Letter Y Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

These creative and unique activities will help your students develop greater familiarity with the appearance, sounds, and uses of the letter Y in the English language.

Letter Y Activities

Working through the alphabet can be a great way to introduce or develop literacy skills and vocabulary for students in many grades. The letter Y is relatively easy to work with, but may still present some challenges. These activities are designed to help your students practice recognizing and using the letter Y in the English language. The activities are designed for early-mid elementary school but can be easily adapted for students slightly older or younger.


Provide students with a list of words containing the letter Y. Go through the list as a class and practice saying the words so students can learn the sounds that accompany them. Next, show students how to make a basic Y with their arms by raising them over their heads. Ask students to close their eyes while you read a short story or passage. Every time students think they hear a word that contains the letter Y, they will raise their hands and make the Y shape. When you're done reading, ask students what Y words they heard and write them on the board.

You can modify this by dividing the class into small groups and asking students to write their own short passages, using 3-5 words that contain the letter Y. Students will read and listen (with eyes closed) in their small groups.

  • Materials: Short story with several Y words, vocabulary list, writing supplies

Body Spelling

Most students are familiar with the 'YMCA dance' and you can build on this with new words. Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a different list of vocabulary words that contain the letter Y. The first group will select a word on their list, and the next group will have to figure out how to spell it, and then determine how to make their bodies into each letter in that word. The rest of the groups will have to figure out the word from the 'body spelling.' The group that spelled out the word will then select the word for the next group. If you want to try and set this to a YMCA-like tune you can, but it's not necessary. Keep going around the classroom until you've made it through the entire list.

  • Materials: Vocabulary lists

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