Alphabet sorting trays

by Fellowship Agency September 5, 2017

Make the most of the objects you have in your classroom and teach the children about initial sounds. The children will enjoy moving around the learning space to find different objects that start with different sounds.

Learning outcomes

You will be able to:

  • Identify objects that start with the same initial sound

You will need (per class)

  • A selection of F1 Gratnells trays
  • Some printed letter cards – ours are from Yellow Door
  • A classroom/home full of objects safe for children to move and sort into trays

What to do:

  • Arrange your Gratnells trays on the floor or table and assign each one a letter of the alphabet.
  • In small groups or individually, choose a letter for each child or group of children and allow them to move around the room, filling their tray with objects that start with the letter that they’ve been given. You may want to place some easy to identify objects around the room for younger groups.
  • Once the trays are full, each group or individual can discuss what they’ve found with the group and other children can input any other ideas they have.

What is happening?

This activity will allow children to practice letter recognition and phonics, as well as expanding their vocabulary. Sorting activities are very good for allowing children to explore the environment around them and builds their confidence in identifying and organising items into groups, based on different characteristics. This task in particular lends itself to teamwork and encourages the children to communicate, not only among their assigned group, but also when they come back together as a whole class to discuss their findings.

Other things to try…

  • Have a selection of trickier objects to discuss as a whole class
  • Try some objects starting in the trays and the children have to articulate the name.

Health and Safety

As with all Gratnells Learning Rooms What’s In My Tray Activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any of the activities with children.