Alphabet Practice and Word Building – Football Style

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It’s fall and I don’t know about you, nothing says fall more than football in my neck of the woods.  Maybe that is because it is still in the high 90s and leaves won’t change colors around here until sometime between late November and January.  So football is what I hang my hat on!  Oh yeah – and I live in Texas.  Football and Texas – enough said. Bringing an engaging theme like football into the classroom is a great way to engage kids for some hands-on learning like letter identification and word building.

Fun alphabet practice and word building activities using football themed center activities

One of the things my students practice again and again is word building. It gives them some hands-on time to play with letters and sounds. I love the versatility of this set. Students can work on the alphabet, uppercase and lowercase letter identification, and building words all with the same manipulatives.

This resource has everything you need to set up a fun and engaging word work station in your classroom. These letter cards are also perfect for small group teaching activities. The versatility comes with the myriad of activities you can do with this set. Let’s dive into some of those activities.

Using the Football Letter Cards

Here are just a few ideas on how you can use the football letter cards in your classroom or homeschooling activities.

Letter Identification

Letter identification activity students can use to match uppercase and lowercase letters

These letter cards are perfect for students to practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters. All of the uppercase letters are on the football player cards and all of the lowercase letters are on the footballs. Simply have students match the football player with his correct football for a fun matching game.

You could even turn this into a memory style game by having students turn over one large card and one small card to try to make a match.

Build the Alphabet

If your students are working on the alphabet, have them build an alphabet train. They can use the uppercase football player letters or the lowercase football letters. Then have them create the alphabet, in order, from a to z. For students that are struggling with this concept make sure to point them to your classroom alphabet that they can use as a reference tool.

Building words like "dog" and "lid" using football themed letter pieces

Building Words

There are so many ways to get students building words with these football letter cards. For a super quick and easy option, have students build words directly from the word wall. All they need are the letter cards and they can get busy.

You can also add a set of flashcards or a wordlist that gives students the words you want them to work on. These might be sight words, word family words, or spelling words. Whatever you choose these hands-on letter cards are a great way to make word building a multi-sensory activity.

Classroom Tested

So it’s one thing for me to tell you how much I love this set, but let’s see what others have said.  Here’s what some teachers who put this resource to the test in their classrooms had to say.

One Texas teacher said “Students were excited to play with the football players and footballs. They loved that it was not a traditional letter, it was a fun character that they could relate to and love!

A photo of the football themed literacy center with the quote, "I loved how simple this activity was for my little guys. Although it was simple, I was able to do at least 5 different activities with it."

Another teacher said “I loved how simple this activity was for my little guys. Although it was simple, I was able to do at least 5 different activities with it. I will put it in our ABC center and the kids can use it in any of the 5 ways we used it together.

And what does all this versatility mean for you as a teacher? Easy differentiation! Kala M. said “I like the graphics ( my boys really liked them) I also liked the diversity of them. I have some learners who know and can match up the letters, so to be able to show them how to build words with the footballs is a great option to this.

I love this resource and so do all the teachers who tested it out. The end of football season isn’t until the Super Bowl in February so you can get lots of use from this resource (or bring it back in February just in time for the big game)!

Save these Football Word Building Ideas

Save these word building ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board. Then you can quickly come back when you are looking for more word work tips and ideas.

Looking for a fun and hands-on way to practice letter identification in your kindergarten classroom this fall? With this football themed literacy center, students will be able to practice the alphabet, build words and match uppercase and lowercase letters.


  1. Becki says

    What a great resource! I know my students would love using it. I LOVE the Oklahoma State Cowboys. I spend fall Saturday's wearing my orange. My favorite pro team is probably the Green Bay Packers, but I always pull for Dallas Cowboys too. My guess of your favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. [email protected]

  2. trinh tran says

    I love the name of your site….Amen to blue jeans!
    I don't necessary have a favorite team, but I do watch it.
    I root for the Aggies since my husband is one.
    I am thinking your favorite team is Pittsburgh Steelers.
    Thanks for all your resources.
    [email protected]

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