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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
There’s almost enough work around gingerbread in the kindergarten classroom that you could ignore the other distractions of December; the story of the gingerbread boy (and its many variations) make for some excellent early literacy, and having students build and decorate gingerbread houses is a great way to build problem-solving skills and start talking about 2D and 3D shapes. Giving your literacy centers a seasonal theme will keep your students engaged, and this free Christmas printable that works on gingerbread alphabet sounds does just that!
Mastering Letter Sounds For Early Literacy
Every kindergarten student needs to work hard on learning the alphabet early on in the year, and December is around the time that students should be transitioning from letter names to the letter sounds in readiness for CVC words and beyond. The ability to know that each letter has a name and a sound that it makes (or more than one sound in the case of vowels and digraphs) underpins all of their literacy work moving forward. These gingerbread alphabet sounds clip cards will help students identify the beginning sound of each word and develop the association between letters and the sounds that they make.
Preparing Gingerbread Alphabet Sounds
For this activity you will need:
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This free Christmas printable will have your students learning the alphabet in no time; simply hit print and you’ll have a full set of Christmas-themed literacy clip cards.
Extension Letter Sounds Activities
The concept behind this free Christmas printable is simple: students look at the big gingerbread letter and study the pictures on the side. They then pick the picture that has the beginning sound of the gingerbread letter. The cute designs will keep the students coming back for more practice, so to extend their understanding, try some of these activities:
Start with the pictures – instead of showing students the big gingerbread letter, start with showing them one of the smaller pictures and have them work out what each one represents. Then present them with 3 letter sound choices for them to pick from. You could also do this activity but ask them to identify the ending sounds for some of the easier words (bee, ball and car for example).
Generate word lists – there’s nothing that kindergarten students love more than a word list, and these gingerbread printables can be posted around your classroom with a blank writing sheet underneath. Students can then either brainstorm words or go on a scavenger hunt around the room to find other words that have the same beginning sound.
Create stories – a final way to generate early literacy skills is to have students extend their verbal creativity. Once they’ve completed the gingerbread alphabet sounds activity, have them pick a card and come up with a story about the three pictures. For example, if they pick the J card, they need to tell a story about a ladder, some jelly and a kangaroo. Have students share their stories with each other and having a giggle at what they come up with, and perhaps record their favorites to share with their people at home.
More Christmas Themed Centers
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Christmas Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on letters, phonics, numbers and more!
1) Build A Santa Numbers 1-10 – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
2) Christmas Bake Sale Counting Clipcards – Counting up to 20 with fine motor practice
3) Colorful Christmas Stocking Sorting – 6 color mats with 10 different toys to sort
4) Reindeer and Sleigh Number Match to 10 – Match the respective reindeer and sleigh numbered 1-10 for number recognition practice or use it for counting up to 10 by lining up the correct amount of reindeers
5) Santa Sums to 10 – Print out 2 copies of the special dice, roll and record each one, then use the mat to add them up
6) Santa Pre-writing Tracing Strips – 9 different strips included
7) Santa Rhyming Bingo – Find rhyming words for -at, -am, -ug, -ig and -ap word families on the bingo card. 4 different cards included.
8) Santa’s List Pick and Tick Letters – Prepare the letter cards and place them in a bag or sensory bin then practice letter recognition as the child ticks them off Santa’s list. Upper and lowercase letters included.
9) Christmas Gift Sight Word Tagging – Match up the sight word-labeled gifts and tags. 40 Pre-primer words included.
10) Elf Alphabet Fine Motor Letter Mats – Form the letter using playdough or other materials you choose then practice writing out the uppercase letters.
Books About Christmas That We Love:
Other Free Christmas Printables You’ll Love:
1) Christmas Printable Worksheet Pack – 50 pages of worksheets for mastering the alphabet, early math skills and more!
2) Christmas I Spy – This Christmas-themed I Spy is perfect for keeping little ones busy during the holidays.
3) Santa Land Spot the Difference – This game of visual discrimination will keep your kids busy for a while! Find the 10 differences between these 2 pictures of Santa Land.
4) Build A Number Santa – Preschool and kindergarten kids will match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus in this fun printable Christmas activity.
5) Gingerbread Number Puzzle Strips – Set of 3 differentiated gingerbread-themed number puzzles including one with dice representation.
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
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