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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

October 01, 2005

Ladybug Letters

ladybug_letters.jpg Ladybug Letters is a beginner's ABC puzzle activity game comprised of 26 two-sided pieces. One side is an illustration of a smiling ladybug, and consists of two parts, a capital and small letter. The reverse side is a picture of a colorful word beginning with that letter. One child or a small group can play the game.

The first way to play is to scatter all the capital puzzle parts on a surface to the left and scatter all the small letters to the right. Show the children how to pick up a capital letter on the left, say the letter. "Big B", for example, and then search for its mate "small b" on the right. When a child has found a match, he/she will know it because the pieces will fit and form a ladybug together. Letters that do not correspond will not fit together. This activity continues until all the ladybugs have been assembled.

The teacher can then ask for the A-ladybug, then the B-ladybug, the C one, all the way to Z as the teacher arranges the ladybug letters in ABC order vertically upon receiving them. This will help the children in two ways: first, they will be able to find a letter visually when the teacher asks for for it; second, they will be able to think in alphabetical order as the teacher assembles the ABC ladybug letter list in a vertical progression. The group can then sing "The Alphabet Song" together as the teacher points to the letters.

On a final note, the teacher can ask the students to find the letter their first name begins with.

The second way to play the game involves scattering the pieces at random with the pictures face-up. The children can then search for the mates to the pictures and put them together while saying them. After they have all been assembled, the teacher can ask for the children to name what they have. They can touch and name the ones they know and ask the teacher to help them with the names of items they do not know. This way the children get to use the vocabulary they know and learn new vocabulary as a part of the process. The teacher can then ask each child which thing he/she likes best. The teacher can go first and point to, for example, the dog, and say, "I like dogs." Then the student to the teacher's left can repeat the same procedure, pointing to the thing he/she likes best and saying it.

The visual objects on the back of the cards are:

  • apple
  • baseball
  • cat
  • dog
  • egg
  • fish
  • goat
  • house
  • igloo
  • jack-in-the-box
  • kite
  • lion
  • monkey
  • nest
  • octopus
  • pie
  • queen
  • rabbit
  • socks
  • turtle
  • umbrella
  • violin
  • wagon
  • xylophone
  • yo-yo
  • zebra

Ladybug Letters is an ideal game for beginners as it is a good introduction to the alphabet, differentiating between capital and small letters, alphabetizing and increasing vocabulary in a visually, tactile, interesting way.

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