Alphabet Treasure Hunt for your Preschool and Kindergarten Group

Struggling with your class recognizing the alphabet?  You are not alone.  Teachers everywhere must accommodate many forms of learning to reach every student.  Although the following suggestions are not necessarily original in thought, sometimes we need reminders of how many options there are for working with the alphabet.

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If you are just beginning with the introduction of the alphabet and it is possible to tour your neighborhood on foot, take a Letter Treasure Hunt.  Pencil and pad for the teacher and searching eyes for the students are all that is needed for this adventure.  Walk the area looking for signs that contain your letter and jot down what is found.  Do not restrict the search to just written forms, look at nature for natural occurring forms of your letter.  The clouds, grass blades and even the branches of the trees can naturally produce some forms of letters. 

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Do you have old magazines, newspapers and books available? (If not you can always print off various pieces from the Internet for this activity)  If so you can keep the Letter Treasure Hunt indoors on those chilly mornings.  Give each student a letter (upper and lower case) or assign the entire group a single letter, which ever is the most appropriate for your classroom.  Scissors in hand, the students will then spend focused time on the letter assigned, snipping and pasting their found treasure onto a blank piece of paper.  You can make this a game – who can find the most? Or you could create a wall decoration using the assorted letter filled pages.If each group or student was assigned various letters (example – a word of the week was the name James – each group or student could focus on only one letter of the word), once the pages are dry, cut out a larger form of the letter and post the entire word onto the bulletin board.  This activity is incredibly easy to do and reinforces letter recognition and spelling at the same time.  Not to mention the additional bonus of some motor skills work.   

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Another form of the Treasure Hunt concept is the classroom styled search.  Prior to the students arriving, place numerous copies in various fonts around the room.  Be creative when locating the letters, hide them in the construction center and science center too, not just taped to the wall.  The letters can be made with textured papers, various construction paper colors, salt dough and even scraps of fabric, do not limit yourself with just the standard magnetic and / or plastic letters that can be purchased at super centers or the dollar stores.  

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Set aside a discussion time for the Treasure Hunt.  It does not matter which style of the search that has been incorporated into the day… Discuss it.  Have the children reminisce about the clouds that looked like the W or where they found the letter N.  Was the letter N located at the bottom of the sand bucket? Or hanging from the ceiling … or both?  Did the students locate more than ten or less than five – bonus: basic addition and subtraction intro.  Do the students like the new room decorations that they helped create?  The discussion time is an important part of the day when the students know that their little voices can be heard. For the teacher, it is important as a time of reinforcing the lessons of the day.  

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Teaching the alphabet can be a fun part of any day. With just a little imagination and some creativity accommodations can be made for every student.

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