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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL More Play Adventures More Play Adventures • Lowercase letters. If you’ve been using all capital letters, use the Mystery Word as a time to introduce lowercase letters. Just write the word in lowercase let- ters, and then write and hide a matching set of lowercase letters. • Match lowercase letters with uppercase letters. Write the Mystery Word in either uppercase or lowercase letters, and then hide the opposite type of letters. The children then have to match the uppercase letters with their lowercase part- ners, or vice versa. • Extra letters. In addition to the letters needed to build the Mystery Word, hide letters that are not part of the word. Then the kids have to figure out which ones belong and which ones do not. • Letter scatter. Instead of hiding the letters, scatter them all over the floor and let the children go on a letter hunt. Call out the letters as they are needed to build the Mystery Word, but do not provide a visual aid. This provides a great way to assess the children’s knowledge of letters in a fun, nonthreatening way. Make good observations of the children who are successful as well as those who are not. Don’t stand there with a clipboard making checkmarks, just pay atten- tion to who seems to know what. Stay in the moment with them. You can always record anything that needs recording later. • Problem solving. If you hide letters in very tricky and inconvenient places, it takes some problem solving to retrieve them. It’s fun to watch the gears turn as children work together to figure out how to get a letter that’s been taped to the ceiling. • Go magnetic. Hide magnetic letters instead, and have the children build the word on a refrigerator, metal cabinet, or magnetic marker board. • Grab some books or sing. Share books and songs that are related to the Mystery Word you’ve selected. Related Books and Songs Related Books and Songs • Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood • Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson • The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter • Max’s Words by Kate Banks • Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis • The Extinct Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta (Jerry Pallotta’s alphabet books are amazing and full of fun words for building vocabularies.) • “Here Come the ABCs” by They Might Be Giants • “ABC” by The Jackson 5 4 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL