Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

We’re In Distance Learning Mode – Weeks One and Two

Welcome to my blog. For those of you new to reading my blog, let me introduce myself. I am a retired educator who babysits my grandsons several days a week. I do not use their real names when I write, so in my blog I call them Tigger, Kona, and Tahoe. In the past I have written my blogs about teaching my grands using Multiple Intelligences. When the grands were preschoolers, these lessons could be done on the days I watched them, and were meant to enhance what they would learn in a preschool setting. As the grands got older and went to public school, my study units were created to enrich what the boys were learning in their classroom. Of course, these lessons were done only if time allowed after the grands finished their homework.

This year, however, is very different. Now, with the worries about the impact of Covid-19 on our children (and the school staff), my grands are Distance Learning through their elementary school. I am supervising their learning 5 days a week, since their parents (also teachers) are working from home, but need to focus on their own students at the same time that their children are Distance Learning. I will be blogging about my experiences as a “backup teacher” for my grandsons as we all begin this Distance Learning journey. My hope is that my blog might help those of you who are also taking care of children who are Distance Learning, since this experience is new for all of us. Along the way, I hope to incorporate Multiple Intelligences when I have to review, reteach, or enrich the learning that my grandsons are receiving.

If you need more information about Multiple Intelligences, you can refer to some of my earliest blogs about each intelligence which can be found in the right side under Multiple Intelligence Overview. I also have a blog which explains techniques to use for each intelligence on this blog:

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2015/01/05/creating-a-multiple-intelligences-lesson-plan/

To prepare myself for the first week, I created a planning calendar for each day with everyone’s schedule and other reminders. I used a spiral notebook, ruler, and pencil to create five columns for each grandson, as well as their mom and dad’s schedule. I also printed all the information we had received from their teachers and put them into a notebook for reference.

Additionally, I own a large chalkboard and moved it into their den. I will use it to write each grandson’s daily schedule, and for reteaching of lessons.

Reflections on Week One and Two

This will be a steep learning curve for me for sure. All the grandsons were able to get into their Zoom classes on time and met their wonderful teachers. For the first few days, most of the Zoom time was spent with introductions, icebreakers, and going over some of the technology the students would need to access lessons and turn in work. I had to learn this information too, and sometimes I had to get help from their parents (when my son-in-law or daughter were in between classes or on a break from their own teaching). I’m sure the boys and I both will get better at the new technologies and apps as the school year continues.

Another challenge for me was to keep track of where everyone was working. All the grandsons have their own desks for their classwork in different parts of the house, to keep them separated when they are on Zoom. For the first two days, it was just a matter of walking between three bedrooms, but on the third day, Tahoe and Kona decided to work in new locations in the house. Ackkk! I guess the boys needed the chance to move around, and on the positive side, I was getting more steps logged into my pedometer app as I searched for them. (One day I had logged in 4,000 steps by Noon and hadn’t even left the house.)

Since one of the grandsons is a seventh grader, he has multiple classes, teachers, and thus Zoom meetings. This is all new for my grandson and I wanted to make sure I gave him more attention during these first few weeks. Most days he will have a “block schedule” so he has half of his periods for a longer class session. However, on Friday, he has all 7 periods within 4 and 1/2 hours with only 5 minute breaks in between which is just enough time for him to run to the bathroom before logging into his next Zoom meeting. I brought him a snack after 4th period since he had no time to get one himself and he needed the energy to get through the next three class sessions. Hopefully both Tigger and I will get used to the frantic Friday schedule during the next few weeks.

Besides helping the grandsons with their schooling, I make sure there is food on the kitchen counter so everyone can quickly grab a snack. Usually I cut up some fruit and vegetables ahead of time (like celery and apples), set out a bowl of whole wheat crackers or trail mix, take out a few yogurt sticks from the freezer, and set out their cups for drinks. At lunch time, I place sandwich fixings on the kitchen counter, or if I have time, I heat up leftovers or make something quick like quesadillas. We’ve had really hot days lately, so I’ve made smoothies for afternoon snacks.

Reteaching or Review of Concepts

While a lot of the work assigned for the first week, especially for Tigger, was to complete the diagnostic pretests in English Language Arts and Math, the younger two grandsons did have some math and science/social studies assignments to complete online. By the second week, the 3rd and 5th grader had a regular day’s worth of assignments and the 7th grader was immersed in Zoom class sessions all morning. Our rule at the house is that an adult has to check the boys’ completed practice work before it is submitted to the teacher to make sure it is complete and that the grands have understood their work. When the boys asked for help, or I saw mistakes in their work, I would reteach those concepts. Moreover, I plan to do some review of these concepts on subsequent days because the brain needs many repeats of concepts to go into the long term memory. Here are some of the topics that I reinforced with the grands for weeks one and two:

Multiplication facts: Tahoe, 3rd grade, was introduced to multiplication as repeated addition, shown arrays, patterns, and word problems. I had already written a whole blog about this when Kona was in 3rd grade so I will use some of those strategies with Tahoe. One of these is to create a hopscotch grid on the driveway and place times tables in each box. Each time the boys hop into a square, they will need to tell the product. Bonus: This can also count as their p.e. minutes for the logs they have to complete for their teachers.  Here is the blog:

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2019/01/24/teaching-multiplication-tables-with-multiple-intelligences/

 

Decimals: Kona, 5th grade, is working on ordering decimals, place value, equivalent decimals, word form and expanded form.  And he will need these concepts reviewed throughout the year as well, so here are the strategies I plan to use to reinforce these concepts for Kona:

Bodily-Kinesthetic: Kona is taking notes in pencil, and typing his answers on his worksheets already, but I also have Kona work out similar problems to the ones on his practice worksheet on the chalkboard. This way he gets extra practice in the same format that he will probably see on the test, and he is using chalk instead of a pencil which is a different bodily-kinesthetic experience.

