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Letters are all around—books, posters, signs, cubby labels. When preschoolers see words they say put in writing, they become curious about letters. When they show interest, here’s one way to focus on the names, and sounds, of letters in meaningful words.
Provide children with samples of lower-case letters to copy. As they write, talk about words they know that begin with these letters. Keep the activity in context so children hear letter sounds in words that make sense to them.
Observe children as they sort and use letters. What characteristics of words or letters interests them (rhyme, names, silly words)? How can you build on that to encourage a love of reading?
To make sorting boxes: Use three recycled boxes a little larger than index cards. Choose three colors of construction paper. With Crayola® Scissors, cut the paper to cover each box. Attach with Crayola® School Glue.
To make cards: On separate index cards, print all 26 lower-case letters in the English alphabet with Crayola® Washable Markers. Ask an adult to make sure each letter is accurate.
Sort the letters by their shapes, and ask an adult to check the groups. • short letters: a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z • tall letters: b, d, f, h, k, l , t • letters with tails: g, j, p, q, y
Choose peel-off dots that match the three colors of the boxes. Put one color on the back of cards with short letters, another color for tall letters, and the third on letters with tails.
Use markers to label the boxes with short letters, tall letters, and letters with tails. Match the color or the box, the dot color, and the shape of the letter. Use symbols or letter samples to indicate what type of letter goes into each box.
To sort letters: Mix up the cards. Sort. Check that they’re in the right box by looking at the dot color on the back.
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Creating a quilt block is a great way to combine math, history, literature and art into one fun project.
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