Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

Whales, Weather, and the Letter W

The school year is almost over and I’m finishing up the alphabet during the next few weeks. Kona just turned 5 and will be starting kindergarten in a charter school in the fall. I’m sure he’ll do great, especially since this charter school uses multiple intelligences as one of its main teaching strategies! He loves to have books read to him, and enjoys “reading” the same books to himself. Since Kona could name all the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet at the start of this “pre-school” year, I geared his alphabet lessons to increasing his vocabulary, and learning the consonant sounds and short vowel sounds of the letters. He has done very well learning all the letter sounds, and I love how he already tries to “sound out” words in books. 

Tahoe, (3), will get the alphabet again next “school” year. He has picked up the name of a few letters this year, but most importantly, his vocabulary and fine motor skills have really improved this past year. He also loves to have books read to him, but what Tahoe really likes is to sing! My alphabet lessons for him next year will include a lot more music and nursery rhymes.

And Tigger (still 6), well, all I can say is Wow! He is finishing up first grade at a charter school and for the last month or so, he has been reading easy chapter books! What really pleases me is that he reads with such great expression. This is quite a difference from the beginning of first grade when he was still having difficulty with basic sight words and c-v-c blending.

So this unit study is on the letter “W” and before the middle of June, I should be able to work with the grands on X, Y, and Z. 

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in all eight intelligences to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (6), Kona (5), and Tahoe (3). I try to do two intelligences per day, so this would be at least a four day unit. I usually plan more activities than I can actually do with the grands, but I always do at least one activity from each intelligence. As you can see, many of these activities do not need a lot of materials or preparation, which is why I love using Multiple Intelligence activities with my grandsons rather than worksheets.

Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-I decided to focus on two themes for the letter W: whales and weather. These are topics I have taught to older students and always enjoyed, but I needed to adapt my lessons for the ages of my grandsons. I used these books as part of the Letter “W” unit study:

 

 

Discussions-I adapted my discussions of the books with the grands depending on the book and the concepts I was trying to reinforce. Pipaluk and the Whales was a good book for Tigger. He enjoyed looking at the pictures on each page to predict what would happen before we read it together. We also talked about the survival needs for these whales while reading the book. After reading each page of If Frogs Made Weather, I asked Kona and Tigger to summarize the type of weather each animal preferred. While reading Stormy Weather with the grands, we identified rhyming words. Elmer and the Whales was a good book for discussing sequence.  For Tahoe, besides discussing the words that began with the “W” sound in each book, we discussed the animals on each page of the stories. 

Audio books-Since I have the grands in the car for about an hour each afternoon to pick up the oldest from school, I try to find audio books from the local library to play in the car to go along with my lessons . For the letter W I was able to find these two audio books: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands (which came with a beautifully illustrated book) and Hello, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (which appealed more to Tigger).

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: I had Kona count out 23 pattern blocks and make the letter “W” from them (since “W” is the 23rd letter of the alphabet). I practiced counting to 23 with Tahoe, although he still misses a few numbers once we get past “twelve”.

MeasuringSince weather is one of our topics for the letter “W”, we discussed the rain we have had this past week. While we live in “drought country”, we actually get rain from time to time. Of course, every time we get rain, some people always wonder if the drought is over. I planned a little demonstration with some clear glass jars and units marked along the side to show them how much rain we got last year (approx. 6 inches), how much we got this year (almost 9 inches), and our average amount of rainfall in a year (about 15 inches) . No doubt about it, still need a whole lot of rain in our part of the country!

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Walk This Way- The grands and I brainstormed the many ways someone could “walk” and practiced them. Some of the ways we discussed were backwards walking, crab walks, curvy walks, slow walks, fast walks, walking on our toes, etc. Then each grand had a turn to say “Walk This Way” and chose their favorite way to walk while everyone else followed along like a parade.

Pantomimes- We practiced several “W” words that are easy to pantomime such as: walk, whisper, wall, watermelon, wind, water, worm, wave, and witch. Then each grand chose one of the “W” words to pantomime and the rest of us had to guess the word.

