Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I’ll be at the NAEYC Conference this week, and this is one of the activities I’ll be sharing for Common Core.  This game is so simple to make and can be adapted for any grade level or unit of study.

Skills:             RFK1d (recognize and name letters)
                        RFK3a (phonics – beginning sounds)
                        LK5a    (sort objects into categories)
Materials:       2 sheets of poster board of different colors, marker
Directions:     Cut the poster board into 4” squares.  You will need 23 squares of each color.  On one color print alphabet letters.  (Print “u & v” on the same card and “x, y, z” on another card.)  On the other color print one of the categories below:

something in the yard                        an animal
fruit or vegetable                                movie star
something in the kitchen                   body part
river, lake, or ocean                           town or city
country or state                                   a machine
type of transportation                         a food
something you wear                          an action
something in the zoo                         a plant
a toy                                                     a book
a song                                                  a noun
a famous person                                a verb
something in the school                    a game
a TV show                                           a feeling
a color                                                  an occupation
restaurant or store                              something that flies

Shuffle up each set of cards.  Draw a card from the “letter pile” and a card from the “category pile.”  Encourage the children to make the sound of the letter.  Can they think of a word in the category that begins with that sound?

*When introducing this game, simply play it as a shared group activity and do not keep score.  As children become more proficient, divide the class into teams and give points to the first team to come up with a word that fits the category.  Children may also enjoy playing this game in small groups.

*Adapt the categories to the age and ability of your students.  For example, you could use adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, prepositions, mammals, etc. for older students.