Lesson Plan:

Earth Day Letter Hunt

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September 5, 2015
by Melody Johnson

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify and recall uppercase and lowercase letters independently and with peer support.


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Set out the following items so the class can see them clearly: a piece of paper, plastic, one glass bottle, newspaper, cans, and a bin.
  • Ask your students which of these materials they have in their homes. Ask them which objects they can reuse, or use again. Ask them which objects they can recycle, or turn into another material to use again. Remind them that all of those materials can be recycled.
  • Encourage your students to share their home experiences with the materials presented. For example, they might have cans in their refrigerators.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Tell your students that they will be looking for uppercase and lowercase letters on more recyclable materials around the classroom.
  • Model how to pick up an item by looking at the letter on the outside, saying it aloud, identifying it as uppercase and lowercase, and putting it in the correct bin.
  • When you place the materials into the bins, remind them that they can recycle these items to help our Earth stay beautiful.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Choose up to three student volunteers to model how to pick up the materials.
  • Have your students each find a letter, say the letter aloud, and place it in the correct bin. For example, if the student finds a B on a bottle, have him say the letter aloud and place the object into the uppercase bin.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Once the student volunteers have modeled how to collect the letters and put them into appropriate bins, instruct the rest of the class to do the same.
  • Direct your students to walk around finding letters, saying the name of the letters as they drop them into the bins. On the Alphabet sheets, have them mark the letters they dropped into the bins with their name.
  • After the class has finished, challenge your students to take the letters out of the bins and put them in alphabetical order.



  • Enrichment: Ask your advanced students to look for recyclable materials that have words on them, such as box. Then, have them spell out the word on paper.
  • Support: Have your students find letters and say them aloud. Instead of placing the objects into the correct bins, pair your students up with partners so that they can assist each other in explaining why a letter is uppercase or lowercase.

Technology Integration

Related Books and/or Media


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Use the Alphabet Assessment sheet to stand nearby the bins and check to see if each student can correctly identify uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • You can conduct your assessment during modeling to see what letters your students may not be familiar with.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • After all the letters have been collected, ask your students to name the materials and letters they found.
  • Take some letters out of the bin, and have the person who found each letter say the letter aloud.

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