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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
A space theme always goes down well with kindergartners. There’s something fascinating about planets, rockets and the idea of aliens somewhere out there that just captures their imagination. It’s even better when you can tie in literacy centers to your theme, and this alphabet maze pack is a great way of helping students master their lowercase and uppercase letter recognition skills while experiencing the thrills of outer space.
Building Letter Recognition
Being able to recognize all 26 letters, both uppercase and lowercase, is a key kindergarten skill as it underpins the whole reading and writing system. The science says that young children require multiple approaches to develop lowercase and uppercase letter recognition, making these letter mazes an essential part of your early literacy centers as they provide at least 10 of each letter in each maze. This repeated practice will help them identify the letters in other situations which you can then tie into the different sounds that each letter makes in different words.
Preparing Space Theme Alphabet Mazes
The beautiful design of these space theme letter mazes means that you can simply print and laminate a full set and be ready for literacy in under 10 minutes. It’s a good idea to keep the mazes at one per page to allow you to use a variety of media for students to trace the path of letters: making playdough snakes or a series of Lego astronaut figures that follow the route is a great alternative to simply tracing the line with pencils or markers.
Teaching With These Lowercase and Capital Letter Mazes
This space rocket packet can be used quickly straight from the printer – simply give an alphabet maze to your budding astronaut and have them trace through each letter maze using the theme letter. To extend this space theme literacy center, try some of these activities:
Sort the mazes – being able to recognize uppercase and lowercase versions of every letter is important; however, it’s also important for your students to be able to put the letters into their correct alphabetical orders. You can use these space theme letter mazes to promote alphabetical order by giving students a full set and having them sort the mazes into order. You can make this more challenging by giving a smaller set that requires students to skip letters mentally as they sort the mazes.
Read the other letters – each alphabet maze provides multiple practice opportunities for each letter, but you can extend these further by having students read the other letters in the maze out loud after they’ve completed the maze. You can also have students challenge each other to find particular letters on each maze.
Create their own letter maze – once your students have mastered the capital letter and lowercase letter versions of each alphabet maze, you can challenge them to create their own mazes incorporating space rockets, planets, and astronauts along the way. If you really want to up their game, you could challenge them to make mazes that incorporate their sight words or the names of other students in the classroom.