Spatial: I have purchased a product called Decimal Squares for the grands to utilize throughout the year. I used these when I taught fourth and fifth grade, and I found them to be a great way to help students understand visually the basic decimal concepts. You can find information on this product online if you are interested. I am showing a picture of the main components of this kit, which are the decimal squares with tenths, hundredths, and thousandths cards.

 

Friendly letters:   Kona is being taught how to write a friendly letter. I want to reinforce the parts of the friendly letter and their placement in the letter. Here are some strategies:

Spatial: I will cut up a friendly letter into parts and have Kona put them in their correct location like a puzzle.

Musical: I found a cute song on Pinterest that teaches the parts of a friendly letter to the tune of “The Eensy, Weensey Spider” which I think Kona and Tahoe will enjoy. I won’t post the link here, but it is easy to find in an internet search.

Root Words: Kona will have to learn 100 Latin and Greek words this year. To help him review the roots and their definitions,  I plan to use these strategies:

Bodily Kinesthetic and Interpersonal: Outdoor Tic Tac Toe: Using sidewalk chalk, I will create a large tic tac toe grid and place the root words inside each square. To play, Kona and a brother or other relative will choose squares for their “X” or “O” and give the definition for the root word in that square. If they don’t know the definition or get it wrong, they lose their turn. (I will give Tahoe a cheat sheet to use if he plays with Kona since Tahoe is in a younger grade and hasn’t covered root words yet. Bonus: Tahoe will have some experience in these root words before he reaches 5th grade.)

Spatial: While the teacher has some virtual flash cards for the students to use, I will have Kona create spatial flash cards using index cards. On one side will be the root word and on the other side will be a picture of the definition.

Vocabulary in Science and Social Studies: All three grandsons will need to learn specialized vocabulary words so I need some Multiple Intelligence strategies for them to use for the reinforcement of these terms.

Bodily-Kinesthetic and Interpersonal: An easy way to have them review these words is to act them out. The grands can pantomime a word individually on their own or play a game of charades with their brothers or parents. They can even combine their vocabulary words into a little skit. For example, Tahoe is reading about the responsibilities of citizens and some of his vocabulary words are vote, candidate, and ballot. I will model for them how to put together a skit (by themselves or with someone else in the household) how to use all three of those words into a little performance. (I used this strategy with my fourth and fifth grade students when I worked in a the public school and it was something they enjoyed very much.)

Positive and Negative Numbers: Tigger is working on these numbers (including whole numbers, decimals, and fractions) on a number line to show the numbers’ location and using the number line to add and subtract these numbers. So these strategies might help him practice them:

Spatial: I’ll have Tigger create a sidewalk chalk numberline to help him practice the locations of the positive and negative numbers, as well as use it to practice his operations. 

Musical: I found some raps and songs that explain operations with positive and negative integers on onlinemathlearning.com and flocabulary.com.

Spelling words: All the grands have spelling words so I will give them Multiple Intelligence strategies to help them practice them. 

Spatial: They can write each word with crayons or colored pencils using blue crayons for consonants and red crayons for vowels.

Logical Mathematical: Assign a number to each letter of the alphabet and then have them spell the words with numbers. My father used this strategy with me with I was little. The letter “A” would be the number “1”, the letter “B” would be the number “2”, all the way down the alphabet to the letter “Z” which is the number “26” of course. I would place this code on a sheet of paper or on the chalkboard for reference which the grands would use to spell their words with the numbers. For example: One of Tahoe’s spelling words this week is “conflicts” so he could spell it with numbers “3-15-14-6-12-9-3-20-19” using such a code.

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So for as long as this Distance Learning mode continues, I want to blog about my journey and hope there is something within my explanations that will help other caregivers who find themselves in the same position. If there is something you found useful, or if you have struggles with Distance Learning that I haven’t addressed in this blog, please leave a comment.

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Books About Butterflies: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

Our local botanical garden has a butterfly pavilion that opens in early May. In anticipation of a field trip with my grandsons to this event, I planned a unit of study on butterflies.

After ordering several books from the local library, I created some lesson plans that I will share with you in this post.  As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (7), Kona (5), and Tahoe (who just turned 4 in the middle of this unit). I have more time with Tahoe, since his brothers go to a charter school, so he did more activities than his brothers in this unit. I had planned to spend three weeks on this unit of study, but it has been two months and we are still in the middle of this study unit because there were so many activities that I wanted to complete with them (and the books were so good, too). When using a study unit, I want the grands to complete at least one activity for each intelligence.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- I read and discussed at least one of these books to the grands each day during the study unit. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary. After those initial discussions, I  had specific reading skills I used as a focus for each book, depending on my grandsons’ individual needs. These are the books I borrowed from the library and the skills I chose for further discussion:

TravelingButterfliesTraveling Butterflies by Susumu Shingu is a great introductory book to explain the life cycle and migration of monarch butterflies. Besides the simple explanations in the book, the illustrations are gorgeous. This was an especially good book for Tahoe.

Discussion Focus: Sequencing-This was the main book I used to explain the sequence of events in the life cycle of butterflies. All the grands could tell me the sequence of events after reading this book to them several times.

 

Summer BirdsSummer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle tells the story of a seventeenth century girl who became a famous scientist, artist, and explorer. The book explains how by careful observation, Maria Merian discovered that metamorphosis was a natural process, and that insects did not spring forth “spontaneously” from mud.

