Learn About Letters Together: Sandpaper Writing (“Dd”)

  • sandpaper
  • paper
  • scissors
  • letter card “Dd”

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.
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: Sandpaper Writing (“Dd”)

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

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

Educator Prep: Cut uppercase and lowercase “Dd” shapes from sandpaper (one per child) before beginning the activity. Glue each sandpaper letter to a sheet of paper and place a star at the starting point for writing the letter.

Use the Sandpaper Writing Routine to help children begin to write the letter “Dd.”

Sandpaper Writing Routine

  • Display a large letter uppercase and lowercase letter on chart paper for children to see.
  • Place a star at the starting point for writing each letter.
  • Demonstrate tracing the letters as you instruct children to trace their sandpaper letters.
  • Think aloud as you show children the direction to move their finger as they form the letter.
  • Comment on the special features of the letter shape (curved lines, straight lines, etc.)
  • Talk with children about the likenesses and differences between the uppercase and lowercase forms.

Adaptation: For very young children, you may need to hold each child’s hand and make the “Dd” shape in the air with the child several times. Then ask him or her to do it alone.

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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