K-e-n-z-i-e; K-e-n-z-i-e; K-e-n-z-i-e
and Kenzie was her name-o.
We made a visual with a 12x18 piece of construction paper folded in half. We cut the top half into equal sized rectangles to make enough for each letter in the child's name. On the top, we put a picture of a hand. Inside we put the letters in their name and a picture to go along with the sound of the letter. Then when we sang the song, we were able to point to each letter. Then we could also put a flap down and the hand print was a visual that we are to clap that sound instead of singing it. (clap-e-n-z-i-e; clap-e-n-z-i-e; clap-e-n-z-i-e and Kenzie was her name-o).
Sorting Letters- These type of activities allow your child to work with the letters as a whole and note similarities and differences. Recognizing how the letters are shaped make a huge difference in their ability to recall the letter names and even write the letters.
* Sorting Mats: You can easily make sorting mats for your child. And you can just as easily purchase them if you want. :-)
Ideas of different ways to sort letters:
In my name/not in my name.
Sticks/curves/both (this makes for a nice venn diagram)
Consonants/vowels (or makes 1 sound or 2 sounds)
Letter or number
Build a Letter- building letters are excellent ways to familiarize a child with the alphabet.
*Collages: Use block letter of upper and lower case on a piece of card stock. Prior to creating the collage you can encourage your child to trace the letter using the correct formation as well as talk about whether it has sticks, curves or both sticks and curves. Then provide material that starts with the letter sound for them to glue onto their block letter. The younger ones I allow them to glue on anywhere inside of the block letter. Older ones, I strongly encourage that they squeeze the glue on using the correct letter formation and then place their items on the glue in the correct formation. Can you see how then they are repeating the correct formation and they are going to begin to internalize it?
A is for apple- glue on foam apples or make fingerprint circles using red/yellow/green stamp pad or paint and then add a stem and leaf to each one.
B is for buttons
C is for candy or corn (or candy corn :-))
D is for dirt
E is for ears (cut out different ears from a magazine)
and so on. If you get stuck on a letter, you can use pictures. Side note: this would be considered a literacy or fine motor activity NOT art.
* Stamp a Letter: Provide block letters of the one you want to review. Let them stamp inside of the letter with a stamp that corresponds with the sound or using the upper/lower case stamp. I have a set of letter and number stamps. Actually, two of them. Both sets are from http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/.
K is for Kite.
The children traced a wooden diamond and cut out their kite. Decorated with stamps, glued to the "sky". Then they squeezed glue in a line and we laid yarn to make the string. Then they chose from a variety of colors of foam triangles to make the bows. They had the option of putting as many or as few bows as they wanted on their string. After about 5 bows, they got a bit tired...glue on small items can be frustrating!
G is for gumballs.
You may wish to use a sentence like the one above for these types of projects. They will soon learn to "read" that sentence as it's predictable! Children sorted through "gumballs", colored circles, and found the G and g gumballs and placed them on a circle piece of contact paper. Then you put another piece on top, then glue on the remaining pieces of the project and write the letters.
The letters G and g, typically need hand over hand.
I is for icecream.
Children glued a brown triangle, cone, onto their paper. I provided shaving cream and glue inside of a bowl. They chose what "flavor" icecream they wanted and I dripped a few drops of food coloring in the shaving cream mixture. They mixed away (that's all part of the fun. One wanted a solid color, one wanted to mix two colors.) When ready, they dolloped the mixture onto their paper and used the back of their spoon to move it around. Remember young preschoolers might not even get the "icecream" on top of their cone. Or they may glue their cone upside down. But it's all okay! It's "their" work. No worries! The children wrote Ii in the cone and then gave a dictation sentence.
H is for hands.
Children glued their hands onto their paper and wrote a capital H in one hand and a lowercase h in the other hand. Then I had "crazy scissors" (craft scissors) available and they trimmed around to make a "frame". We also included the "H is for hands" sentence where it fit on the paper. You could also have a fill-in-the-blank sentence such as "My hands can ________________." to spark some thinking on the children's part. I included this picture because it shows my tactile letters. These sandpaper letters came from Amazon.com. Note the dot on the bottom of the lowercase letters. They have a dot on all their lowercase cards because some of the letters look like another letter (ex. n/u) when rotated. If you are making your own letters, consider doing the same. I placed the upper and lowercase tactile letter at each space where we were working. It reinforces the letter the activity is focused around as well as gives us a referral point for when it's time to write them.
B is for bus.
This week we are doing an alphabet review. Yesterday's letters were A-F. We didn't have a lot of "take-home" paper projects for those letters. This is one of the two. This is a 9x12 piece of construction paper. They cut the simple line to make the bus, added two wheels and wrote B on one wheel and b on the other wheel. Then they chose from a selection of /b/ pictures and glued them onto their B bus. We went through them together and wrote the corresponding words, emphasizing the first letter (b). I used a different color crayon for the b in the word to make them noticeable for the children at a later date. For me it's twofold...it makes a note to the parents to "please reinforce this letter".
All the above activities were relatively easy for the children to do. Simple is the best route to go. Those extravagant projects end up being the adult's work vs. the children's! We don't want that. The children are so proud of their "work" when they are done. Be sure to display the projects you can! They'll go back to it again and again and "read" the sentences for you.