Circle time provides a chance for students to sing songs, learn new concepts and strengthen vocabulary skills. It is often the highlight of the preschool day. If is a great time to teach the letters of the alphabet. These fun ideas will help your students learn the letter S. These are best for preschoolers, but can work for both toddlers and kindergarten students.
Glow-in-the-dark stars are usually a hit among preschool students. You can find them at most craft stores, and online websites such as Amazon and Toys ‘R Us. They work best when they have been exposed to direct light recently.
Begin by holding up the star and ask, “Does anyone know what this is?” Allow the students to respond and then say, “You’re right! This is a star! Stars start with the letter S!” Point to the letter S on the board or hold up a card.
Pass out a glow star to each student. Then, turn out the lights and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” (If you need the lyrics, watch this Youtube video here.)
Then, discuss stars with the children. Ask them if they have ever seen stars at night. Print out pictures of constellations (such as the Big Dipper) and encourage them to look for them the next time they see stars at night. This is a also a chance to teach the students that the sun is a star.
A second circle time idea for the Letter S involves a ball of string. Hold it up and say, “This is string! It starts with the letter S! We are going to pass the ball around until we have a giant web of string. When you get the ball of string, say a word that begins with the letter S.”
Obviously, this works best with kindergarten students. However, preschoolers can do this with extra help. Be sure to take a picture when it is finished. It is a memorable activity.
Paper Bag Surprise Activity
Fill several paper bags before circle time. In each bag, place an object that begins with the letter S. Some suggestions are a sock, spoon, scissors, shoe, sand (in a bag), sunscreen bottle, shell and even a can of sardines. Provide each child with a paper bag, and allow each a turn to open the bag and say the object. Write each word on the board (or have printed cards ready) to help the children lean the words. You can also write the words on cards and attach them to the objects.
This one is usually a hit among toddlers. Before class, gather several different types of scents of candles. You can also make “Smell Jars” using these instructions here, or even just Scratch ‘n Sniff stickers. Explain that the word “Smell” begins with the letter S. Be sure to write it on the board, or hold up a card.
Ask the children which scent is their favorite. Then ask the children about different scents they have smelled. Ask if they have ever smelled baking cookies, pine trees, and the spray from a skunk.
Circle time is a great moment to practice counting. Print off several picture cards with a giant letter S. Then print off several with pictures of things that start with the letter S, such as snakes and sandcastles. If possible, laminate the cards and attach to craft sticks. Provide each child with a card. Then announce, “Please hold up your cards! Let’s count how many letter S’s we have!” Then repeat with snakes and sandcastles, etc.
To help the children learn their colors, try printing the letter S’s in different colors. Then say, “Raise your card if you have a red S!”, etc.
Next, talk about different jobs that begin with the letter S. Search on Yahoo for pictures of people working as a sheriff, scientist, scuba diver, sign maker, sakes person, seamstress, surgeon and secretary. Then show each picture, along with the printed word, and point to the letter S. You might also share a fact or two about what the job entails.
Print off pictures of animals that begin with the letter S such as scorpion, snake, skunk, shrimp, squirrel, sea urchin, silkworm, and salmon. Talk about the animals and ask the children if they have ever seen them. Try to share a fact or two about each animal. Read “Silkworm Facts for Kids” and “Fun Facts for Kids About Spiders.”
If you have a large map, point out the states that begin with the letter S. Also, show the countries, such as South Africa and Switzerland, that begin with the letter S. Encourage each child to repeat the name of the state or country. This helps the children learn basic Geography.
These are just a handful of ideas to teach the letter S. For more advice, please read “Preschool Crafts and Activities for the Letter S.” Also, check out “Preschool Circle Time Activities and Ideas to Do Everyday.” You might also browse “10 Circle Time Activities for the Letter B.” Happy Teaching!