.
Already convinced that you need these differentiated games for your guided reading small group instruction? Need to take a closer look? Check out the 480 page, 9 game bundle HERE!
Check out the coordinating alphabet readers to help your students read independently.
Head to One Sharp Bunch’s blog now to read her great alphabet activity ideas by clicking the image below!
What are your favourite alphabet activities?