It was time to work on the letter “L” and as I was looking for books to read to my grands for these lessons, I found several wonderful books about libraries.
That reminded me that I needed a way to help the grands learn about the libraries that they visit all the time. (And to help Tahoe, 2, to understand that the library was not really a racetrack with conveniently placed bookshelves as obstacles to keep Mimi from catching him.)
Another goal was to familiarize or expand the grands’ vocabulary with words that begin with the “L” sound besides the word “library.” I brainstormed words that began with the letter “L” and fun activities to help them understand and remember these words.
So I planned a study unit that combined activities connected with the letter L and libraries. As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (6), Kona (4), and Tahoe (2). I try to do two intelligences each day, so this would be a four day unit.
I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan to introduce letters to the children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I created them, you can become a follower of this blog.
Linguistic (Word Smart)
Read books-I chose two books in particular to be the basis of this study: The Library Pages by Carlene Morton and Valeria Docampo and Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. Both books help teach the rules of the library, but in a really fun way. Tahoe and Kona especially loved Library Lion about a lion who tries to obey the rules in the library so he can stay for story time. (Just after I finished this unit with my grandsons, I discovered a great article about taking toddlers to the library from Growing Book By Book. Her article also includes a recommended book that works with this Study Unit. I’m going to check it out at the library!)
Discussions-As we read Library Lion and Library Pages, we discussed the way the author explained the rules of a library in the story without making an actual list of rules.
Matching Pictures with Sounds-I have the grands match “bottle cap” letters of sounds we have been learning with picture cards. (To make the picture cards, I use illustrations from the grands’ completed workbook and glue them on construction paper. I also save bottle caps from the gallon milk containers when they are empty and print letters on the bottle caps with a marker. These are great ways to reuse items I already have on hand.)
Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)
Letter crafts-I used the word “ladder” as the topic of another craft project for the grands. As Kona worked on this project, he sounded out each letter in the word “ladder” separately. He can’t put the sounds together yet, but I was happy that he was understanding that each letter had its own separate sound. I also wanted to work on Kona’s letter writing skills, so I had him trace some capital “L”s and trace the word ladder. To my surprise, two year old Tahoe also wanted to trace the letters and word on his project too.
Videos-I played several videos I found online that teach the sound of the letter “L” and had the grands repeat the sounds and words that began with the letter L during the second playing of the video for them.
Interpersonal (People Smart)
Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help the grands understand the stories I read to them. A fun activity is to have the grands pretend they are the characters in the book and act out the book with their siblings and/or adult.
Cooking-I chose “lettuce” as the main ingredient of a simple salad that the grands help to create. They helped tear the lettuce and added some of their favorite salad ingredients (such as raisins, grapes and shredded carrots) to it.
Storytime at the Library- Now that Tahoe is moving his nap time from morning to early afternoon, I was able to take him to a weekly story time at one of our local libraries. It was really crowded, but he did a great job staying with me on the rug, singing and dancing with the librarian, and responding to the stories she read to him. We didn’t stay for crafts (sooo crowded), but he enjoyed the session very much and I will make this a weekly activity for Tahoe.
Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)
Walking to the library-This will be a good activity for the grands as they get older. I walk to the one near my home all the time, but the distance is still too far for these little guys (and I don’t want to carry them).
Pantomimes- I put pictures/words that begin with the letter “L” on cards and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. Then we played a game where the grandsons picked out a card without showing me, and then pantomimed the word or picture.
Legos-The grands love playing with legos anyway. Besides designing their own creations with the legos, I had them make the letter “L” out of legos.
Lacing Cards-Lacing cards are another activity I used during our unit on the letter “L.”
Physical Education Activities–I had the grands climb ladders in the backyard playset and on the equipment at the local park.
Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)
Field trips-Visiting the local library is always a good field trip. Many libraries have outdoor areas to enjoy. On our recent visit to a local library, Tahoe enjoyed the succulent garden at the entrance to the library. This particular library also had a “Reading Garden” so we investigated that too. Of course, visiting a lake would be another great field trip since “lake” begins with the letter “L.”
Nature Letters-Making letters from natural items is always a good way to make a connection between the shape of the letter and a word that begins with the letter. So making the letter “L” out of leaves is a good activity for the naturalist intelligence.
Reading outside-It is amazing how pleasing it can be to take a library book outside and read it under a shady tree or near some fragrant roses. I used to take my class to the nearby park for an hour long reading session. We brought along blankets and beach chairs and made ourselves comfortable on the lawn by some trees. My students always thought this was a great treat!
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt-The grands always enjoy scavenger hunts, so either I give them picture cards of natural items that start with the letter “L” or we brainstorm ideas ahead of time. Then we look around the backyard or our neighborhood for these items. Some ideas for this activity are: lemons, lizards, ladybugs, leaves, lakes, and lavender plants.
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Counting activities: Since my grandsons have so many books in their home library, I used these books in their counting activities. For Tahoe, we just counted the books on one shelf until we got to twenty. (He is still forgetting a few numbers as we count together from 11-20.) I asked Kona to count all of the books. He whined, “But it’s too much!” I showed him how to put books in groups of ten to make the counting easier. He really enjoyed doing that. Of course, he got sidetracked several times because he kept wanting to stop and have me read him one of the books. Overall, he really enjoyed this activity. This is a great activity for Tigger (6) too!
Pattern blocks: I had Kona make a capital “L” with pattern blocks. Then he had to name all the shapes he used to make the letter. I had him do this several times using the different types of pattern blocks.
Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)
Personal reading – I wanted the grands to understand that they had several libraries in their own home. I had them choose two of books they enjoyed and we made a simple craft using the books’ titles that formed the letter “L.” Afterwards, Kona chose several books from the family room library to take aside to read.
Exploration Bins-Putting together a collection of items that begin with the letter “L” is always a great intrapersonal activity.
Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)
Finger plays and songs-It is easy to find songs for the letter “L” on the internet. On my own I thought about “Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and “Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli.” I found other songs I liked on this website:
Create your own fingerplays or songs- I really wanted a song about a library so I created my own using the melody from “The Wheels of the Bus.” These are my first three verses, but I’m sure you could create many others:
The library has so many books, Many books, Many books, The library has so many books, I go there every week.
And when I’m there I talk softly, Talk softly, Talk softly, And when I’m there I talk softly, I go there every week.
I really enjoy the Story Time, Story Time, Story Time, I really enjoy the Story Time, I go there every week.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope these articles are helpful when you are planning learning activities for the children in your care.