Discussion Focus: Fact and Fiction-Because this book explains how Maria Merian used observation to uncover the natural process of metamorphosis, it is a good book to use to explain the difference between facts (which can be proved somehow) and fiction (which is an imagined creation).

Butterfly ParkButterfly Park by Elly MacKay is a beautiful story of a little girl who moves to a new town and brings a community together as they revitalize a butterfly park. The paper-cut illustrations are remarkable in this book!

Discussion Focus: Identifying Main Ideas Themes: Children need lots and lots of examples of the thinking process involved in identifying the main idea of a story (what the story is mostly about) and theme (the underlying message). This is a good book to use as you model how you use details in the story to uncover both the main idea and the theme. 

 

Elmer and the ButterlyElmer and Butterfly by David McKee is a cute fictional story of an elephant and a butterfly who help each other out of dangerous situations. This is a great book for preschoolers, including Tahoe, aged 4.

Discussion Focus: Story Elements-I used this book to practice identifying main characters, setting, problem, and solution with the grands. For Tahoe, (4), I modeled my thought process in identifying these story elements. Kona and Tahoe were able to identify the story elements with just a little discussion reminding them how to find the problem and solution.

 

Butterfly CountingButterfly Counting by Jerry Pallotta and Shennen Bersani  is not only a counting book (using numbers 0 to 25), but it includes information on a variety of butterflies and offers the word “butterfly” in different languages. The illustrations in this book are absolutely magnificent as well.

Discussion Focus: Finding details-With this book, I would have the grands discuss at least one detail they had learned about the butterfly on each page. The older grands were also asked afterwards if they could remember any of the foreign language words for “butterfly” from the book. (Tigger loved the word German word for butterfly: schmetterling.)

 

Butterflies and MothsWhat’s the Difference? Butterflies and Moths by Lisa M. Herrington is a terrific non-fiction book for the early grades that explains the differences between moths and butterflies.

Discussion Focus: Glossary and Sight Words-Since Tigger (7) has pretty much mastered sight words, we discussed how to use the glossary at the back of the book. We looked in the glossary to see if the words he didn’t understand could be found there. I had Kona (5) pick a a page and tell me all the sight words he knew (he knows about 50 now). For Tahoe (4) I showed him the word “butterfly” when we came across it in the book. 

 

Inside ButterfliesInside Butterflies by Hazel Davies is a book that I should just buy for the grands because there is so much information in it. This book includes information on butterfly senses, the life cycle, eating habits, defense systems, camouflage, silk, migration and several other topics. Each page unfolds with more beautiful photographs, illustrations, and facts. There is also a table of contents and glossary in this book. 

Discussion Focus: Table of Contents-There is a lot to read in this book, so I had Kona and Tigger use the Table of Contents to pick a topic to read and we just focused on that page each day.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • I used the Butterfly Counting book with Tahoe to practice his counting up to 25. (He is getting pretty good at counting objects up to 30 at the moment.) With Kona, he chose two pages and I had him add the numbers of butterflies on those pages. This way, if he needed “counters” to do the addition, he could count all the butterflies on the two pages.
  • Create math problems with butterfly themes such as: Three Monarch butterflies landed on the milkweed plants in the backyard. Each butterfly laid five eggs. How many eggs in all were placed on the milkweed plants by the butterflies?

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • “The Butterfly Cycle” song: I taught Tahoe this song about  butterflies:

“The Butterfly Cycle” sung to “The Farmer in the Dell”

The butterfly cycle, the butterfly cycle,

1-2-3-4, the butterfly cycle.

First there is an egg, first there is an egg,

1-2-3-4, first there is an egg.

Then a caterpillar, then a caterpillar,

1-2-3-4, then a caterpillar.

It makes a chrysalis, it makes a chrysalis

1-2-3-4, it makes a chrysalis.

Last a butterfly, last a butterfly,

1,2,3,4, last a butterfly.

The butterfly lays eggs, the butterfly lays eggs,

The cycle starts over again, the butterfly lays eggs.

The butterfly cycle, the butterfly cycle,

1-2-3-4, the butterfly cycle.

Other songs: The older grands enjoyed the rap song “Butterfly, Butterfly” which I found online from Harry Kindergarten Music.

Classical Music: These pieces are inspired by the butterfly: Moritz Rosenthal – Papillons and  Edvard Grieg – Schmetterling, Op. 43/1. I played these pieces for the grands as they worked on their art projects.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • I purchased a kit to so the grands could watch real caterpillars eat and grow, form a chrysalis, and transform into butterflies. We are still in the middle of this project, and the grands are so excited to check the cup where the caterpillars are growing throughout the day. Their caterpillars are nearing the pupa stage, where they will each become wrapped into a chrysalis. Update: All five caterpillars formed a chrysalis and 7 days later we had five butterflies. The grands are enjoying them for a few more days before we release them in the backyard where their mom has planted some milkweed and cosmos for these butterflies and their potential offspring.
  • Walk around your neighborhood and see if you can find butterflies. 
  • To encourage butterflies in your backyard, add plants to your garden that attract the local butterflies. I am going to have the grands plant some varieties for the Painted Ladies butterfly which are the type of butterfly that will emerge from the caterpillars I purchased in the kit.
  • Visit butterfly pavilions in your area. Often they are offered seasonally at local botanical gardens, zoos, and natural history museums. Our local botanical garden offers a butterfly pavilion from mid-May through mid-August. This is the field trip that we have yet to do, but will be the culminating activity of this study unit.

