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

Alphabet "I Spy"

Objectives: to describe common objects; to increase sensory perception; to verbalize sensory detail
Group Size: 4 to 24
Prep Time: none
Playing Time: 5-15 minutes
Interest Level: ages 3 to 9
Ability Level: beginning

Select an object in the room. Think of its initial sound. Tell students, "I spy something that begins with the letter _______."

If a student has a guess, he or she should raise his or her hand and wait to be called on.

The first student to guess the correct object selects the next object. (Depending on the class, it might be appropriate to require each student to tell you what his or her object is. First, this practice helps to ensure that the student names the correct letter. Second, it keeps students from being able to "change" their object during play.)

Work with students as they guess. For instance, if a student guesses an incorrect object which starts with the same letter, comment on his or her mastery of the letter's sound. If a student guesses an object that does not start with the prescribed letter, gently point out that the initial sound of the object named is not the same as the letter stated. Ask the child if he or she can guess the letter that the object he or she named starts with. (Give hints as necessary. The goal is both to teach and to prevent any student's developing a sense of failure.)

As students become more proficient in identifying initial consonant sounds, change play to "I spy something that ends with the letter ________." to practice final consonant sounds.

Return to The EFL Playhouse Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Activities
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