Naming Objects


  • To recognize the sounds of some letters
  • To understand what words look like
  • To recognize words as units of print

Masking tape; labels for items in the room, such as desk, chair, window, door; children's book
Prepare the labels ahead of time.


desk chair
window book
label words

Literature Suggestion
Read I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel, or any other book with a setting like a library or schoolroom.

Ask children to attach labels to the appropriate objects, pointing out the beginning sounds. For example: "Annie, here is a word for a table. Table starts with a t. Please put this word on the table." Ask the group: What did Annie put on the table? (a label with a word) What does the word say? (table) What letter does table start with? (t) And what sound does it make? (/t/)


  • Read the book. Then open the book to a page that shows an object that begins with /t/. Ask children to identify an object that begins with that sound. If children need prompting, you may want to say, for example, T, T, T, there is a table. Repeat with other letters.
  • Introduce the game "I Spy." Tell children that you will say, I spy with my little eye a (labeled item in the room) and will ask one of them to touch the object and the word. Say, "I spy with my little eye...a door!" and ask a child to find the labeled door. When the child goes to the door, say, "Yes, Derek, that is the door. Please touch the word that says door. Notice that it starts with d and makes /d/." Continue the game, encouraging children to find the objects and touch the words on the labels.
Ask children what other items in the room they might want to label. Spell out the words as you write them and have children attach the labels.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child understands that the word on the label is the name of the object and can recognize the sounds of some letters.
  • In Process - Child acknowledges the label, but does not fully understand that it is a word that represents the name of the object.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet make the connection between the word and the object it names, and may ignore attempts to point out and explain the label.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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