- Preschool, Kindergarten
- 55 minutes
- Standards: RF.K.1.D
Get your hands dirty with some beach matching! Use this hands-on activity to help your students match upper- and lowercase letters with sea creatures and bubbles.
Students will be able to identify upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Begin the lesson by showing your class a sea life shape with any letter.
- Ask your students to identify the letter. Have them identify it as an uppercase (capital) or lowercase (small) letter. For example, if you are holding up an A, make sure they identify it as an uppercase A.
- Explain to your students that they will “treasure hunt” for the bubble that matches, or is the same as, the letter on the sea life creature. For example, hold up bubbles with a lowercase A and a lowercase O. Ask your students to identify which letter matches with the sea life creature.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Present the sea life cutout and the matching lowercase bubble side-by-side.
- Explain that all of the letters on the bubbles are lowercase letters.
- Show your students the two items together. Call the two letters a pair, explaining that all letters can be upper- and lowercase.
- Show your students an upper- and lowercase C and R. Potential discussion questions include: Which uppercase letter looks the same as the lowercase letter? Which one is the uppercase letter? Does the big R match with the little R? Does it still mean the same thing? Make sure they know that although one pair looks the same, the other different-looking pair (the R) still matches.
- Have a picture of the upper- and lowercase letters posted adjacent to the bin filled with sand and alphabet creatures and bubbles to aid matching.
- Explain that once they have found a matching pair, they can place the pair in the container and let the next student go.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Ask a volunteer to dig out another alphabet letter. This can be a bubble or a sea creature.
- Direct that student to identify the letter by name. Have him point out whether the letter is upper- or lowercase.
- Each time the student pulls something out of the sand bin, have him raise it in front of the class. Ask the class if this letter matches. If it doesn't, instruct the student to keep searching.
Independent Working Time (15 minutes)
- Let your students take turns pulling matching letters out of the bin. Let each student decide for himself if he wants to raise the letters to the class for help or if he wants to match the letters by himself.
- Encourage your students to keep using the posted upper- and lowercase letters as needed to make the matching pair. Remind them that uppercase letters might not always look like the matching lowercase letters.
- Enrichment: Have two students race to find the matches. Print out alphabet sets in different fonts to show them that letters can be written differently.
- Support: Use all uppercase letters on both the bubbles and sea creatures to create an exact match, or use only half of the letters to begin.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Take note if your students are verbally identifying letter names.
- Observe if your students are identifying each letter individually or relying on finding a matching pair to determine letters.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Ask your students which matching letter pairs they found today.
- Ask them if they found all the letters in their name. For example: Did Sally find an S?