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence.

Butterfly Eggs on a Leaf: 

Tahoe completed two of these projects. For the first one, I drew a leaf on some green construction paper for Tahoe. He cut it out himself. Then I had him make small balls from PlayDough to represent the eggs that will eventually hatch and become the butterfly.

For the second leaf and egg activity, I cut out a leaf pattern from white construction paper and had Tahoe use his green dot paints. When those were dry, he glued pom poms onto the painted leaf to represent the eggs.

Caterpillar

I helped Tahoe make a caterpillar out of an 8 ” length of ribbon, a milk bottle cap, strips of construction paper, googly eyes, glue, tape, and a permanent marker. Glue was not strong enough to keep the milk bottle cap on the ribbon, so I used tape. Tahoe used glue for all the googly eyes and construction paper.

Butterfly

Since my grands love to use the circle punches I own, I use them in a lot of my craft projects. To make the butterfly, I drew the outline of a butterfly on a piece of manila construction paper. Then Tahoe was able to punch out his own circles from several different colors of construction paper and glue them inside the butterfly outline.

 

 

Videos: I also showed short videos to the grands regarding the life cycle of the butterfly.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Circle Storytelling: After the grands understand the life cycle of the butterfly, have them take turns explaining it in a story. This can be done as circle time, or around a meal. Start the story with, “One day I found some small eggs on the milkweed plants in the backyard.” Then have each child take their turn to add to the story.
  • Dramatic play: The grands often use the topics we have been discussing in their “pretend” play, or dramatic play. One day I saw two of the grands playing together and using their toy cars and pretending that they were caterpillars and  butterflies. Just watching them play together like this can tell me a lot about their understanding of this study unit.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I had the grands use their bodies to show me each stage of the butterfly. Here are some of the ways they demonstrated the life cycle of the butterfly: 

Fingerplays with songs: I also found several fingerplays and songs (incorporating the music intelligence with the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence) at this website that I use frequently to get ideas: 

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/caterpillar-and-butterfly-themed-finger-play-songs/

Exercises: I also found this idea online which uses a variety of physical exercises to demonstrate the life cycle of the butterfly:

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/4afacf34-958c-455e-bc4e-fe8e6f9ca53d/butterfly-life-cycle-lesson-plan/

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Discuss individually with each grand: What is your favorite part of the butterfly’s life cycle? Show (from our library books) or tell me which butterfly you like the best?
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

 

I have other study units for this age group. You may be interested in this one:

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2016/02/19/books-about-clouds-lesson-plans-for-ages-3-7/

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care.  If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

 

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Elf on the Shelf Book Study-Ages 3-5 Years

My daughter and son-in-law have been doing The Elf on the Shelf tradition for several years with their three boys, and my older grandsons named their elf Graham Cracker. So my youngest grandson,  3 1/2 years, is already familiar with looking for the elf’s location each morning. However, this Christmas he is ready to understand more fully The Elf on the Shelf story.

That is why I created this Multiple Intelligence Book Study just for my youngest grandson, Tahoe. I have read the book aloud to him several times, and additionally planned at least one activity for him in each intelligence. I thought I would share this with others to show how I turned this book study into an enriching educational experience for Tahoe. I used at least one activity for each intelligence, but often we did more than one.

1202150823-1~2Linguistic Intelligence/Word Smart

  • I read the book, The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, aloud to Tahoe each day of the study unit.
  • In subsequent readings, I focused on the letter “L” which was one of the letters I am currently teaching Tahoe. I gave him a letter “L” from one of his puzzles, and he easily found two letter Ls in the title of the book.
  • Since this is a rhyming book, I pointed out the rhyming words as we read the book.

Musical Intelligence/Music Smart

  • I found a video online of musical selections from Elf, the Musical, and showed them to Tahoe. 
  • I played a recording of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” which has a similar theme to The Elf on the Shelf and we sang it together.

Interpersonal Intelligence/People Smart

  • Elf-Friendly Wassail: I love to cook with the grands, so Tahoe and I made a simple recipe of wassail for our elf. This recipe made enough for Tahoe and me to have some too. Here is the recipe we followed: Put 2 cups apple cider, 1 cup orange juice, a stick of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves in a pot and stir. With adult supervision, let the mixture simmer on the stove for 20-45 minutes. Let it cool a bit so the elf doesn’t burn his tongue. Great for a cold winter night! (For older children, this could be a mathematical and linguistic activity too.)
  • Dramatic Play: With another person, I had Tahoe reenact some of the pages in the story. (For example, Tahoe would be the elf, and I would be the child looking for the elf in the house.) 
  • Hide and Seek: This is similar to the dramatic play activity, however, in this game, Tahoe got to choose where to hide, and didn’t have to rely on the book for ideas. This game could be played with his brothers and parents as well. Whoever was the elf got to wear an “elf cap” my daughter had at the house.

 

 Spatial Intelligence/Picture Smart

  • Play Dough Mat-I created a Play Dough mat by drawing the elf on white paper, adding a title, and slipping the paper into a plastic sheet protector. I thought Tahoe could use the Play Dough to create a place for the elf to hide. However, Tahoe decided he wanted to dress up the elf instead of creating a hiding place for him.  I also had him make “snakes” of Play Dough to fill in the letters “e-l-f” on the mat. 

 

  • I used geometric shapes to design an “elf” for Tahoe to put together. He cut out most of the shapes, drew a face on the elf, and glued all the parts together. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence/Body Smart

  • I found motions for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on the Internet which I used to teach Tahoe some cute moves to use as we sang the song together, but you could also create your own moves to teach the children in your care.
  • We danced to the music in Elf, the Musical.

