Thanksgiving: Teaching Preschoolers the Letter T, Alphabet Recognition Activities

by Carla on November 20, 2009

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

Learning Objectives

  • The students will identify the letter T
  • The students make and recognize the T sound
  • The students will learn to trace and write upper and lower case Ts
  • The students will identify objects that begin with the letter T
  • The students will learn that T is for Thanksgiving
  • The students will participate in Thanksgiving dramatic play
  • The students will participate in Hot Turkey

Handwriting and Phonetics

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

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

Have children practice tracing the letter T in both upper and lower case, using a letter T worksheet. A good example of a letter T worksheet can be found on First-School’s 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 T. Hide the items within the classroom, then go over the list with the children, explaining that all of the items that begin with the letter T. 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 T. For this cognitive learning activity, place toy or real objects which begin with the letter T 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 T from those that do not.

Examples of objects that begin with the letter T: Tiger, teabag, tractor, toothbrush, towel, twig, toast, tooth, tent, telephone, turtle, treasure chest, turkey, tomato, toothpaste, toad, t-shirt, and tuna.

Thanksgiving Feast: Directed and Undirected Play

In the pretend play area, set up a Thanksgiving scene. Stress that that T is for Thanksgiving, turkey, tomahawk, table, and thankful. Provide Pilgrim and Native American costumes. Also provide a table, paper or plastic plates, eating utensils, and plastic food. Discuss things to be thankful for. Prompt the children to talk about all of the delicious food they would eat at a Thanksgiving feast.

T is for Turkey: Hot Turkey Game: This game is a version of the classic “Hot Potato” game. Have the kids sit in a circle and pass a mini plastic turkey around while the music is playing. Once the music stops, the person holding the turkey is eliminated from the game but gets a small prize.

These simple activities will greatly enhance language learning for children in your daycare center.  Have fun with the child care job of lesson planning. Be creative 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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