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Lesson Plan

A is for Apple: Building Letter-Recognition Fluency

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A is for Apple: Building Letter-Recognition Fluency

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Flagstaff, Arizona


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Interact with letters in a variety of settings to better understand the letter nameĖsound connection

  • Build their letter-recognition fluency through a variety of activities including the exploration of interactive alphabet sites

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of letter names and sounds by creating an alphabet book

  • Practice sharing their work by participating in whole-class and partner discussions

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Session 1

Note: Before students arrive at school, hide the letter cards you made (see Preparation, Step 4) around the room.

1. Gather students in a group and build excitement by telling them they are going on a letter hunt. Explain that you have hidden 26 letter cards around the room and it is their job to find the cards and help you put them in order.

2. Tell students that you will call on them three at a time to get up and search for one card. As soon as they find one letter card they are to bring it back to the group and have a seat. Then you will call on three more students to search for a letter card. Lay the cards out in the order that students bring them to you. After all the letters have been found, have students help you put them in alphabetical order on butcher or chart paper and glue or tape them down.

3. After you have put all the letter cards in order, invite students to say the names of the letters and the sounds they make.

4. Next, hand out the copies of My ABC Book to students. Tell them that they are going to be visiting different alphabet sites. Their job is to go on a letter hunt and find different words that begin with each letter.

5. Before looking at the first website, model for students how to record in their ABC books. It may also be helpful to give them a goal for this session. Students will probably be excited about looking at the website and may forget to record some of the letters in their ABC books. A goal of at least five letters is reasonable.

For special education students or students who don't know all of their letters, you may want to change the goal to three letters in their ABC book and only give them one page to work on at a time. When they complete a page, give them a new page to work on. It also may be helpful to have students start with the letters in their name since they will be more likely to know those.

6. Show students how to use the KiddoNet Alphabet website. They should click on a letter and then click on the images they think start with that letter.

7. Allow students to work independently, monitoring them while they are working. As they draw a picture in their books, ask them to tell you about their drawing. You might write the word below the picture. For students who are already writing, encourage them to write the word below the picture, listening especially to the beginning sound as they write. For kindergarten students, invented spelling is fine.

Watch ELL students closely while they are working on the computer and check for understanding. You may also want to have them practice saying the letter and the picture name as they work.

8. To end the session, have students share their books with the partners you have selected (see Preparation, Step 5). Tell students that if their partners drew a picture for a letter that they didn't get to, they can add that to their book. ELL students might like to choose a picture in their ABC book and teach the class how to say that word in their native language. However, check with them first before putting them on the spot.

Home Connection: Send home the Letter Cards handout with each student. Parents or caregivers should play this game with students by drawing a letter out of the bag and saying the name, sound, or a word that begins with that letter. Then they can work together to put the alphabet in order. (Adults might eventually time students to see how quickly they can do this.)

If necessary, give ELL students or students who may not have the opportunity to work with an adult after school time to play this game with an adult at school.

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Session 2

1. Gather students and bring out the alphabet chart that they created during Session 1. Ask them if they can think of words that begin with any of these letters.

2. Display the Alphabet Picture Pages cards for the letters in random order.

3. Ask students to say the name of the picture and then identify the beginning letter. Draw attention to the sound they hear at the beginning of the word.

4. Tape the picture below the corresponding letter on the alphabet chart.

5. Have students get out their ABC books that they started during Session 1. Briefly walk students through their book reviewing all of the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Choose a few students to share a picture from their ABC book.

6. Tell students that they will be visiting a new alphabet website. Review directions for recording in their ABC books. Challenge students to work on letters that they have not done yet. As you did in Session 1, you may want to give students who do not know all of their letters only a few pages of the book to work on at a time.

7. Show students how to use Julia's Rainbow Corner. When they click on a letter, they will hear the letter name and see a picture that begins with that letter. Model for students how to click the letter, listen to the letter name, say the word for the picture out loud, and record it in their ABC book.

Pair students who do not know all of their letters with a student who does or with an adult volunteer. You may also want to do the same thing with ELL students; because this site does not say the name of the picture, they may not have the vocabulary to know the name for each item. A partner can say the name out loud in English.

