Matching Letters: Puzzle Day


  • To see first name in writing
  • To name each letter in first name
  • To recognize letters, especially in names
  • To recognize that print has meaning
  • To recognize that spoken words can be written

Sentence strips, plastic or paper letters
Prepare ahead by tracing the letters of each child's first name onto a sentence strip.

Literature Suggestion
Read Anno's Alphabet by Mitsumasa Anno, or any other appealing alphabet book.


Show a familiar wood or cardboard cut-out style puzzle to children (i.e. one that requires child to place a piece on a matching cut-out spot). Demonstrate how to start a puzzle. Make sure children understand the idea of matching and placing pieces in the matching spot.


  • Tell children that they are going to complete a name puzzle.
  • Have children work at tables that have plastic or paper letters on them. Pass out the sentence strips with the children's names. Spread out the letters of children's names close to them.
  • Ask children to trace with their fingers the first letter in their names and to say the letter. Then ask them to find the matching letter and place it on the strip.
  • Repeat with the other letters in each child's name.
In small groups, have each child spell aloud the letters in his or her name.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can identify the letters in his or her first name, and can match the plastic or paper letters to the letters in his or her first name.
  • In Process - Child needs help in identifying the letters in his or her first name and in matching the plastic or paper letters to the letters in his or her first name.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet identify the letters in his or her first name, and does not yet match plastic or paper letters to the letters in his or her first name.

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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