Logical/mathematical Intelligence/Number Smart

We discussed which number was "more" and he circled that number.

We discussed which number was “more” and he circled that number.

I had Tahoe glue paper circles to each elf cap to match the number I had written under each hat.

I had Tahoe glue paper circles to each elf cap to match the number I had written under each hat.


  • I had Tahoe count the elves on each page of the book. 
  • As we worked on the art activity (see Spatial section), I had him identify the shapes we were using to make the elf.
  • Using an “elf cap” cut-out, I had Tahoe glue paper “pom poms” to each hat to match the number I had written under them. Then we discussed which cap had more “pom poms” and he circled that number.

 

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence/Self Smart

  • After Tahoe found the elf one day, I had him tell the elf his wishes.
  • I gave Tahoe the opportunity to “read” the book to himself.1202151012a-1~2

Naturalist Intelligence/Nature Smart

  • Neighborhood Walk-We took a walk in our neighborhood and looked for good places for the elf to hide in order to watch Tahoe and his brothers at play outdoors (such as inside the slide at the local playground).

 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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Kid Craft Challenge #2-Craft Stick Scarecrow

As part of the Kid Craft Challenge #2, sponsored by The Resourceful Mama, I planned a scarecrow project for my five year old and seven year old grandsons using some craft sticks and leftover ribbon (from a Halloween project).

This is how one of the finished projects looked:

1015151548-1

 

Materials Needed:

6 craft sticks

Glue (I used wood glue and glue sticks)

Leftover ribbon (fabric would work too)

Circle from construction paper

Crayons or markers

Wiggly eyes

Yellow yarn

 

Steps:

 Take the glue and six craft sticks and make the outline of a scarecrow. (I made the outline with one of the craft sticks lower than the legs in case we wanted to stick the scarecrow into the ground.) Glue the craft sticks into place and allow to dry for about 30 minutes.

 

1009151336-1-1

 

Make the scarecrow’s face out of the circles of construction paper. One grandson chose to follow the sample I made and used the yarn, wiggly eyes, ribbon, and red crayon to make the face, while the older grandson preferred to draw most of the scarecrow’s (multiple) faces.

Glue the face to the top of the scarecrow outline. Finish the scarecrow by gluing ribbon (or fabric) to the craft stick outline to make clothing for the body, arms, and legs.

Finished Scarecrows

Here are my two grandsons’ finished projects. (As you can see, one of the grandsons put heads on all the legs and arms. He told me he was making a “zombie” scarecrow.) I’m thinking both scarecrows would look cute stuck in ceramic pots with fall foliage.

I hope to contribute other crafts to the Kid Craft Challenge in the coming months.

Kid-Craft-Challenge-23

 

 

 

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Kid Craft Challenge #1-Paper Plate Spider Web

As part of the Kid Craft Challenge #1, sponsored by The Resourceful Mama, I used a paper plate to make a spider web craft that would be both a spatial and a bodily-kinesthetic activity for my three year old grandson, Tahoe. Since we sang “The Eensy, Weensy Spider” as we crafted, which is using a musical intelligence, I believe I can safely say that my grandson used three multiple intelligences in making this project. (I always try to consider Multiple Intelligences when I plan learning projects for my grandsons.)

Because Tahoe is 3 years old, I had to do some of the prep work. My older grandsons (ages 5 and 7) could probably do most of this themselves.

This is how the finished project looked, (although without the baseball clip that was used to hang the project in Tahoe’s bedroom):

Spider web craft 1

 

So here are the steps to make this craft project:

Materials Needed:

1 black paper plate (or have the child paint a paper plate with black paint)

Yellow (or light colored) yarn

Tape (like duct tape)

Wiggly eyes

Glue stick

Hole Punch

Circle Punch (optional)

 

Steps:

First I cut out a circle in the center of a paper plate. I saved the circle that was cut out from the middle for later.

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Using a hole punch, I punched holes around the plate. Later I had to punch more holes, so it is best to have double the amount of punched holes than what is pictured below.

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From the middle circle that I saved, I cut out four long strips and used a circle punch to get a smaller circle that would become the spider’s body. (You could trace a small circle from the bottom of a cup and cut it out with scissors instead of using a circle punch.) I also cut three long pieces of yarn and wrapped some duct tape around the ends to make the yarn easier to thread through the holes I had punched in the paper plate.

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To make the spider’s web I had Tahoe thread the yarn into the punched holes. He secured the ends of the yarn to the back of the plate with small pieces of duct tape.

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To make the spider, I had my grandson crisscross and duct tape the four strips of paper plate to the back of the small black circle. Then he glued some wiggly eyes onto the spider. Lastly, he taped the spider to the yarn (or web) with the duct tape.

 

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My grandson loved this project so much that I had to hang it on the wall in his bedroom right away, rather than place it on the refrigerator which is where his newly crafted projects are usually displayed. He was so proud of it!

I hope to contribute other crafts to the Kid Craft Challenge in the coming months.

Kid-Craft-Challenge-23

 

 

 

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Creating A Multiple Intelligences Lesson Plan

With the start of the new year, I know many of you are going back to planning lessons for the children in your care. Whether you’re a classroom teacher, a homeschooler, a Sunday School teacher, a caregiver, or an afterschooler, I’m sure you always try to plan lessons that will create lifelong learners among the beautiful minds that you teach.

And since I am a big advocate of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, I highly encourage anyone who writes such lesson plans to include multiple intelligence strategies to ensure that every child in your care has an opportunity to be taught to his/her strengths. If you would like to see some sample study units I have created using Multiple Intelligences, I have placed some blog links at the end of this post.

