6 Free Letter Naming Activities for Small Groups


We teach so many different skills to develop young readers. Here is my list of my top teaching alphabet identification printables and favorite free resources used this year in my guided reading groups.

These have helped me focus on specific skills to teach how to read and meet student needs.

Free Letter Naming Activities for Kindergarten Small Groups

Alphabet identification in kindergarten

I use these materials with small groups of students (4-6) who are demonstrating a similar reading level and generally similar strategies and skills.

However, I will mention sometimes I pull just 1-2 students from a group to work on a piece of a skill before calling the rest of the group to come over and join us.

I don’t use these for kindergarten literacy center materials (though you could), just small group work.

My literacy centers are broader and differentiate themselves based on where students are at.

My favorite freebies

Let me start by listing some of my top alphabet identification and letter recognition free activities.

I Spy Letters Free alphabet activity

I Spy Letters – I like to give students a fun way to work on identifying letters. Once they locate a hidden letter in this I SPY workmat, then they name it and write it.

This is the alphabet version of the beginning reading strategy “What makes sense?” They use the alphabet chart and knowing the abc’s as their background knowledge/schema to draw from.

Strategy Tip: Keep an alphabet chart handy for reference so they can say their abc’s in order to find a match if they have difficulty naming it.

I Spy Letters Free Jungle Activity for Kindergarten

I Spy Jungle Letters – I love I Spy activities so much that I created another version for my class to use.

This one focuses on lowercase letters and has three different recording sheets so you can have options.

Rock Paper Scissors Alphabet War Cards for Kindergarten

Alphabet Rock Paper Scissors – This is a twist on the classic game “rock paper scissors.” Use the cards for students to identify and then compare the symbols.

This feels like a war game in the way it’s played and is handy to play with an alphabet chart nearby.

Tip! Copy these cards onto colored construction paper to create sets that are easy to keep separate so that you can have multiple games going on at once with easy clean up.

Alphabet Treasure Quest Boom Card Game for Kindergarten

Letter Name Treasure Quest – This game is a simple one. It works where students pull a letter card and identify it.

They keep it for identifying correctly as a point and there are additional cards that change up the rules for play to keep it interesting.

Everyone keeps playing until all the cards are drawn. The winner is the one with the most cards.

KindergartenWorks: Alphabet Identification - 6 Guided Reading Skill Group Materials {Free Printables}

Flashcard Flash – This is a less “exciting” activity, but my students enjoy assessing themselves or working in partners so it works for us!

We focus on one set of letters based on the order I introduce them to the class. Each set features letters that look different from each other and have distinct sounds.

Each student has their own set of cards. It’s easy to track who’s cards belong to who since each child gets their cards printed onto their own color.

They like to keep track of the number they get correctly and try to improve next time.

If they use the strategy of finding it on the alphabet chart… it goes on yellow – but they can still get points for using a strategy.

When they consider the cards they got right as “points” it becomes fun!

Here are some great free letter flashcard sets we used:

Find the letter maze bingo dauber dot maker activity sheets

Dot Maker Letter Mazes – The idea of using visual discrimination to name letters is powerful. I use a letter maze once I’ve identified the 1-2 letters that are causing the most difficulty for a student and then use it specifically with them.

They get one focus letter. They begin searching for the focus letter as they practice moving left to right and top to bottom along the letter grid.

Once they find the focus letter, they have to identify its name before stamping it. I choose lots of letters that look similar to make this a challenge.

Let’s wrap it up

I hope that you can use one or some of these alphabet identification ideas with your kinders in small groups!

Ready for more skills to work on? Here are my favorite 5 beginning sounds activities for free.

Beginning Sounds – 5 Guided Reading Activities {Printable}

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More reading in kindergarten resources


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  1. Leslie– Thank you for sharing! I especially like that you chose resources that are FREE! Excited for many more blog posts to come!

  2. Thank you I just LOVE your blog/info… I wish it was a book that I could flip easily through!! 🙂
    I am starting my 2nd year in K and looking ahead is there a set way/list of beg of the year things/skills you work on in your groups? When do you start small groups?? Also is this separate from your literacy time/stations if you do that.

    1. Hi Chelsea,

      Thanks! Normally this is where I start in addition to writing names and handwriting. Here is a tool we use for handwriting (although I start with a smaller set of letters to master) https://www.kindergartenworks.com/2012/11/breaking-handwriting-down.html and here is a list of the standards we focus on at the beginning of the year https://www.kindergartenworks.com/2011/08/binder-basics.html I normally select a few from this list that are best done in small groups and deserve to be individualized. Groups usually start around week 4 – my list to setting up centers from a few years ago is here https://www.kindergartenworks.com/2011/08/po-et-tree.html

      This is at the same time as my literacy centers – I work with small groups during that time. Congrats on going into your 2nd year in K!

      1. Thank you for your experience 🙂
        I just so happen to have already bought the handwriting book during the last big sale!! 🙂 ready for next year!
        The 2 other links you gave me are not working 🙁
        Another question:
        I am having trouble in my mind with this concept “modeling station work for expectations in the beginning” –ME: I cant get my mind around what are the rest of my class doing??? How do I do this and keep things short and sweet for their little attention spans?? Or are you doing whole group act. and slowly introducing more choices??? OR for example are they easy self-sufficient for them and introduce expectations and repeat modeling each day till they get it???

        1. Oh, silly parentheses were messing with the links. I edited them above so they should help you out a bit. I’m thinking the second will also help show you how I model, a few model and then we all practice (which will stretch a few attention spans at first) which I do pretty regimentedly at first.

          You’ll see it’s kind of like a cycle until we’ve built up one activity we can do at center independently and can “do” the center for at least a few minutes in small enough groups (and have learned anough centers to split up) as a trial run to lengthen our attention span actually doing the activity there and practice center procedures.

          I will introduce more choices (see schedule) per each center and am always reviewing expectations and modeling anything that’s needed. Everything after that almost becomes like a mini-lesson about how to do centers as needed and I use sharing time as a way to really edify what I want from students.

  3. What great ideas! Thanks so much, your ideas have been SO helpful to me as a first year PreK teacher!

    Fun in PreK-1

  4. This is SO helpful! Thank you for the resources and the thoughtful explanation of how you use each of these activities to grow better readers!

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