Learn About Letters Together: Letter Shape (“Uu”)

  • crayons
  • letter card “Uu”
  • markers
  • “U” photocopy for each child
  • umbrella

MA Standards:

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.
Literacy Knowledge/Early Writing: Copies, traces, or independently writes letters or words.

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: Letter Shape (“Uu”)

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

ELA Focus Skills: Fine Motor Skills, Letter Formation, Letter Recognition

Educator Prep: Draw a large umbrella on a sheet of paper and label it with the word umbrella. Be sure the upper part of the umbrella is shaped like an upside down “U.” Trace around the “U” shape in heavy black marker. On another sheet of paper, draw a large dashed “U” in the center of the page. Place a star at the top of the upper left arm of the “U” and make a photocopy for each child.

Tell children they are going to practice tracing the letter “Uu.” Hold up your large umbrella drawing. Tell children it’s an umbrella and the word begins with the letter “Uu.”

  • Distribute the dashed “U” sheets of paper. Then have children watch as you slowly turn the umbrella drawing upside down. Trace the black outline of the letter “U.” Ask, What letter shape does the upside-down umbrella look like? (“U”)
  • Identify the straight and curved lines in the letter. Trace the letter again. Then have children trace along with you using their dashed letter. Say, Put your finger on the star and follow along with me. Have children trace the letter a few more times as you circulate and offer help when needed.
  • Now have children trace the dashes with a marker or crayon to “write” the letter “Uu.”
  • Encourage children to draw an umbrella or create their own “U” picture. Once children have finished drawing their creation, ask them to make up a name for it that begins with the letter “U.” Allow them to share their creations with the group.

Adaptation: For children struggling with the fine motor skills, offer hand over hand assistance as they trace the “U.”

English Language Learners: If children are having trouble understanding what is meant by straight and curved lines, draw examples for them or guide their fingers as they draw the lines themselves. Have children trace the drawn lines with their fingers as you have them say the words straight and curved.

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.

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