One of my most favorite things to teach in kindergarten is letters and letter sounds. It’s the best. I think I love it because the growth you see with kids is so quick and concrete with letters and letter sounds. I am now using letter bags to teach my toddler. I am going to show you how easy it is to teach toddlers letters and letter sounds using letter bags.
I also love it because it lays the groundwork for everything else we teach for the entire school year. If you think of it like laying bricks- teaching letters and sounds are the foundational bricks before we can really teach them anything else.
Letter Bags are my favorite thing to use when teaching letters and sounds. The kids absolutely love it and look forward to it every day. They are bags with the letter on the front. The inside of the bag is filled with objects or pictures that begin with that particular letter.
HOW TO TEACH IT
First, I introduce the letter for the week. I hold up the letter poster. We talk about the sound the letter makes. The first time I show them the letter I try to only introduce one sound. I don’t typically teach both sounds vowels make just yet unless a child has a question about it or thinks of a word that begins with the long vowel then I will touch on it.
After we talk about the letter we try to think of words that begin with the letter. I love to make circle maps. I will draw a circle on the board- or you can do it on a piece of paper- with the letter in the middle of the circle.
As they come up with words beginning with that letter draw pictures of each word in the circle. Be sure to label each picture. This will really help with beginning sounds later on. If they say a word that doesn’t begin with that letter, ask them what sound we are learning and if it’s the same sound. This is when I really emphasize each sound to make sure they can hear the difference. When we are finished, we go through each picture and say what it is- we do this several times. Pretty soon, they will be able to go through the circle map by themselves and read the words. That’s why it’s so great having the words written- it really helps them with reading.
Next, I show them the bag. I made a bag using my Silhouette but you can use a brown paper bag and write the letter on the outside- works just as well!
WHAT TO SAY
This is basically what I say when I introduce the letter bag- “This bag has pictures and items that begin with the ___ sound. We are going to play a game. I am going to describe each of these objects and you are going to guess what they are. Remember, they can only start with the ___ sound.”
For example, if I was describing an apple- I would say it is red, it’s a fruit, and it grows on a tree. If they guess a banana, I would ask them what banana starts with and if it’s the same sound.
Tip- they love holding the items as they get them right!
WHAT TO USE
You can easily use objects you have around the house to teach with letter bags. I also have included letter bag pictures in each of my toddler letter curriculums. Here’s a little more information about my toddler curriculum.
I can’t wait to hear how you like teaching with letter bags.