While I have created and posted several lesson plans/study units that I have used with my young grandsons over the past years, I certainly have not covered all the topics that you may be covering in your classroom or home. So this may be a good time to explain how any lesson planner can easily incorporate multiple intelligence strategies when planning and implementing a unit of study for children.

I also recognize that many of you use a curriculum that has been purchased that includes textbooks and worksheets. You do not have to abandon these resources in order to use multiple intelligences. In fact, many publishers do include multiple intelligence activities in their unit plans, although they might not be part of the “basic” lesson plan, but listed under Extension, Enrichment, or Differentiation sections of the teacher’s resource book (so you may have to look for the multiple intelligence ideas).

Think about lesson planning as though you are creating a “learning buffet” for children. While it may seem easier to just use the “basic meat and potatoes” textbook and worksheets with the children under your care,  keep in mind that many worksheets are written to engage the learner in the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (with no interesting seasonings, gravies, or sauces). So even if a child really likes to do worksheets, they may not get enough higher level thinking skills if worksheets are the “main course” for the “learning buffet” that is provided to them. I try to keep that in mind if I decide to offer worksheets to  my grandsons. (Actually my grandsons’ school and preschool give them worksheets for homework, so I prefer to whet their “learning appetites” with more savory fare anyway.) Using multiple intelligence strategies can be part of the “main course” as well, but think of these activities also as the other foods you would find at a buffet: the appetizers, salads, side dishes, and desserts. Don’t leave these off your plate…I mean lesson plans.

To make adding multiple intelligences to your lesson plans as easy as possible, I have created a handy guide and listed a variety of ideas for each intelligence. While these lists are certainly not exhaustive, they have several activities under each intelligence that I liked to use in my classroom or with my grandsons. Choose and adapt at least one activity from each intelligence to use during your unit of study. In addition, keep in mind that some activities could be categorized under several intelligences. For example, writing a reflection in a journal would be both an intrapersonal and linguistic activity. Using crayons when writing spelling words would be using both the linguistic and spatial intelligences.

While it is possible to use all eight intelligences in just one lesson, you will probably be choosing to spread out your unit of study over several days. If you happen to read any of my previous posts on study units, I usually plan them for 4-8 days, depending on the topic of course. So plan away….

Linguistic (Word Smart)

  • Read Textbooks or other Books-This includes reading aloud, reading silently, group readings, guided reading, choral reading, etc.
  • Audio Books-Listening is an important linguistic skill, so I always keep an audiobook in my car for myself and for the grands since I end up doing a lot of driving with them. Listening to audiobooks  helps children learn about expressive reading. Many textbooks have audio versions which can be very useful. I get most of my audiobooks from the library for the grands.
  • Discussions-Speaking is part of the linguistic intelligence, whether you’re discussing the pictures on the pages of the book, vocabulary, or main ideas. At the school where I worked (before retirement), all the teachers had a poster on their walls with Bloom’s Taxonomy questions that could be adapted to pretty much any reading. For more information, start with this link: http://www.bloomstaxonomy.org/Blooms%20Taxonomy%20questions.pdf
  • Bottle Caps, Letter Stamps, Magnetic Alphabet Letters, or Dry Erase Boards-I like to use hands on materials other than pencil and paper to engage my grandsons in linguistic activities.
  • Make Lists-Some ideas of lists would include: main characters, main events, words that rhyme, sight words from the story, new words in the story, questions to explore, etc.
  • Word Puzzles-I purchased some wooden word puzzles for my grandsons, but for older children crosswords and word searches are lots of fun. Find them on the Internet or create your own.
  • Writing-I think some sort of daily writing is very important, whether you write a story with the children, model how to use their new vocabulary in sentences, give the children a story starter, have them answer questions in writing, or give them time to write in a journal.

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

  • Crafts-Related art activities are always on the lesson plans I create for my grandsons.
  • Videos-There are some amazing videos that can be found on the Internet, library, or other sources to go with your curriculum. (I always preview them before showing them to students or my grandsons.) 
  • Graphic Organizers-The most common graphic organizer is the Venn Diagram, but there are so many more great ones to use. Children can use them with you during discussions or as a way to organize their thoughts. Here is a link with several samples of useful graphic organizers:           http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
  • Taking notes with Color-Both you and your students can use crayons, colored pens or pencils, markers, or highlighters when taking notes during lessons or reviewing key points. Using colored writing instruments is also a great way to practice spelling words.
  • Drawing Pictures-This isn’t just an activity for students who can’t yet express themselves in writing, but a valuable tool to help your spatial learners remember vocabulary, science concepts, and to help understand math word problems.
  • Picture Cards-Many purchased curriculums include picture cards, and you can also make your own. They have so many uses. They can be part of an exploration bin (see Intrapersonal Intelligence), used as flash cards or to create stories, hidden as part of a Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt (see Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence), or used as you read books aloud together.
  • Playdough Mats- Since I have young grandsons, I use this activity a lot. They love to play with this material anyway, plus it is useful in developing their fine motor control (so this activity could also be considered under the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence).
  • Maps, Puzzles, Tangrams, Number Lines, and Timelines-These are great spatial activities, especially for social studies and math. Some schools have painted maps, planets, and number lines on their playgrounds. So even during recess, the students are practicing their learning while they play. When I taught, we had a world map painted on our school playground. While studying explorers, I would give my students some sidewalk chalk, and they would trace the explorers’ routes on the outdoor map. If you homeschool, you may be able to use chalk to make a number line on your driveway. I used number lines a lot with my class to teach addition and subtraction of negative and positive numbers.
  • Realia-These are “actual” artifacts of the topic you are studying. For example, if you are studying the short sound of the letter “a” then you might have apples, apricots, and “toy” alligators around as part of your lesson.
  • Experiments-You don’t have to do experiments just when you are teaching a science lesson. For example, if you are reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, why not add depth to your children’s understanding of the book with some ice or weather experiments?

