Repeat it with me – reviewing letter sounds does NOT have to be boring! Many teachers want to get through introducing a letter a day and move on. They think that spending any more time on letters is too much, and I don’t blame them – it can feel that way. But it is so important to spend time teaching those letter sounds in context with beginning sounds activities.
You can create a phonics routine that is both consistent and engaging, and I am here to show you how.
Letter Sounds Activities in Kindergarten
Little Readers Phonics Unit 1 focused on introducing a letter a day. This is perfect for exposing your students to the alphabet and creating a strong foundation of background knowledge.
However, your students will most likely not have complete mastery of letters and letter sounds at the end of that unit. Even if they do, it is important that students realize how they can use letters to begin to build words. This will set them up for success in later units!
That is why Little Readers Phonics Unit 2 focuses on beginning sounds activities. There are 39 lessons with 2 letters being covered over a period of 3 days.
The activities included will allow you to give support to students who still need to strengthen their letter sounds knowledge, while enriching your students who are ready for more.
Phonics Lesson Plans for Kindergarten
I have written all of your lesson plans for you so that you don’t have to think of a thing! These include an alphabet warm up routine, a whole group less, interactive writing, an emergent reader, handwriting, and more!
Reviewing Letter Sounds
When you review letter sounds, you will do it in the context of beginning sounds. Students will learn to isolate a beginning sound and decide whether or not it matches the letter sound. This will be so important once students start building words!
I like to use real photos whenever possible to support my language learners and students who may be missing vocabulary. Clip art is great, but it can sometimes be too abstract for our youngest learners.
Interactive Writing in Kindergarten
Interactive writing is a MUST for beginning readers and writers, but it can be easy to overlook!
I tell students the sentence and draw the guided writing lines. Then, I have one student at a time come up to write the sight words and the beginning sound of the picture word.
I write the rest of the picture word, but I have students help me stretch out the sounds. Inventive spelling should be encouraged! You want your students to take risks in their writing as they start to stretch out words on their own.
What can the rest of the students do when one student is writing? You can have your students bring dry erase boards to the carpet! They can write the sentence on their boards as you are writing it together up front.
Alphabet Emergent Readers
For these emergent readers, students get to highlight the beginning letter of the picture word. They LOVE this because its the one time they get to use highlighters!
All of our alphabet emergent readers follow the same pattern sentence. Why? I want students to be focusing on the letter sounds, not on the sight words.
After students highlight the beginning sounds, they get to read their book to their neighbors. This is a great way to practice tracking one-to-one and reading fluency!
Alphabet Directed Drawings
If you know me, then you know I love directed drawings! They are the perfect way to give students confidence in drawing while practicing listening and following directions.
Since we also had handwriting lessons in unit one, I didn’t want to repeat the same handwriting activities and bore my students. Keeping them engaged is key and adding in alphabet directed drawings is a great way to do that!
Personally, I usually use the printable worksheets as shown above, but these directed drawings also include visual directions strips for full page drawings. You can add these to your writing center!
Of course these alphabet directed drawings are included in Little Readers Phonics Unit 2, but I knew many people would want them separate. They are available on their own here!
Who doesn’t want to be an alphabet detective? Every third day, students will become alphabet detectives to practice differentiating between two letter sounds!
This is just an easy way to take something that could be boring and give it new life!
Students will get to make their own alphabet detective hats. Have them keep these somewhere safe. It will be a special treat to put them on as they crack the case!
Detective Dan and Sneaky Sam are the two main characters. Sneaky Sam keeps taking the letter picture files and hiding them! Detective Dan is the lead detective and he needs your help to find them and sort them by letter once more.
You will read the mission from the mission file to students. Each mission is different and they will require students to look around the room, around the school, etc. to find the picture files.
Of course, I understand that isn’t always possible, especially with COVID restrictions this year. That is why I have included an editable letter as well.
Once students find the picture files, they will help you sort them by beginning sound.
Students will then sort pictures by beginning sound independently. This is a great informal assessment, but shouldn’t be your only beginning sounds assessment. You will want to do a formal assessment at the end of this unit as well.
Ready to amp up your phonics curriculum with these beginning sounds activities? You can find the full Little Readers Phonics Curriculum here!