Some students may finish adding pictures to the books quickly. Challenge them to think of more words that go with each letter or ask them to write tongue twister sentences for each letter. You may have to give them an example to get them started.

8. Have students share their new additions in the ABC book with their partners. As during Session 1, this is a chance for students to add new pictures to their own ABC book.

Home Connection: Either send home instructions to play the ABC Match game online or the game cards. If the student is playing online, an adult should supervise and help the student decide whether to play against the timer or not. If the adult and student are playing with the cards, they should lay all the cards face down. They then should take turns turning over two cards, trying to find a letter and picture that match. The winner is the one with the most matches. For ELL students or students that may not have the opportunity to work with an adult after school, allow time for them to play the game with an adult at school.

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Session 3

1. Put the Uh-Oh! Cards in a bag and have students sit in a circle. Students should take turns drawing one card at a time out of the bag. They can either say the letter name, the sound it makes, or a word that begins with that letter. Once they say the name, sound, or word, they get to keep the card. If they draw an Uh-Oh! Card, they have to put all of their letters back in the bag. Continue passing the bag around the circle until every student has had a few chances. Once the time is up, the person who has collected the most cards wins the game.

2. Once you have modeled how the game is played with the entire class, have students get into groups of three or four to play. To help all students feel successful, tell the class that they can help each other out if someone seems stuck and asks for help.

Closely monitor your ELL and struggling students to make sure that they are feeling successful. It may be helpful to pair them with an older student or an adult volunteer. If the game seems to be going smoothly for the rest of the class, you may want to gather a small group of struggling students to play the game with you if you feel that they would benefit from extra support.

3. After playing Uh-Oh!, have students take out their ABC books. Ask them to look through their book and find the letters they still need pictures for. Direct them to begin with those letters when completing this session's Internet activity. Continue supporting students as you have during earlier sessions.

4. Show students the Poisson Rouge Alphabet website. Demonstrate how to navigate the site. If you roll the mouse over each letter, a picture appears that begins with that letter. Encourage students to click on the letters and then the sentences that appear.

5. After students have finished working on the computers, have them work with their partners to share their ABC book. Like before, students can add to their ABC book if they need to complete some pages.

All students may not finish within the three sessions. Allow extra time in the classroom or meet with small groups of students to help them finish before sending their book home.

Home Connection: Have students take their ABC book home to read to an adult. The very last page in the book is a comment page for parents to write a positive note about their child's ABC book. For ELL students or students that may not have the opportunity to work with an adult after school, allow time for them to share with an adult at school.

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  • Use the interactive Alphabet Organizer to have students create an alphabet book. This activity can be done with the whole class or in small groups. Have students choose either Option 1 (one word per letter) or Option 2 (more than one word per letter) and type in words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Students can then print their letter pages, create illustrations, and collate them into a book. Have students share their books with the class.

  • Give students fun practice with matching beginning-letter, long-vowel, and short-vowel sounds to images using the Picture Match game. For more advanced practice, try the Puzzle Me Words game. This game has students spell words for the pictures they see and hear aloud. The beginner level has an option for practicing one short-vowel sound at a time.

  • If you have Spanish-speaking students in your class, teaching cognates is a fun way to include Spanish into letter learning. Make the pages ahead of time with the letter, the English word, and the Spanish word already on the page. Ask students to help you illustrate the book. Laminate and bind the book, and keep it in the classroom for read alouds.

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  • Keep a checklist of the letters and sounds students consistently recognize. Take note of each studentís level of participation during the group activities in the classroom. Reflect on each student's ability to identify the names and sounds of letters.

  • Circulate while students navigate the alphabet games. Ask students about the objects they find and their beginning letters and sounds.

  • Look through each studentís ABC book noting whether or not he or she was able to draw a picture of something that began with each letter. If possible, conference with students one on one and have them read their ABC book to you.

  • As an additional assessment, duplicate student copies of the Alphabet Picture Pages. Instruct each student to color the pictures then write the beginning letter in the corner of each picture square.

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