Are you looking for more ways to help preschoolers and kindergarteners make the letter-sound connection?
One of my adorable granddaughters has experienced some challenges with learning letter names. When my daughter mentioned that it seemed to be easier for her to learn the sounds they stand for, I suggested she might benefit from a multi-sensory approach. This method of instruction links the name of the letter, the sound the letter stands for, and its formation.
I sent her links to relevant blog posts and made her a set of my letter-sound key word picture cards. At that time, my granddaughter was attending preschool. She was also receiving resource services. My daughter was squeezing in reinforcement at home.
And then… the pandemic happened. Her preschool was closed. Special services were paused. Kindergarten was looming large. Mom and Dad were working from home with two active preschool-age children.
Here’s what I heard. “Mom, you send me stuff, lots of stuff. But I’m not a teacher. I need someone to tell me exactly what to do with it each day.”
So, I set out to write lesson plans focused on the letter-sound connection. I intended to do this using resources I already had on hand. Well, of course, I ended up creating more!
Here are two of those resources to help you out with teaching those letter-sound connections. And yes, one is a freebie!
Because this has been a difficult task for my granddaughter, I stuck with the same set of key word pictures I have used in my other resources for consistency. When she sees a letter, I want her to be able to recall that picture and the corresponding sound, not to be mentally searching for some word, any word that will work. For her, that process seems to help her to recall the letter name.
While these resources were created to provide that repetitive practice for overlearning a skill that some children need, they can also be used as a fun addition to morning work or literacy centers for any child.
Letter Sound Play Dough Mats
This is a set of simple, easy to prepare letter-sound play dough mats, perfect for preschool or kindergarten. Each half-page mat has a lowercase letter and a key word picture representing the initial consonant (except final x /ks/) or short vowel sound.
Please note that the play dough letters do not represent correct letter formation.
Simply print on card stock and laminate. Cut each page in half. Then, add play dough, homemade or store-bought.
Be sure that children who need the extra practice say the letter name, the picture, and the corresponding sound (a, apple, /a/) as they are working on a mat to reinforce that letter-sound connection.
Click on the highlighted words, Letter Sound Play Dough Mats, to purchase these mats in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Letter Sound Key Word Memory Match
This free memory match game is a great partner or small group activity for preschoolers and kindergarteners learning to identify letters and to associate those letters with their corresponding sounds.
Choices to Make
- Color or black/ white
- One-sided or two-sided cards
- For two-sided cards, a shark or flamingo theme, just because I couldn’t decide
- White or colored card stock
Get It Prepared
Print your cards. Use card stock to reduce or eliminate any see-through and laminate for durability.
There are three pages of letter cards and three pages of key word picture cards. Cut out the cards.
Play the Game
Select pairs of letter and key word picture cards for practice. I suggest using 6 to 12 pairs but it is up to you! Stick with pairs you have already taught.
Place the mixed-up letter cards face down in an array (i.e. 3 X 3 or 3 X 4). Then, place the mixed-up key word picture cards face down in another array.
Flip over one card from each array. Do they match?
If no, turn them back over in the same spots. If yes, say the letter name, the picture, and the corresponding sound (a, apple, /a/). Keep your match.
Take turns. Play until all the cards have been matched. Who has the most matches?
Looking For More Resources to Make the Letter-Sound Connection…
My daughter is pleased that she can prepare a week’s worth of lessons in ten minutes now! My sweet granddaughter is actively engaged in learning. The lesson plans and activities I put together included the ideas and resources below.
Blog Posts to Check Out
- Effectively Introduce Letters and Sounds the Multi-Sensory Way
- How to Effectively Review Letters and Sounds the Multi-Sensory Way
- Spin Your Way to Successful Letter Recognition
- Stack the Deck for Successful Learning
Products and a Freebie in My TpT Store
- Letter Sound Picture Cards (Freebie)
- Lowercase Letter Recognition Game Boards
- Beginning Sound Game Boards
- Stack the Deck A Flashcard Activity For Lowercase Letters
- Letter Sound Play Dough Mats
I loved helping my daughter. How can I help you?
The photo in the title image is by DegImages.