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Letter crafts- After reading Stormy Weather and If Frogs Made Weather, I asked the grands for the types of weather mentioned in the books. I used this information to make cut out pictures for a craft project: wind, sun, clouds, rain, snow, fog, and lightning.  The grands then glued these cut outs to a letter “W” that I also cut out of construction paper.

 

Other craft ideas– After reading Elmer and the Whales to the grands, I decided to use my new circle punches to create a craft to make the whales as colorful as Elmer. The grands loved it and Kona and Tigger loved using the circle punches to make new circles for their whales.

Videos- I am always able to find lots of short videos on the Internet that teach the sound of the letter I am teaching the grands. We also found short, educational videos on whales and weather. Additionally, I wanted to introduce the grands to weather forecasting. Besides watching weather reports live on the television, you can also find videos of weather reports. Watching these videos can be helpful, especially if you want to do some dramatic play activities (see Interpersonal ideas below). 

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips (Wildlife Sanctuary)- We live about an hour away from a wildlife rehabilitation facility that we have visited several times (now called the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge). This is a great field trip for the letter “W” to see wildlife up close and discuss how wildlife can be impacted by man. 

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt- We made a list of “W” words that could be found in nature and took a walk around our neighborhood to find as many as we could. Here is a partial list: weeds, worms, wind, wildlife, water.

    Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play- Weather Report”- After watching several weather reports, I thought it would be fun to do some dramatic play as weather reporters. You don’t have to gather props ahead of time, but if the grands think of a prop they want to use, I let them get it. 

Cooking -I consider cooking to be an interpersonal activity, because the grands still need to work with adult supervision to create the food from the recipes. (When they are older and can read recipes on their own, cooking activities will be more linguistic.) For the letter “W” I found an easy watermelon popsicle recipe, which I adapted to fit into the time frame Kona and I had that day. The basic idea is to cut up enough watermelon to make 5 cups. The cut watermelon is put in the blender with 1/2 cup sugar, pureed, and then poured into a medium sized container to be placed in the freezer for a few hours to become “slushy”. (The puree shouldn’t be frozen at this point.) Then we added a small handful of mini chocolate chips (to look like watermelon seeds)  to the watermelon slush and stirred. Lastly, Kona and I poured the concoction into the popsicle molds that I already had on hand. The next day, he got to enjoy his watermelon popsicles.

 

I adapted this recipe to make it easier for my grandsons:

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/06/watermelon-ice-pops.html

(I didn’t have time to add the lime sherbet.)  I will probably make the entire recipe with the grands again at least once this summer…maybe for the Fourth of July! 

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading– The grands love to look over the books we have previously read together on their own time.

Water PlaySince “water” begins with “W” I counted water play as an activity for this study unit. The grands have lots of bath toys to use during bath time. However, one day I gave them different sized plastic containers during their bath so they could experiment and discover the capacities of each container.

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Finger plays and songs- I used “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and the nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie” with this study unit. If you don’t already know hand motions to use with “He’s Got the Whole Word in His Hands”, there are several videos on youtube that can help you.

Create your own fingerplays or songs- We created our own lyrics to “He’s Got the Whole In His Hands” to go along with whales and weather. For example:

“He’s got the wind and the clouds, in His hands….”

“He’s got the narwhal whale, in His hands….”

 

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.

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

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:

 http://www.themeasuredmom.com/letter-q/   

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:

 http://www.monimeals.com/meals/quinoa-mac-n-cheese/

 

 

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:

http://childfun.com/index.php/alphabet/187-the-letter-q-activity-theme.html?start=4

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.

 

 

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Library Lessons and the Letter L

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!)

http://growingbookbybook.com/2013/03/04/5-tips-for-a-successful-trip-to-the-library-with-a-toddler/

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.)

 

Kona matches the letter of the beginning sound with the picture cards.

Kona matches the letter of the beginning sound with the picture cards.

 

 

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.

I loved the salad that Kona made for me from lettuce, grapes, carrots, and raisins.

I loved the salad that Kona made for me from lettuce, grapes, carrots, and raisins.

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 ActivitiesI had the grands climb ladders in the backyard playset and on the equipment at the local park. 

Tahoe climbs ladders a lot, but now as he climbs I help him hear the "L" sound in ladder. (Yes, my grands love wearing silly hats when they play.)

