Play Together: “X” Marks the Spot

  • letter cards (half “X,” half other letters children have learned)
  • tape or chalk

MA Standards:

English Language Arts/Speaking and Listening/SL.PK.MA.1a Observe and use appropriate ways of interacting in a group (e.g., taking turns in talking, listening to peers, waiting to speak until another person is finished talking, asking questions and waiting for an answer, gaining the floor in appropriate ways).
English Language Arts/Foundational Skills/RF.PK.MA.1.d Recognize and name some uppercase letters of the alphabet and the lowercase letters in one’s own name.

Head Start Outcomes:

Literacy Knowledge/Alphabet Knowledge Recognizes that the letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named.
Social Emotional Development/Self-Regulation Follows simple rules, routines, and directions.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Reading and Literature 7 Develop familiarity with the forms of alphabet letters, awareness of print, and letter forms.

EEC Infant and Toddler Guidelines:

PW50. The older toddler engages in a variety of physical activities.

Play Together: “X” Marks the Spot

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

Educator Prep: Use chalk or tape to make a large “X” on the floor or rug. Make a chalk or tape starting line a few feet from the “X.”

Place the letter cards face down in a pile and draw children's attention to the pile. Tell children they are going to play a letter card game to get to the “X” spot. 

  • Explain that children will take turns pulling a card from the pile. Say, When you pull a card you will call out the name of the letter. If the letter is "X," you take one step closer to the “X” spot. 
  • Tell children that when they land right on the “X” spot, you want them to turn into a letter “X” and say I'm an extra extraordinary “X”! Demonstrate for children by raising your arms high in the air and spreading them wide apart while you also spread your legs wide apart. Have children practice before starting the game. 
  • Play until all children have landed on the “X” spot. After children have reached the “X” spot, have them continue to play and head back to the starting line.

Adaptation: For groups with very young children or children struggling with letter recognition, you may need to tell children to hold their letter high above their heads if they want the group to call out the letter name together.

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