Circle time is often the most exciting time of the preschool day. It provides a chance for students to listen, learn and have fun. Children will learn new concepts and engage in educational play. It is a great moment to teach letter recognition skills. These circle time activities will help your students learn the letter L.
This suggestion involves tea lights. You can usually find these at inexpensive prices at Christmas sales. Provide each child with a tea light and demonstrate how to turn it on. Announce, “This is a light! Light begins with the letter L” Then, point to the word “light” on the board or a card. Encourage the children to repeat the word.
After each child has a working tea light, turn out the lights and sing the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” For the lyrics to the secular version click here. If you teach at a Christian preschool, try this version here.
This also provides a time to talk about the purpose of lights. Ask children what it would be like if we didn’t have any lights. Explain that plants need light to grow. You might also provide a brief history lesson on Thomas Edison and say that he invented the light bulb.
Traffic Light Activity
This activity requires flashlights and red, green and yellow cellophane paper. You can find small, key chain flashlights for a dollar a piece at Target. Turn off the lights and demonstrate how you can change the light color using colored cellophane paper. This is usually a very memorable activity, and also provides a chance to teach the children their colors.
Then provide each child with a flashlight, and colored cellophane paper. Sing “Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light.” For the lyrics, please watch this Youtube video here. Encourage the children with red cellophane paper to raise their lights (and cover with the paper) when you sing “red”. Repeat with “green” and “yellow.” For younger toddlers, you might cover the flashlights with the cellophane paper to make it easier.
This also provides an opportunity to talk about the importance of traffic lights. Ask questions such as, “What would happen if there were no traffic lights?”, and “What does a green light mean?”
Paper Bag Surprise Activity
For this idea, ill paper bags with items that begin with the letter L. Some suggestions are a lemon, leaf, light bulb, toy lion, lid, and lollipop, You can also print out pictures of things such as a lemonade stand, light house, and ladder. Provide each child with a paper bag and encourage them to open the bag (one at a time) and say the object. If possible, provide printed cards with the name of the item on it, and point out how each object begins with an L.
Ask questions about each object such as “Have you ever helped rake leaves?”, and “What colors are lemons?”
Another idea is to discuss lakes. Print off pictures of lakes before class. Or, visit your library and check out a book about lakes. Show pictures of encourage younger toddlers to repeat the word “lake”. If you have a map, point out Lake Michigan and other lakes on the map. Ask children questions such as, “Have you ever been to a lake?, and “What happens to lakes when it gets very, very cold?”
Discuss fun things to do at a lake such as fishing, boating and swimming. For older students, you might mention that nearly all lakes are fresh water. This provides an opportunity for a simple science lesson on the difference between fresh water and salt water.
Before class, print out pictures of animals that begin with the letter L. Some suggestions are lion, ladybug, leopard, lemur, lizard, lobster, llama and lynx. If possible, attach the pictures to craft sticks. Provide each child with an animal picture, and discuss each animal. Read “Facts for Kids About Ladybugs” and “Facts for Kids About Lightning Bugs” for help.
Roll the Lemon or Lime
This one might be a little tricky, but can be fun. It is best for smaller groups. Have the children sit in a circle and encourage them to roll (or pass) the lemon or lime to another student. When each student receives the lemon/lime, encourage them to say a word that begins with the letter “L”. Continue until every child has had a turn.
Preschool is not too early to learn about foreign languages. Explain to the children that many people around the world talk in different languages. If you have bilingual children, encourage them to say a few words in their second language, preferably words that begin with the letter L. Then teach them how to say “hello” in three languages. For example, “hola” (Spanish), “bonjour” (French) and “hujambo” (Swahili).
If you have a map handy, point out that Louisiana is the only state that begins with the letter L. You can also point out countries that start with L such as Liberia, Laos, Lesotho and Luxembourg. This activity can help them learn basic Geography and map reading skills.
Try to find pictures online of jobs that begin with the letter L. Some to consider are librarian, lifeguard, lawyer, locksmith, and laboratory technician. Try to share a few facts about each job. Ask children questions such as “What do you think a librarian does?”, and “Have you ever had a locksmith fix a lock at your house?”
These are just a few lesson plan ideas for teaching the letter L. For more advice, please read “Circle Time Activities for the Letter B” and “Preschool Circle Time Activities and Ideas to Do Everyday.” Also, browse “Toddler Circle Time Activities About Rain” and “15 Fun Ways to Teach the Letters of the Alphabet.” Happy Teaching!