Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Literacy
- It Begins With an A* by Stephanie Calmenson (Scholastic Inc.; $2.63) or another alphabet book
- oaktag or colored poster board
- nontoxic glue or glue sticks
- collage materials
- markers and crayons
- old magazines
Objective: Children will develop fine-motor and creative-thinking skills as they work together to decorate upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet for their classroom.
In Advance: Use oaktag or poster board to create and cut out large upper- and lowercase letters.
1 Read children an alphabet book such as It Begins With an A. Encourage them to identify the letters of the alphabet.
2 After reading the book, show children the letters you created and ask them to share what they know about the letters. Encourage children to work together to match several of the upper- and lowercase letters. Ask them to find things in the classroom that show both upper- and lowercase letters.
3 Explain to children that they will work together using a variety of art materials, to decorate the letters to hang in their classroom. Place collage materials, glue, and drawing materials on the table for the children to use and provide each child with a matching upper- and lowercase letter.
4 Display children's alphabet at eye level in the classroom. Consider placing the alphabet in an area where children can create word and picture charts under each letter. Provide children with old magazines, catalogues, and newspapers and encourage them to cut out words that begin with different letters of the alphabet. As children begin to learn letter sounds, they can cut out pictures that begin with those letter sounds.
5 Look through picture books, catalogues, and magazines with children. Invite them to locate letters found in their names.
Math: Name Graphing. During circle, write the children's and teachers' names on chart paper. Ask children to circle the first letter in their name and to count how many different letters begin their names. Invite the group to create a graph and record this information. Place the first initials horizontally at the top of the page and record the corresponding names below Count how many names appear in each letter group. Which group had the most names? Which letters had the least names? You can also count the number of letters in the children's names.