Lesson plan

Play With Reading

Learning and reviewing letters can be lots of fun! Students will learn and release some energy as they participate in a variety of get-up-and-go reading games.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Reading Games pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Reading Games pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify letters in a variety of real-life environments.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Read Dr. Seuss' ABC.
  • While reading, encourage students to point out letters around the room that match the letters being talked about in the book.
  • Conclude the book by singing the ABC song as a group and pointing out letters on an alphabet chart.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students if they like to play games. (Students will most likely reply with a resounding yes!)
  • Give students the opportunity to name their favorite games and the rules of these games. Guide students to focus on things like taking turns, playing fair, etc.
  • Explain that today they will get to play a variety of games involving letters. In order to succeed, they will need to use their letter knowledge!
(15 minutes)
  • Introduce students to the various game stations they will have the chance to rotate through (it is helpful to spread these out so students have ample space to play without distractions at each station). When introducing each station, have several students model playing the game so other students can see how it is played.
    • Letter/Sight Word Bingo: Play bingo, but instead of pictures in the boxes, use letters and sight words. You may use the pre-made cards listed under "Materials and Preparation" or create your own.
    • Letter Hopscotch: Play hopscotch with letters instead of numbers in each square. Have students correctly identify the letter the marker is on in order to pick it up as they hop through the course. If outside, students can use sidewalk chalk to fill out their hopscotch courses. Painter's tape can be used to bring this activity to indoor floors.
      • Giant Letter Mix-Up: Have students sort through mixtures of different letter-related items (letter stamps, letter cut-outs, magnetic letters, etc.) Depending on ability levels, students can sort into upper and lowercase letters, match up letters, or even spell out words using the items.
  • After checking in to make sure that everyone understands how to play the different games, divide students up into groups and send each group off to their first station.
(30 minutes)
  • While students are playing, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assessing student abilities in pre-reading/reading skills.
  • Having a clear rotation of centers and a clear signal to rotate can help to keep students where they need to be.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold these activities. Offering alphabet charts and other visuals can be an important aid for students in completing some of the matching activities.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, use bingo cards with more advanced sight words and use digraphs instead of single letters in the hopscotch activity.
(5 minutes)
  • Adults should take anecdotal notes on as students complete the activities. These can be used to make determinations about what students know.
  • Student accuracy in identifying letters and answering adult questions should be noted.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share out their experiences. What did they most like to do? What did they find most difficult? Were they able to follow the rules?
  • Conclude by having students listen to Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert and identifying all the letters--it might be time for a snack after all this learning through playing!

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