- 50 minutes
- Standards: RF.K.1.D
Have students bring their “A” game! In this lesson, young learners must distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters in order to properly shoot balls into the right baskets.
Students will recognize and recall uppercase and lowercase letters.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Begin the lesson with an introduction to letters. With the class, discuss questions such as: Where have you seen letters in your community, at home, and in our classroom? What is different about some of the letters you have seen?
- Let students know that they'll be learning about uppercase and lowercase letters using a mix-up sheet and beach balls.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- On your chart paper, projector, or interactive white board, display the Letter Recognition Support Sheet. Show only the uppercase alphabet.
- Explain that the alphabet contains different letters that make different sounds.
- Tell students that the letters they see are uppercase letters, or letters that are used to begin a sentence or show a person, place, or thing.
- Display Mix-up Sheet #1.
- Ask for volunteers to mark uppercase letters on the display with sticky notes. Let them know that uppercase letters are also known as "big" letters.
- Once all the correct letters have been marked, remove the sticky notes and display the Letter Recognition Support Sheet once again. This time, show only the lowercase letters. Tell students that the letters they see are lowercase letters, which are smaller and can follow both uppercase and other lowercase letters in words.
- Display Mix-up Sheet #2.
- Ask for volunteers to mark lowercase letters on the display with sticky notes. Let them know that lowercase letters are also known as "little" letters.
- Once all the correct letters have been marked, remove the sticky notes.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Divide students into equal groups.
- Distribute pencils and a copy of Mix-up Sheet #1 to each group.
- Ask each student to write her name on her group's sheet.
- Organize each group into two short lines.
- For each group, place an uppercase-labeled laundry basket in front of one line and a lowercase-labeled laundry basket in front of the other. Give each group three lowercase-labeled and three uppercase-labeled beach balls.
- Ask the first student in each line to pick a beach ball. Tell her to choose a letter on the ball and ask the student behind her to identify whether that letter is uppercase or lowercase.
- Briefly explain the activity to the class. Students will need to sort uppercase and lowercase-labeled beach balls into the corresponding laundry baskets. They can use their Letter Recognition Support sheets for reference.
- Each time a student picks up a ball her group can cross off that ball's letters on their Mix-Up Sheet #1. After a student tosses a ball into the correct basket the next student in line picks up another ball.
- If a student's shot misses or lands in the incorrect basket then she needs to retrieve the ball and hand it off to the next student in line.
- Once a student has gone through one line, she will enter the other line. For example, a student who has completed her turn at the front of the uppercase line will move to the back of the lowercase line.
- Have students begin the activity. Walk around and offer guidance to students who seem to be struggling.
- After about five minutes, have the class regroup. Ask students about what letters they crossed out.
Independent Working Time (10 minutes)
- Have students continue the activity. This time, don't walk around and offer guidance.
- After 10 minutes, have the class regroup.
- Enrichment: For groups who complete the assignment early, assign the following: Write down the letters you've crossed out on the back of the sheet. Use them to form as many words as you can.
- Support: Ask struggling students to sing the ABC's with you. As you sing, point to each letter on the Letter Recognition Support Sheet.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Write down each student's name on the Letter Recognition Assessment Sheet. Over the course of the lesson, observe student responses and cross out letters that each student seems to have trouble recognizing.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Display Mix-up Sheet #1 once again.
- Ask students to share what new letters they crossed out on their sheets.
- Allow volunteers to go up to the display and mark some of the letters they crossed out with sticky notes.
- Repeat this process until every letter on the mix-up sheet is marked.