Christmas: Teaching Preschoolers the Letter C; Alphabet Recognition Activities

by Carla on December 2, 2009

Preschoolers and young children in child care centers can successfully learn to write the letter C as well as recognize objects beginning with the letter C through simple, fun activities. This activity ties in well with a Christmas lesson plan.

Learning Objectives

  • The students will identify the letter C
  • The students make and recognize the hard C sound
  • The students will learn to trace and write upper and lower case Cs
  • The students will  sort, find, and identify objects that begin with the letter C
  • The students will learn that C is for Christmas
  • The students will create a candy cane reindeer
  • The students will listen to stories about Christmas

Handwriting and Phonetics

Create a letter C poster board which shows both the upper and lower case C. On this poster board, glue pictures of objects cut from magazines or draw objects that begin with the letter C and make the hard C. Display this poster board up for the duration of the Letter C unit.

Introduce the children to the letter C, discuss the poster board, and talk about the wide variety of objects begin with the letter C. Demonstrate the hard C sound and also ask the children to make (repeat) the hard C sound. Ask students what things they can think of (objects, names, etc.) that begin with the letter C. Emphasize that C is for Christmas and discuss the meaning behind the Christmas holiday.

Have children practice tracing the letter C in both upper and lower case, using a letter C worksheet. A good example of a letter C worksheet can be found on TSL Books website.  Provide pencils or crayon and blank sheets of lined or unlined paper. Then, let students practice making the letter T in both upper and lower case.

Circle Time: Scavenger Hunt and Object Sorting

Make a scavenger hunt list with pictures of items what begin with the letter C and with the hard C sound. Hide the items within the classroom, and then go over the list with the children, explaining that all of the items that begin with the letter C and make the hard C sound. Let the children search for the items. The scavenger hunt is over when all of the items have been found.

Object sorting is great cognitive learning activity which will help children identify objects that begin with the letter C. For this cognitive learning activity, place toy or real objects which begin with the letter C and make the hard C sound in a cardboard box or other large container. Along with these items, place objects beginning with other letters of the alphabet. As each object is revealed, children will sort those objects that begin with the letter C from those that do not.

Examples of objects that begin with the letter C:  Can cookie, card, car, coat, cat, cake, camel, crayons, crown, corn, clown, cap, cup, comb, carrot, candy, clay, cow, and calf.

Arts and Crafts: Christmas Candy Cane Reindeer Ornament Craft

For this craft you will need 1 candy cane, 1 brown pipe cleaner, 2 googly eyes, 1 small black pompom, and glue for each child. Glue the eyes and nose on the candy cane. Twist the brown pipe cleaner around the top of the candy cane to secure it, bending the pipe cleaner into the shape of antlers. Trim as necessary. There you have it: a candy cane reindeer that can be hung on a Christmas tree. Discuss that C is for Candy Cane.

Story Time: Books about Christmas

Fisher Price: Baby’s First Christmas: Learning about Colors by Lauren Gaede and Lyn Fletcher [HarperFestival, 2008]

My First Story of Christmas by Tim Dowley and Roger Langton [Moody Publishers, 2004]

Merry Christmas, Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter [Warne, 2003]

Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman [Margaret K. McElderry, 2008]

Max’s Christmas by Rosemary Wells [Puffin, 2000]

These simple activities will greatly enhance language learning for children in your daycare center.  Have fun with your child care job through creative lesson planning. Be imaginative in seizing moments of opportunity to teach.

About Carla

Carla Snuggs has written 88 post in this blog.

Carla is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has a B.A. in early childhood education and a Master of Library and Information Science degree specializing in public librarianship and youth services.

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