7 Easy Ways to Teach Letters & Sounds with Movement and More

Every PreK and Kindergarten teacher knows that letters and sounds are the base for reading. Students must know the sound symbol relationship in order to start sounding out words. It's a great place to start! Even if you have a sight word reader letters and sounds will help them when presented with a word they don't know and in spelling and in turn writing. The first step in explicit direct phonics instruction is letters and sounds. This however can become monotonous for reluctant readers and students who just aren't quite developmentally ready. So I am here with 7 tried and true strategies for helping students learn their letters and sounds. These 7 strategies are fun and engaging and include outside of the box ideas for engaging other types of learners.

1) My first suggestion is to focus on lowercase letters. Since these are what 99.9% of text is made up of these are going to give you more bang for your buck so to speak.
A good strategy for this is to pair lowercase with capital letters to help students make the association and reinforce the lowercase while still emphasizing the lowercase. These letter activities are available in my TPT store! You can use them with bingo daubers, stickers or mini erasers (cause if you're like me you have so many of those lying around!) Click the picture below to check it out!

2) Make it hands on! Young children love to build with blocks and other items in primary classrooms! Use that love of building to have them build the letters (lowercase of course) this engages their tactile and hands on learning styles! Click the picture below to go to the bundle with all of these in my TPT store.

3) Use music and movement! Jack Hartman and Dr. Jean have songs to help students learn their letters. When I taught Kindergarten (back in the dark ages) we sang an alphabet song every single day for the first quarter! Sometimes the first semester depending on my students to practice and reinforce the letters and sounds! And now there's all kinds of videos to go with these songs! Just search youtube! The visual reinforcement is great! I just love technology sometimes! My favorite Dr. Jean song "Who Let the Letters Out" is linked. I love this one! The creator made it so the sound of the letters has to be provided by the audience.

This is also a cute visual option with the sounds
4. Have Your Students Trace the letters. This supports writing and reading while working on fine motor skills! These tracing mats are a great example with numbered steps and beginning sound reinforcing picture. It also includes capital and lowercase. There are these colored version pictures but also ink and money saving black and white that you can print on Astrobrights Cardstock! you can put these in a reusable sleeve or laminate for repeated use!
Click the picture to check them out!

 5) Make it meaningful. Letter books with several words that start with the letter that is being focused on are great for connecting the letters to words and showing examples of the different words that start with the letter giving students several options to remember and connect with. As an added bonus ABC books can be added to student book boxes as a book students feel confident in reading at Independent reading time. This can also be sent home to reinforce letters and sounds and reading at home! If you are in need of alphabet books you can click on the picture to grab these from my TPT store!

6) Make it a game! Students love to play a game. They don't have to know it's really a way to learn their letters and sounds! BAM! Letters and sounds is probably my students favorite. You lay all the cards face down. Students take turns drawing a card and saying the letter name or sound depending on the teacher's objective. If it is correct they keep the card if it is incorrect they must put it back. If a student draws a BAM! Card they must put ALL their cards (except the BAM or it will never end lol). 
They also like Roll and.... read, cover, trace etc.
To get the Letter and Sounds BAM Game click HERE
To get the 
Letter Sounds Activity - BAM Game
7) Move from less alike to more similar letters.  As you can see in the "frogger" letter activities below I started with letters that were not similar and progressed to ones that were very similar!

7) Add a robot! My students absolutely adore the Code and Go Mouse (affiliate link) from ETA hand to mind! And with the letters and sounds mat pieces I have created you can bet they will be learning their letters and sounds in no time. Super fun and engaging!

I hope this post has given you some ideas to make teaching letters and sounds more engaging! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments!

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