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  • 26 colored craft sticks, 6 inches by 3/4 inch.
  • 18-inch felt chalkboard eraser (of course, one that’s never been used to clean boards)
  • a Sharpie marker
  • a pair of old scissors that are strong enough to cut the craft sticks

Directions to make

  • With a pair of old scissors, I cut the craft stick into two pieces making one piece is about 1/3 of the craft stick. If you cut carefully the stick will not splinter.


  • Using a fine-tipped marker, I wrote a capital letter on the long part of the stick and its matching lower case letter on the short part of the stick. Notice that I made the rounded end of the stick the top.


  • I alternated colors.
    This makes sorting easier and allows for a variety of modifications in the sorting and matching activities.



  • Sort
    Students can sort by color. They can sort by size. And they can sort by both size and color.
    Also, instead of working with all 26 letters of the alphabet, students can work with part of the alphabet, e.g., the green letter sticks.
  • Match only
    After sorting, students match capitals sticks with lower case sticks.
  • Alphabetize only
    Students can work with just capitals (or just lower case) to put them into alphabetical order
    Students can work with all 26 letters OR students can work with smaller portions of the alphabet (e.g., a -g in order, the green letters)
  • Match and alphabetize
    Students can both match the cases and alphabetize the letters (see pictures below)
  • Phonogram dictation
    Teacher dictates a phonogram. Students find the phonogram and place it in the felt eraser.
  • Build words
    Students use the letter sticks to build one-syllable CVC words

Stephany has sorted the letter sticks by size (capitals and lower case).
She is putting the letters in alphabetical order and matching the cases at the same time.