Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

Q-tips, Queen of Hearts, Quinoa and the Letter Q

on April 23, 2015
Tahoe and Kona loved painting with Q-tips as one of the activities in the Letter Q Study Unit.

Tahoe and Kona loved painting with Q-tips as one of the activities in the Letter Q Study Unit.

It has been a busy spring so far. Tahoe’s just turned three, Kona seems to have grown a foot, and Tigger is starting to read chapter books! Sometimes I wish that time could just stand still because the grands are growing up WAY TOO FAST!  Alas, I can’t stop time, so I have to remember to be “present” during all the times we have together RIGHT NOW.  One of the ways I can do that is by enjoying the many ways my grandsons learn as I engage them in fun activities that I pray will make learning so much fun for them that they will grow up to be lifelong learners.

It was time to begin the letter “Q” and I was not looking forward to it. I thought it would be a boring letter to teach, but boy was I wrong! I went to a one of the websites that always inspires me:


From there I began ordering books from the library for this unit of study. Once I pinpointed some great books to read to the grands, my imagination began to soar and I discovered or created many activities that we all really enjoyed.

So I planned a study unit that combined activities connected with the sound and formation of the letter Q. As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (6), Kona (4), and Tahoe (3). I try to do two intelligences each day, so this would be a four day unit. (Tigger goes to a charter school, so he isn’t always able to do all the activities.)

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-Every day I read the books for the study unit to the younger two grands. We discuss the title, author, illustrator, preview the book by looking at the pictures, and pick out words beginning with the letter “Q.” Tigger helps to read whenever he is able to join us.



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 did two different crafts for this unit since my grands love arts and crafts.

Since I was using the nursery rhyme about the “Queen of Hearts”, I used that as the inspiration for the capital letter “Q” project. The grands used q-tips to paint the construction paper Q and then added a crown, foam heart stickers, wiggly eyes and a drawn smile to complete the face.

For the lowercase q, I had the grands glue pieces of fabric to a construction paper “q” to look like a quilt.


Videos-I played several videos I found online that teach the sound of the letter “Q” and had the grands repeat the sounds and words that began with the letter Q during the second playing of the video. Amazingly, after playing the video twice for Kona, I discovered him singing the letter Q song while he was playing with his legos later in the day.


   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 found a recipe online for Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese. I simplified it so Kona could help make the recipe. We used pre-cooked quinoa, one and a half cups of shredded cheddar cheese (sharp), two eggs, one cup of milk, salt, and pepper. It was baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Both Kona and Tahoe gobbled it up at lunch time. Here is the original recipe that I adapted for our use:




Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pantomimes- I put pictures/words that begin with the letter “Q” 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.

Physical Education Activities– Another nursery rhyme I used with the letter Q was “Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick.” I made a “candlestick” out of a toilet paper roll, felt, and construction paper. Then I had the grands quickly jump over the candlestick several times.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Quills and Quails-I showed my grandsons a Wild Kratts episode “Quillber’s Birthday President” which explained how porcupines shed their quills. We also watched some videos together about quails.

Nature Letters or Words-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 “Q” out of stones is a good activity for the naturalist intelligence. I had Tigger spell some “Q” words using a stick to scratch out the letters in the dirt.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: Quartets, Quintets, and Quarters, Oh My! I had the grands use their toys and a quarter to show the meaning of “quartet”, “quarter,” and “quintet.” 

Kona used toys and a real quarter to match the words with their meanings.

Kona used toys and a real quarter to match the words with their meanings.

Pattern blocks: I had Kona make a capital “Q” 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 give the grands independent time to look at the books I mentioned in the Linguistic Intelligence. In fact, they love to curl up under a quilt as they read.

Favorite “Q” words – At the end of the unit, I asked the grands to tell me their favorite words that begin with the letter “q.” Kona told me his favorite “Q” words were “quintet” and “quiet.”


Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-“The Queen of Hearts Made Some Tarts” and “Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick” are two nursery rhymes that I used in this unit. We made gestures to go with the rhyme as we repeated it. Other songs created for the letter “Q” can be found online here:


Create your own finger plays or songs- I chose the melody from “Row Row, Row Your Boat” to create my own “Q” song for the grands. Here it is:

“Q, Q, Q for quail, Nesting on the ground. In the brush you’re eating seeds, and berries you have found.

Q, Q, Q for quick, You are much too fast. I can’t move at all like you, so in this race I’m last.

Q, Q, Q for quilt, Put it on your bed. You’ll be comfy underneath, ‘Night you sleepy head.”



Thanks for reading my blog. I hope these articles are helpful when you are planning learning activities for the children in your care.




4 responses to “Q-tips, Queen of Hearts, Quinoa and the Letter Q

  1. Doris Chovan says:

    Always enjoy reading about you great ideas and seeing the adorable pictures of our grandsons!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kerry says:

    Hi! Just dropping in – the Q is for Queen art turned out great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. marykprather says:

    The Quinoa Mac & Cheese looks good! You are so creative! Thanks for linking with Collage Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

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