Today, we bring you another guest blog post from Greg Smedley. For more from Greg, be sure to check out his blog!
Howdy y’all! It’s me…Mr. Greg again! Today I want to share two letter hunt activities that are always a hit with my students at the beginning of the year. The first one is a Stamping Letter Hunt! You will need some letter stamps, ink pads, letter cards, or magnetic letters and a recording sheet. You can download a free copy of the recording sheet used in this activity at the bottom of this page!
You can place the letter cards all around the classroom, or you can place them in a pile, a box, or a bag. I provide students with a recording sheet, stamps, and a stamp pad. To make this easier for the students, the letter stamps and stamp pad can be stored together inside of a plastic pencil box. They can carry their box and paper around the room. When they discover a letter card or choose one from the pile of cards, they identify the letter and find that letter stamp and stamp the letter on their paper. They continue their letter hunt until they have found and stamped all letters.
The second activity is Letter in a Bottle! Students shake a bottle of rice (or sand!) to find letters. Once they find a letter, they color in the bubble for that letter on their paper. You can also have them write the letter on paper using pencils (or using markers to make the activity more colorful).
To make colored rice you will need rice, food coloring, rubbing alcohol, and wax paper. Put the rice, several drops of food coloring, and a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol into a plastic bag. Zip the bag closed, and shake it until all the rice is colored. Open the bag and spread the rice on wax paper to dry. Give the rice several hours (overnight is best!) to dry completely. To make the bottles, place some rice in the bottle, then add letter beads. Add more rice. Shake the bottle to mix up the rice and letters. Add more rice and letters until you’ve added ten or so letters (depending on your bottle size). Do not fill the bottle completely or there will be no room for the rice and letters to move. TIP: Glue the lid on the bottle so students cannot open the lid and spill colored rice everywhere. Trust me on this one! To make the bottles, you will need dry, empty bottles with caps, colored rice, letter beads, and a recording sheet.
Students choose a bottle. They shake their bottle until they find a letter. They identify the letter and color the letter on their recording sheet.
To make this activity more challenging, you can have students name the sound of the letter they find and provide a word that starts with that sound. They can also search for words for their letters using Letter Buddies books. More advanced students can keep a list of words starting with a certain letter, using the words in the Letter Buddies books as a starter list, then adding to it. This can be a useful writing extension or a way to differentiate for students who may have already mastered their letters!
My name is Greg Smedley-Warren and yes, I am a bit of a rockstar! I am a male kindergarten teacher! It’s true! We are a rare species, but we do exist! I have been teaching for eight years and I have taught 5th grade, 2nd grade and kindergarten. My heart is Kindergarten! I believe that every student can succeed and that it’s my job to give them the tools they need. My classroom is full of energy and fun. We are always singing, dancing, moving, and learning. If you were to appear at my classroom door you would see chaos. But it’s really organized chaos. I am famous for my love of all things glitter, all things mustaches, and silly hats! I also write a teaching blog, Smedley’s Smorgasboard of Kindergarten, which is a peek into my silly and chaotic life as a teacher!
I live in Nashville, TN (Music City USA) with my husband and our Golden Doodle, Butters!
To download the FREE letter recording sheets used in this activity, click the image below!