Teaching Kindergarteners to recognize letters and identify sounds can be so difficult. When I began taking these little guys out of their classes for intervention, I found that teaching letters to striving students grew repetitive and dull quickly. To combat the boredom and build some interest and engagement, I made up some letter and sound recognition games. The next few articles will highlight all the different letter recognition activities I created. Today, I’m going to describe my “Fishing for Letters” alphabet game. I included some affiliate links in this article. If you purchase items through my links, you don’t pay extra, but I may make a small commission.
Fishing for Letters Alphabet Game
Since our students live near the water, many of them have been fishing. After thinking about it, I decided to take advantage of this prior knowledge and made us an alphabet game.
First, I created “letter fish,” printed them out on different colored cardstock, laminated the fish, cut them out, and attached adhesive button magnets to them. I bought these toy fishing poles, and I had some of these big foam interlocking puzzle pieces already on hand.
How to Play the Fishy Alphabet Game
After creating sets of “fish” for each child in my class, I made “ponds” with the blue foam floor mat pieces in different places around the room. I scattered “letter fish” in each “pond” with the letters we’ve been working on. When the kids came to intervention, I gave them one of the fishing poles, sent them to the “ponds” around the room, and called out different letters we had been working on. Then the students had to “catch” the fish with the letter I called on it. For clean-up and organization purposes, I left zip top bags by the “ponds.” Students put the fish they caught in the bags. The kids LOVE this alphabet game. The engagement I built was so worth the money I spent on this one.
Other Ways to Use the Fish
- Fun Flashcards: There are upper- and lower-case letters in this school of letter fish. You could use them for review.
- Name Fish: Give students the fish necessary to spell their names. This is a fun way to review the order of the letters in their names.
- Scavenger Hunt: Hide the letter fish around the room. Call out letters one at a time for students to find. You can differentiate between upper and lower case. As the children get better at identifying the letters, call them out by sound only. As students master remembering one letter at a time, add one or two more letters to make a short list of letters to find. This helps develop working memory.
- CVC Words: Have students make CVC words with the fish once they know their letters and sounds.
Whether you are a primary reading specialist or a classroom teacher, I hope this game adds engagement to your lessons. Check out this article on managing small groups in the lower grades here. Here is another article on ideas for teaching children the letters in their names as well.
Looking for fun activities for teaching the alphabet? Here are a few links to check out!
Alphabet Games Bundle: Here are some digital and PDF games for you to share with your students to help them learn their letters and sounds.
Alphabet Activities Bundle: These are instructional activities in digital and pdf form for your whole and small group instruction.