“I’ve Got an A” Game for Learning Names of Letters

“I’ve Got an A” game used a set of 4” wooden letters placed in a bag. The game board was a large piece of poster board, about 24”x 28”. It was covered with a piece of wrapping paper with tracings of each wooden letter on 3” by 5” labels’ The labels were pressed on the board in alphabetical order. The game could be played using a small set of letters or using the whole alphabet. A child would reach in a bag and pull out a letter and say, “I’ve got a B” (or whatever letter was pulled out) and place the letter over the white one on the board. This continued until all letters were covered on the board with a wooden one. There was no winner.

A variation included a pack of cards with two letters on each card. The cards were placed down in a pile. The required wooden letters were spread out in front of the game board. When a child picked up a card, he would look and see if one of the letters was available, pick up the letter, and say, “I’ve got an S” and cover the white S on the board with the wooden one. If he had the letter, he would keep the card. If both letters were already on the board, he would place the card in a discard pile. The child with the most cards at the end won.

A little more advanced variation involved putting all the letters in front of the game board and each child taking a turn naming and placing as many letters as possible on the board. When no more letters could be remembered to place on the board, the covered letters would be counted. Letters were taken off the board for the next child’s turn. After all turns were taken, the child with the highest number won.

Read about games for beginning readers in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com

A Simple Naming Letters Game

Beginning first graders in my combined first and second grade seemed to especially enjoy a very simple game for naming letters. There was a pack of cards (companies sold blank packs of cards), each one containing an upper or lower case letter. Any number of cards could be used or if they knew most of the letters, all could be used. The cards were placed letter side up with a small marker, such as a lima bean, put beside each letter but without covering it. A child would say the name of a letter while pointing to it and if correct, take the lima bean. When the child could not remember any others, her own lima beans were counted and the score written on a piece of paper. The beans were replaced before the next child’s turn. A nice feature of this game was that when a child was waiting for his turn, he was listening as the letters were called out, so he would know them when it was his turn. It was important to involve two children of about the same ability so one wouldn’t overpower the other one. This game was not played just once, but over and over again.

Read about games for beginning readers in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com

Learning Beginning Sounds Using Real Objects

In my combined first and second grade, a favorite game for beginning readers to learn initial sounds  was one using real objects. Cardboard trays were found at the supermarket and one tray was used for each consonant sound. Six or seven letters were used at a time. So for instance,  for letters b, s, t, l, r, m, and z, there were trays lined up, each one with one letter printed at the top of each tray. A Ziploc bag contained real objects that would start with one of the letters on a tray. So, in the bag there might be a pair of scissors, a block, a small package of macaroni, a dog bone, a toothbrush, a bell, a small replica of a menu, etc. Four or five objects for each tray were in the bag. As each object was taken out of the bag, the letter name and sound would be spoken and placed in the correct tray. After all the objects were placed, the child would pick up each one, name it, and place it back in the bag.

Read more about phonics games and the beginning reading programs in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com

A Game for Learning Letters

A bingo-type game for learning the names of letters was very popular. There were boards 6” x 6” with nine squares, each containing a letter. There was a pile of cards, face down, each containing one letter. A child would pick up a card, say the name of the letter, and place a poker chip or some marker over the letter if it was on his board. When these games were first made, one child would be the caller with the pile of cards. Well, why were some games so popular and why did some entail big arguments? Because no child could be a caller for others! That caused the rumpus. As soon as each child picked up her own card – peace!!! Live and learn! There was a rule that a letter could not be covered up without saying the name of it.

Read more about games and activities  in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success, beginning on page 49. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com

   Teaching Young Children © Peggy Broadbent 2011 - All Rights Reserved