    Interpersonal (People Smart)

My grandsons love to cook with me.

My grandsons love to cook with me.

  • Dramatic Play-This can be as simple as letting children make up their own stories with the toys in an exploration bin, or as involved as allowing children to create their own small plays based on a topic given by the teacher. When I taught in the classroom, this was always a favorite activity with my students. Whether they were creating their own skits using their new vocabulary words, or depicting a scene from their social studies book, they always loved to form groups, rehearse, and present their skits to the rest of the class. While props and costumes aren’t necessary, my students usually begged for more time to make props and simple costumes as well.
  • Cooking-Since I am now teaching my young grandsons in their home and they need a lot of supervision to cook, this is a group activity and can involve recipes requiring a stove or oven. When I taught in the classroom, I did not have access to a stove or an oven. Since my students were in the fourth or fifth grade, they were responsible for following the steps of a simple recipe, so it was more of a linguistic and logical/mathematical activity.
  • Games-Any type of educational game that uses two or more people would fit into this intelligence. They could be as simple as guessing games like 21 Questions or an actual purchased game. I often had my fourth and fifth graders create their own board games to help review for a test.
  • Elbow Partners-If you have more than one child that you teach, you may have them work with a partner during the lesson. For example, they might be creating a project together or reviewing the lesson with each other during or after a lesson. (An “elbow” partner would be the person sitting next to you.) When I taught fourth and fifth graders, I frequently would include opportunities during the lesson for my students to turn to their elbow partner to review what I had just covered with them (meaning of the vocabulary words, steps in a math problem, main idea of a section in the social studies book).

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

When studying the letter R, Kona had to say a word with the "r" sound before he could toss a ring over a cone.

When studying the letter R, Kona had to say a word with the “r” sound before he could toss a ring over a cone.

  • Responding with Movement-During lessons in my classroom, I liked to do plenty of review and I wanted all the students to respond. So instead of having students say their answers or writing them down on paper, I would have them respond with movement. For example, I would use true or false statements to check their understanding of the content in science or social studies; I would have them jump up and down for true statements, and turn in a circle for false statements. If I was checking their understanding of prime numbers, I would have them stamp their feet if I called out a prime number, and wave their arms if I called out a composite number. There are many ways to adapt this concept to the topic of your lesson.
  • Pantomimes-I love using pantomimes with students. I used them a lot in my classroom when I taught vocabulary or steps in a math problem. It is amazing how much this helped my students remember new words and math formulas.
  • Scavenger Hunts-Help your children become more observant while getting a chance to move around by frequently using scavenger hunts. Pick a topic “looking for things around the house that have circles” or use picture cards to locate items that match what you are studying. (If you do this activity outside, you are also adding the naturalist intelligence.)
  • Learning while Exercising-When doing jumping jacks with the children, think of other ways to count besides from one to ten. I had my students practice their multiples by counting by twos, fives, even sevens while they exercised. Our physical education teacher had them count their exercises in whatever world language they were studying in the classroom. If you play games such as “Steal the Bacon” you can use vocabulary words instead of numbers and then students get to run to get the flag when they hear their definition.
  • Indoor Treasure Hunts-Hide some items of “realia” around the house or yard and give hints to help them find them. It could be as simple as saying “You’re getting warmer” or as complex as a treasure map with hidden clues.

Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • Field Trips-Leaving the confines of your classroom or home can be very motivating. You don’t have to visit a museum or fire station to consider it a “field trip”. My class loved going to a nearby park with their sketching pads or reading books. 
  • Using Natural Materials-Use items found in nature for art projects,  making the shapes of letters, or just for sensory lessons.
  • Observing Nature-Draw pictures of clouds and flowers, do bark tracings, take along magnifying glasses and binoculars to get “close and personal” with nature.
  • Outdoor Scavenger Hunt-This is similar to the Indoor Scavenger Hunt, but done outside in your backyard, neighborhood, or local park.
  • Gardening-This activity is great for science lessons (how plants grow), health (growing new foods to introduce into their diet), fine motor control (digging and weeding), math (counting petals, categorizing leaves), and even social studies (growing plants from different continents).
  • Teaching Outdoors-Just move your “classroom” outside. Use a blanket for chairs and take any lesson which doesn’t require a lot of supplies to a location on a grassy knoll or under a tree. I visited a school that had actually designated a large tree in their playground as the “Poet-tree” and had small benches underneath it. You wouldn’t have to use this space just for reading or reciting poetry, although that would definitely be a fun activity for it.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Tahoe was eager to use his pattern blocks on pre-made mats to make Nativity scenes.

Tahoe was eager to use his pattern blocks on pre-made mats to make Nativity scenes.