Tahoe climbs ladders a lot, but now as he climbs I help him hear the “L” sound in ladder. (Yes, my grands love wearing silly hats when they play.)

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!

I asked Kona to count the number of books in the family room library. He made stacks of "ten" books and had six books left over. Then he counted the stacks by tens and added the six books. The final tally: 76 books

I asked Kona to count the number of books in the family room library. He made stacks of “ten” books and had six books left over. Then he counted the stacks by tens and added the six books. The final tally: 76 books

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:

http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/songs/l.htm

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.

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Big Snow – And Teaching the Letter S

I love combining a book study unit with teaching a letter of the alphabet. We don’t get snow in the valley where we live, but even so, the grands enjoy learning about snow (and of course, snowmen). So, I developed a study unit on the book Big Snow by Jonathan Bean, and planned activities to teach the younger grands the letter S. 

Big Snow

This delightful book, published in 2013, describes the anticipation of David, a little boy, wanting to see “a big snow” in his neighborhood. I loved the way the mother in the story tried to keep him busy by helping her with chores, but unfortunately everything seems to remind David of snow. Even the dream during his nap is focused on shoveling large drifts of snow that accumulated in his home. When he awakes from his nap, his father has come home early from work, due to the snow.  The whole family dresses warmly to go out and explore all the snow that is now covering their neighborhood.

I have actually spent several weeks on this unit, mostly because the boys and I have taken turns recuperating from colds (or flu), but this would most likely be a four day unit otherwise. As always, I plan a variety of activities in each intelligence and choose the ones that best work for each grandson (Tigger 6, Kona 4, and Tahoe 2). If you use this study unit, I encourage you to use at least one activity from each intelligence.

Linguistic (Word Smart)

Reading- I have read Big Snow to each grandson several times. There is always a discussion of the pictures, new vocabulary, the sequence of events, and the letter S as I read to them.

Writing- Both Kona and Tigger love to type on my iPad, so as I read the story to each of them, they located words that begin with “S” and typed them. We read the words together afterwards. The youngest grand, Tahoe, traced the letter “S” in the air with my help.

Decoding – Tigger worked on decoding words that had s-blends (such as stop and slug) using this website:

http://www.progressivephonics.com/attachments/article/19/Int_Book_2_screen_version.pdf

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Letter crafts- (Snowman Craft)  I planned a simple craft project to use the letter “S” to make a snowman for the two younger grands. I cut out a letter S, some snowman face features, a hat, and some buttons from construction paper. I happened to have scraps of red yarn too which we used as the snowman’s scarf. First, to make the body of the snowman,  we glued the letter “S” to a piece of construction paper. Next I had the boys spread white glue to make two circles within the letter “S” and then had them sprinkle baking soda on top of the glue. After the glue and baking soda had dried, we gently shook off the excess baking soda. We decorated the snowmen with the construction pieces and yarn that I had prepare to complete the picture.(Snake Craft) I had Tahoe create a separate project as well. I cut a large letter “S” out of construction paper and had him trace it with his finger. I told him that “S” starts the word”Snake” and we made the sound a snake makes together. Then he used his dot paints and crayons to turn the “S” into a “Snake”.

Both Tahoe and Kona enjoyed making this snowman with the letter S.

Both Tahoe and Kona enjoyed making this snowman with the letter S.

Videos on Snow- I found several news videos online about the blizzard in New England (Jan. ’15) so I watched them with my older grandsons after reading the book Big Snow. (I always preview videos before showing them to my grandsons, and if necessary, we watch the videos with the audio turned off.) We discussed the similarities that we saw in the videos and the book.

Videos on Letter “S”- I also showed videos on the letter “S” to Kona and Tahoe that I found online. They are so many of these videos available and they are easy to find, so I won’t share the links we used.

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play – After reading the story several times to the grands, we reenacted  the story using dramatic play and any props that were laying around the area where we played.

