We've seen alphabet cards used to decorate classrooms above the boards. Teachers use these cards to help students reference the alphabet. This post is going to show you how you can use those same alphabet cards to play games that will not only help with letter identification but also word work and phonics. What is great is that you are using the same alphabet cards you used in the classroom to play these games so that students are already familiar with them.
Ways to Use the Alphabet Cards
The alphabet cards come in 4 different sizes so that you can use them in different ways. One easy way is to put them on a ring. Students will become familiar with the letters and words by repeating them. The pictures offer great visuals for the ELL students. They are able to build vocabulary and make connections to the letters and pictures. Pictured below on the alphabet cards printed 4 to a sheet and added to a ring for easy review.
Games to Play
Another way to use alphabet cards is by playing an alphabet memory game. Students will make matches using the alphabet cards. For added learning, have the students say the names of the letter and the sound that it makes when they turn over a card. For advanced learners, have them say the word associated with the letter that is on the picture.
Another fun way to practice letter sounds and vocabulary is with a game of Go Fish. Students can ask their friends if they have a certain letter or a certain word. If the student has it, they give that card to them and make a pair. If they do not have a match, the student draws a new card. What a great way to practice letter recognition in a small group. Students will be having so much fun, they don't even know they are learning.
Alphabet Card Sorts
Students can count the syllables in each word. Have students say the vocabulary word out loud. Have them clap the number of syllables in the word. The students sort the word based on the number of syllables in the word. This helps break down the word into smaller pieces when reading and identifying the phonemes in each word. It is a great way to decode words and break them down into smaller chunks for reading. Combine the number cards with the alphabet cards to play this game.
Another way to sort cards is by medial or ending sounds. In the example below, students sorted the words by medial sounds. Vowel cards are placed at the top while students sort the words underneath each vowel. This is a great game to play to help with vowel recognition.
Other Ideas for Using Alphabet Cards
- Play an alphabet scavenger hunt in your room
- I Spy game describing words on the alphabet cards
- Toss a beanbag on a card and identify the letter or word
- Play Slap Jack using letters in the child's own name as the Jack cards
- Alliteration game- say as many words that start with that same letter in 15 seconds. Advanced learners could write the words and make it a race. Variations can be medial and ending sounds to differentiate
- Play Pictionary by drawing one of the vocabulary words and having students guess
- Play letter charades by acting out vocabulary words
- Choose a given number of cards and write a sentence using those words
They can use the provided student pages to create personal word walls, dictionaries, or vocabulary words.
- Alphabet cards in 4 formats: Entire page, 4 letters per page, 9 letters per page, entire alphabet on one-page
- Black and white and color versions in all 4 formats.
- Numbers 1-10 in 4 formats (color and B/W).
- Custom artwork with a suburban theme.
- Student word work pages (printable and digital versions).
- Custom art designed by Andrea Bufford Art
Click on the picture below to purchase:
If you are looking for other ideas to teach phonics to older students, check out this blog post, Phonics Passages with Comprehension for Older Students