Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Lost & Found Letters

Ronja Ashworth
Santa Rosa District Schools


After listening to THE LETTERS ARE LOST by Lisa Campbell Ernst, the children will use objects in their own world to create a personal dictionary.


The student uses basic elements of phonetic analysis (for example, hears, segments, substitutes, and blends sounds in words).

The student uses beginning letters (onsets) and patterns (rhymes) as visual cues for decoding.


-THE LETTERS ARE LOST by Lisa Campbell Ernst. Scholastic, 1996.
-Paper (about 15 pieces per student)
-Construction paper (1 piece per student)


Gather materials. Create a book for each child by stapling approximately 15 sheets of paper together with a sheet of construction paper as the cover.


1. Gather children and read THE LETTERS ARE LOST by Lisa Campbell Ernst.
2. Have the children look around the room and find an object. Ask them what letter the word that names that object begins with.
3. Distribute materials.
4. Explain that each child should decorate the cover of his/her book and write his/her name on the front. You may wish to have them write their name, “’s”, and “Dictionary.” (Ex. Emily’s Dictionary)
5. Have the children write the letters “Aa” at the top of the first page. Explain that they will proceed through the book, writing one letter, capital and lower case, at the top of each page, in the correct order.
6. Allow the children to circulate around the room to look for “lost letters.” As each child finds an object that is meaningful to him/her, he/she can add it to his/her dictionary by finding the correct page for that beginning sound and drawing a picture then writing the word under the picture.
7. You may wish to have the children keep these dictionaries in their desks so that they can add words as the year goes on.


After each child has listed at least two words for each letter, use the grading rubric in the attached file. Give one point for each “yes” answer. After assessment, allow students to keep their dictionaries in their desks for later use.


1. The children must exhibit phonemic awareness to complete this activity. They will need to be able to say the words to themselves and use invented spelling to write the words in their dictionaries. Words do not have to be spelled correctly. However, they must be written so that you can decode the words. Some children may need to work with partners.
2. The grading rubric in the attached file may be used to assess progress as needed.

Attached Files

A rubric to be used for assessment.     File Extension: pdf

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