Cooking – Since my grandsons are still young enough to need lots of supervision during cooking activities, I have placed this activity under Interpersonal. It could go under Logical/Mathematical (for measuring) or Linguistic (for reading directions) as well for older children. I chose two recipes to share with my readers. Since the main character in the book starts making oatmeal raisin cookies, I would use this recipe if my grandsons weren’t on a gluten free diet right now. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Oatmeal-Raisin-Cookies-I/

For a gluten free version, I planned to do this recipe: http://kitchensimplicity.com/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-raisin-cookies/

Games- “Snowball Fight” Since we didn’t have real snowballs, the grands and I used rolled up socks as snowballs.

 Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pretend Snow- Since we don’t get our own snow, we have to make “Pretend Snow” instead. I found an easy recipe at this link (although we didn’t add glitter or lavendar oil to our version.)

 http://www.raisinglifelonglearners.com/snow-dough-science/

Cleaning House- Part of the story Big Snow, includes David attempting to help his mother with household chores (changing the sheets and cleaning the bathroom) to take his mind off the snow that was coming down outside. You might not be able to do this in a classroom, (although you could pantomime these activities), but since I watch the grands in their own home, it is a wonderful activity for us. As you work together, discuss items you are using that begin with the letter “S”, such as suds, spray bottle, soap, etc.

Playing with Scooters-While I’m not sure you can ride on scooters in the snow, I remind my grandsons that “scooter” begins with the sound of “S” as they play with them. Kona and Tigger love to race each other in their scooters, while Tahoe thinks it is fun to try to balance on two scooters at the same time.

Tahoe loves trying to balance on two scooters.

Tahoe loves trying to balance on two scooters.

Winter Clothing Race- In the story Big Snow, David keeps going outside to check on the snow. Each time he leaves the house he has to put on his jacket, scarf, hat, and mittens. I designed a race for Tigger and Kona where I left pieces of their winter clothing around the great room in their house, and they had to race to collect each piece and then put them all on.

Playdough mats- I created my own playdough mat of the Letter S and a snowman for Tahoe and Kona to practice the formation of the letter S and to create their own snowmen with playdough.

 Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips– If it doesn’t snow where you live, you may be able to take a field trip to a place that does have snow so they can experience and play in the real thing. 

Nature Letters- I took the grands outside and had them make the letter “S” out of natural materials they had found in the yard.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt– I either make a list or take picture cards of some items  that we might find outside that begin with the letter “S” such as sticks, stones, sand, stars, saplings, sun, or sunshine.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: Tigger worked on a “snowflake” activity which required him to use his counting and measuring skills. He had to create a six sided snowflake with pipe cleaners, count the number of cups of boiling water I poured into a mason jar (3), add nine tablespoons of Borax to the water, and place three drops of blue food coloring in the liquid before stirring. The complete directions for this fun activity can be found here:

http://pagingfunmums.com/2015/01/23/grow-frozen-themed-snowflakes/

Measuring: One of the towns in Massachusetts had 36 inches of snow. I had Kona and Tigger measure 36 inches pieces of construction paper that were taped together and then attached the measured paper to the wall so the grands could easily visualize how much snow had fallen during the blizzard.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading– I always allow time for the grands to look over the book we are studying on their own. 

Exploration– Since we don’t get “real snow” where we live, I kept the “Pretend Snow” (explained under Bodily-Kinesthetic) in the refrigerator. The boys were able to take it out and play with it on their own. (Tahoe wouldn’t play with it though. He said it was too cold.)

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Finger plays and songs- “Frosty the Snowman”or “Susy Snowflake”  can be sung all during the winter season. The lyrics can be found online. “Five Little Snowmen” is a cute finger play and can be found at this link:

http://wiki.kcls.org/index.php/Five_Little_Snowmen

Listening to classical music-Play Vivaldi’s “Winter” from the Four Seasons Symphony while you have a snowball fight (listed under Interpersonal Intelligence). Or listen to “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker while making “Pretend Snow” (see Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence).

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I hope you are enjoying my lesson plans using Multiple Intelligence strategies, and finding some ideas that will work for the children in your care. If you are interested in seeing more of my lesson plans,  please sign up to follow my blog.

 

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Teaching the Letter R – The M. I. Way

I have been teaching a different letter of the alphabet each week to my two youngest grandsons: Kona (4) and Tahoe (2). My focus for Kona has been writing the letter and learning its sound in words. My goal for Tahoe was letter recognition and vocabulary development.

