Learn About Letters Together: Target Letter (“Zz”) and Word (zoom)

  • letter card “Zz”
  • word card zoom

MA Standards:

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.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

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

Learn About Letters Together: Target Letter (“Zz”) and Word (zoom)

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

ELA Focus Skills: Alphabet Awareness, Letter Recognition, Word Recognition

Tell children they are going to learn about the letter “Zz” and the word zoom. Use the “Target Letter and Word” routine to introduce children to the letter and word.

Target Letter and Word Routine

Introduce children to the target letter by showing them the letter in context of the target word zoom.

  • Hold up the target word card. Point to the letters as you say the word.
  • Talk about the meaning of the word (to go very fast). Have children generate words that have the same meaning (e.g., zip, whiz).
  • Point to the first letter of the word as you say the name of the letter aloud. Highlight the letter in a different color.
  • Cover all of the letters following the first letter on the word card. Focus children’s attention on the letter. Ask what they notice about the shape of the letter.
  • Ask, Does it have straight lines? Curved lines? Both straight and curved lines?
  • Hold up the letter card. Talk about the difference between the lowercase and uppercase letters. Have children find the letter on an alphabet chart.
  • Introduce children to the sound the letter makes. Emphasize the /z/ sound at the beginning of the target word.

Educator Tip: Guided and independent letter, sound, and word practice continues to take place in center activities. It is helpful to set up the literacy center immediately after the direct instruction and repeat instruction before children work in the literacy center identifying letters. 

Adaptation: If young children have difficulty saying the /z/ sound, show them how to form the letter with their teeth closed. Say the following words and have children repeat them: zoo, zip, zebra, zinnia.

English Language Learners: Ask English Language Learners to say the name of something in their home language begins with the same initial /z/ sound that they hear in the vocabulary word zoom. Have other children repeat the word.

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