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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Letters in the Sand

Objectives: letter-sound association
Group Size: any
Prep Time: >5 minutes
Interest Level: ages 3 to 9
Ability Level: beginning

Purchase a disposable aluminum pie pans or a deep paper plates for each student. Fill these with these with approximately one-half inch of sand or salt.

Call a letter or word. Students must write letter (or letter which represents the initial or final sound) inthe substance. This is a non-competitive activity that allows students to become more proficient at correctly identifying letters without fear or failure. If students are just beginning to learn the English alphabet, this is a great activity with which to start.

As students progress, you may call words that begin or end with blends or diphthongs. Students would then need to write the blend or diphthong in the substance.

Another variation is to call words that are spelled phonetically and ask students to write the entire word in the substance. For added interest, you might give a small reward--a tiny sticker, an M & M, or a point token to be collected and redeemed for a larger prize--to each student who responds correctly.

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