Alphabet Intervention Activities
When students struggle in Pre-K or Kindergarten with mastering letters and letter sounds, it’s important to have engaging, hands-on alphabet intervention activities in your teaching toolkit.
According to Scholastic, “One of the most important skills for children to develop in the kindergarten year is the recognition that letters and sounds are related. We often call this “the alphabetic principle,” which is the notion that speech sounds can be connected to letters in a predictable way.”
Children who don’t begin to automatically recognize the letters of the alphabet and who don’t develop a strong sense of letter-sound correspondence will often go on to struggle with decoding and writing.
I noticed that toward the end of our Pre-K year, I had too many children still struggling with certain letters or letter sounds. And I needed to find a solution that would enable us to intensively practice and review those letters and letter sounds in fun, engaging, hands-on ways.
Alphabet Intervention Binder
So, I created a slew of predictable, meaningful alphabet intervention activities that could easily be placed in a binder and used again and again in small groups or during RTI time. Each activity focuses on one of three components: LETTER IDENTIFICATION, LETTER SOUNDS, or LETTER FORMATION.
While the activities can be used as traditional worksheets, I prefer to use them in a more interactive way. By either laminating or placing the black-ink-only pages in sheet protectors, they can be preserved and used again and again. Plus, children can use dry erase markers to write on them!
Here are some of the alphabet intervention activities included and how my preschool students use them to master letters and letter sounds.
Letter Identification Activities
Letter identification is a skill that involves being able to say the names of both upper and lower case letters of the alphabet quickly, without having to think very long about each letter. Recognizing letters automatically is a critical skill for children in kindergarten. And learning those letters begins in preschool.
The following activities are included in my Letter Intervention Kit and are perfect for helping children master both capital and lower case letters. Of course, you can print and use these as traditional worksheets if that’s your jam. But I prefer to laminate them or place them in sheet protectors and let the children use Bingo chips and dry erase markers to interact with them.
Each intervention packet focuses on a single letter – in both its capital and lower case form. The vowel packets have pages for both long and short vowels.
You’ll want to gather some transparent Bingo chips and dry erase markers for these activities. That’s it! 🙂 Or if you want students to complete these pages as a traditional worksheet, Bingo dabbers are a fun tool to use in place of the chips.
Children need to be able to recognize letters in a variety of fonts since many of our books, posters, and printables utilize different fonts. For instance, I want them to be able to recognize lower case “a” when it has a hook on the top and to recognize lower case “g” when the bottom is closed. I mixed up the fonts in some of the activities so they can begin to notice the letter in different forms.
It’s also critical that they recognize both capital and lower case letters. You’ve seen firsthand, I’m sure, how children can name lower case k or lower case x without a problem. That’s because it looks almost exactly like its capital version.
However, learning lower case letters that look completely different from their capital version– like b, g, or h– is much more difficult. So, lots of practice is crucial!
Mazes are such a fun way to practice differentiating one letter from another. With the Bingo chips being transparent, children can still see the letters and see that they are the same in the path.
Letter Sound Alphabet Intervention Activities
Letter sounds are critical to practice as well since more than 80% of English words can be decoded phonetically.
For the Alphabet Intervention Kit, I’ve created the following letter-sound practice activities. These activities are great for developing students’ vocabulary, promoting fluent reading and 1:1 word correspondence, and practicing letter sounds. Like the previous pages, it’s fun to use colorful, transparent Bingo chips with these pages. Or you could even let children use Bingo dabbers to dab the smile or frown!
Letter sound mazes are another fun, hands on alphabet intervention activity. You may have to name the pictures for students to help them with this activity, but their vocabulary will progress as they get exposed to new images and new words.
Predictable text strips are a great way to practice fluent reading and 1:1 word correspondence. They also allow for learning key vocabulary to go with a letter and letter sound.
See how easy it is to promote new vocabulary development with these visual cues? Students name the letter, the sound, and then the word that begins with that sound/letter.
B – /b/ – bat B – /b/ – bandaid. This page is also great to enlarge and add to an alphabet anchor chart to promote letter-sound correspondence.
Don’t Forget Letter Formation!
Proper letter formation is a critical component of early literacy that we often neglect. No, I don’t believe children should spend hours on handwriting pages when their fine motor skills aren’t up to par yet! However, that doesn’t mean we have to neglect letter formation altogether.
Here’s a fun STEM-based way to help children learn the attributes and formation of letters while building those fine motor skills.
For students who ARE ready for actually writing the letters, it’s important to teach proper letter formation from day one. Fonts with numbers and guiding arrows are perfect for little learners.
I love to laminate alphabet intervention activities like these so the children can use a dry erase marker with them. Or, you could place them in sheet protectors within your intervention binder instead of laminating them. Either way, it’s a lot more fun to write with a marker than a pencil!
Once little learners are ready to write letters in traditional sizes on traditional handwriting pages, be sure you aren’t using chunky pencils.
Spin and Write is another fun twist on handwriting practice. Simply hold a pencil in the middle of a paper clip, flick the paper clip with your fingers and after it finishes spinning, write the letter that it lands on. Kids love this!
The Alphabet Intervention Kit
Are you at a loss for what to use with your RTI students who are struggling with letter identification, letter sounds, and letter formation? I sure have been. I was tired of seeing the discrepancies in my Pre-K students’ alphabet knowledge and I knew I needed a game plan. This Alphabet Intervention Kit was my answer!
Each intervention packet has the same types of activities so they’re predictable and able to be completed independently. I included both capital and lower case letters as well as short and long vowels.
Check out my Deluxe Alphabet Intervention Kit for these ideas PLUS more fun, hands-on alphabet activities!