I decided to teach the vowels first, so Kona would be able to blend sounds into words once I taught him some consonants. My first few weeks covered the vowels with the “short” sound. (You can find two posts about teaching short vowels in my sidebar.)

Next I began teaching the consonants and thought I would just go in alphabetical order (mostly so I could easily remember which letters had already been taught).  That was working fine until Kona pleaded, “Mimi, when are you going to teach the letter R? It’s my favorite letter!” How could I disappoint such an eager learner? So I made lesson plans for the letter “R”  (and I had to make myself a note to return to “J” in the coming weeks).

I planned this as a four day lesson plan, doing at least two activities a day until I had taught something from each multiple intelligence. If you use this lesson plan, I encourage you to do one activity from each multiple intelligence.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

  • Read books to your child that focus on vocabulary that begins with the letter R. My grandsons’ favorite books were Round Robin by Jack Kent, and Elmer and the Rainbow by David McKee.  You can find other suggestions for the letter R at this wonderful website:

             http://www.themeasuredmom.com/letter-r-books/

  • Make a list of words that begin with the letter R as you read any book or poem to your child.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • Visit a local river for a nature hike or a picnic.
  • Form the letter “R” with natural materials such as rocks. (Or your child could just collect rocks in a bucket which is what Tahoe wanted to do.)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

  • Use the letter “R” to inspire artwork. I had Kona make a picture of a robin with the letter “R”.   Since Tahoe loved the book about the rainbow, I helped him make a rainbow out of construction paper and then he used dot paints to decorate the letter “R” to look like a rainbow (sort of).

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Make rice pudding: Cooking with my preschool-aged grands is an interpersonal activity since they need to work with an adult to follow all the directions in the recipe. I decided to make rice pudding since that is one of their favorite desserts. Here is the recipe we tried.

             http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Rice-Pudding/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

  • Play charades: Charades also requires at least two people to play. My grands are still young enough that we have to do some of the charades together. As they get older, charades will be used as a guessing game. Once you’ve chosen the words you want for charades, place the picture and/or spelling of each word on a separate piece of paper or index card. These are some of the “R” words I used for this activity: run, rabbit, robot, rain, and railroad crossing (Kona’s idea).

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Teach songs: You can find lyrics and even videos for these songs on the Internet to help you teach them:

              “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”

             “When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin’ Along”

             “Somewhere over the Rainbow”

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

  • Ring toss with cones: I made rings out of pipe cleaners and we tossed them over orange cones we already had at home.
  • Rope climbing: If you have access to a climbing rope on your swing set (we do) or at the park, this would be an activity to help a child develop upper arm strength. (Kona enjoys this very much.)
  • Ring around the Rosie: This nursery rhyme and simple dance is a very traditional child’s activity (but I won’t explain its history to the grands until they are much older). If you aren’t familiar with it, you can find it at this link:

             http://wiki.kcls.org/index.php/Ring_Around_the_Rosie

Logical-mathematical Intelligence (Number/reasoning Smart)

  • Counting/writing numbers: I had Kona paint dots on a construction paper letter “R”. Then as he counted the dots, he wrote the numbers.  You could also have preschoolers count the letters in alphabetical order until they get to “R (which is the 18th letter).
I frequently have the grandsons use dot paint to help practice writing their letter of the week. I had Kona practice writing his numbers as well by counting each dot.

I frequently have the grandsons use dot paint to help practice writing their letter of the week. I had Kona practice writing his numbers as well by counting each dot.

  • Rectangles: Make rectangles out of pipe cleaners, dry spaghetti, etc. and have the child count the sides and corners.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Give them a construction paper “R” and some art materials to decorate it anyway they want.
  • Give each child a chance to look at the “R”  books by themselves.
  • Ask each child to tell you their favorite “R” word and why it is their favorite.

 

As you can see, some of the multiple intelligence activities do not have to be involved or take a lot of preparation. Preschoolers learn so much from activities that are simple to do. 

I hope you find some ideas in this lesson plan that will work for the children in your care. If you are interested in seeing more lesson plans using multiple intelligence strategies, please sign up to follow my blog.

 

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