In kindergarten we had 5 or 6 students share each day something they had brought from home. We started with the "color of the day' and students brought a picture they had colored or one they had cut from a magazine showing the appropriate color. A little later in the year we had a "letter of the day" and students would share something with that letter in the word. I would write the word on a big chart at the front of the class and students would tell me whether the "letter of the day" came at the beginning, middle or end of the word.
At first I thought this activity was for building self-esteem which it did, but I discovered I could get some learning mikeage out of it too.
What I learned: Students - even some adults, are not aware of the sounds they make in every day language. Knowing the sounds and their placement will help them in reading and spelling.