  • Counting Activities: For younger children, counting is always a great activity whether you are counting the pictures on the page of a book, the number of sides on an octagon, or the letters in a word.
  • Measuring:Besides measuring any artifacts (realia) that you may be using as part of your studies, you can find the measurements of animals, airplanes, distance between planets, etc. on the Internet. For example, are you studying explorers? Take a meter or yardstick outside along with some sidewalk chalk, and measure the length of the deck one of their ships. http://www.thenina.com/
  • Shape Search-Look for a particular shape in your environment or use pattern blocks to make pictures of topic related items.
  • Creating Word Problems-One of the easiest ways to incorporate this intelligence into your lesson plans would be to create word problems for the topic you are studying. For example, “The deck length of the Pinta was 85 feet, while the deck length of the Nina was 65 feet. Which ship had the longer deck length and by how much?”
  • Finding Patterns-This doesn’t just mean mathematical patterns (such as red square, green square, red square, green square, etc.) but can be related to any pattern. For example, the water cycle is a pattern, human behavior can follow a pattern, the seasons follow a pattern, and so forth…

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Allowing children an opportunity to explore with materials on their own is a great learning experience for them. Kona enjoyed playing with the nativity set by himself.

Allowing children an opportunity to explore with materials on their own is a great learning experience for them. Kona enjoyed playing with the nativity set by himself.

  • Independent Reading-Reading books, magazines, or Internet articles related to the topic you are studying is just one way children can use their intrapersonal intelligence.
  • Exploration Bins-Gather together books and artifacts (realia) related to the topic and keep them in a bin or bookshelf. Allow the children time to investigate and explore these items by themselves during their free time.
  • Computer Apps-I am always looking for good educational apps for my grands to use as part of their intrapersonal time.
  • Reflections-After a lesson or unit of study, it is very useful to have the children reflect on it. You can either ask the children what they learned and/or how they could apply it to life. This could be done orally or the children could write/draw pictures in a journal.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  •  Fingerplays and Songs-Finding fingerplays, songs, or chants that will follow the topic you are studying is a useful activity. (Most children remember the order of the alphabet by singing the “ABC Song”.)
  • Create your own Fingerplays, Songs, or Chants-If you can’t find fingerplays, songs, or chants that are related to your topic, they can be created by you or the students. I usually incorporate familiar tunes when I create my songs, but there is no reason why you couldn’t use original compositions as well. Many of my students would write the best lyrics!
  • Listening to Music/Songs-Another way to incorporate the musical intelligence is to find music that relates to your topic. For example, use Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” when you teach about the seasons or Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” when teaching astronomy.
  • Background Music-Just listening to music while you are working on some other activity can be beneficial. I’m sure you already play music while working on art projects, so why not try it during other subjects? In my classroom, students enjoyed listening to some soft Spanish guitar music while doing their math problems.  Another great time to use music is during transition time between subjects. Put on some peppy band music or dance tunes while they put away their math manipulatives or art supplies, and the rhythm of the music will make these tasks more enjoyable. (Listening to my favorite rock songs certainly invigorates me when I do housework.)

 

There are so many other ideas I could mention in this guide, but I hope you will find this post useful when creating your own units of study. In the upcoming months I will continue to post lesson plans I have created for my grandsons. My wish is that these posts will stimulate your creative juices when designing engaging lessons for the children in your care.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see how I have used Multiple Intelligences to plan study units for my grandsons, here are some samples:

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2019/01/24/teaching-multiplication-tables-with-multiple-intelligences/

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2019/04/08/the-sun-and-solar-system-multiple-intelligence-unit/

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2014/10/18/teaching-short-vowels-the-m-i-way/

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2016/05/23/in-home-day-camp-week-1-ice-cream-dreams/

If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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B is for Bethlehem – Book Study

During the Christmas season, I wanted to plan lessons using a book that would not only tell the story of the birth of Jesus, but also teach academic skills. I found such a book in B is for Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner. With beautiful illustrations and rhymes, the author gives the reader some very important details about the events surrounding His birth.

B is for Bethlehem_I created this plan as an eight day study unit. I read the book aloud to my grandsons each day, and chose one other activity from the plan, making sure by the end of the study unit my grandsons has done one activity from each intelligence.  Additionally I planned differentiated lessons based on each grandchild’s needs:

Tigger (6) would be able to read many of the words, recognize the rhymes, and would benefit from the higher level vocabulary used in the story. My goal for Tigger would be increased comprehension of the events that led up to the birth of Jesus.

Kona (4) already recognizes all the alphabet and most alphabet sounds. His literacy lessons would focus on discussing the rhyming words and being able to explain at least four details from the book.

Tahoe (2) is still learning his letters, so I would focus on the letters B (Bethlehem) and J (Jesus). He should also be able to tell me the names of the main characters when I point to their pictures.

Linguistic Intelligence/Word Smart

  • Read the book aloud to the grands each day of the study unit.
  • In subsequent readings, discuss the alphabet letters, letter sounds, familiar words, new vocabulary, characters, setting, and main events of the book depending on the readiness and literacy goals of each child (grandsons, in my case).
  • Each page has two rhyming words, so discuss and/or write down some of these rhyming pairs. Kona and I discussed the words that rhymed on each page. For Tigger I copied a few rhyming pairs on paper, and had him match them up afterwards.
  • I made picture cards of the main characters, scenes, and events from the story. I had the older grands use them to make a story map of the book.
Picture cards can be used for so many different activities. They can be used with non readers as well as emergent readers. In this picture I've shown how I helped Kona create a story map of the book.

Picture cards can be used for so many different activities. They can be used with non readers as well as emergent readers. In this picture I’ve shown how I helped Kona create a story map of the book.

Musical Intelligence/Music Smart

  • Play a recording or sing songs such as “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “The First Noel,” “What Child Is This?,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and/or “Away in the Manger.” You can find recordings or videos for most of these songs on the Internet.
  • Play a recording of “Not That Far from Bethlehem” by Point of Grace. If you don’t have a recording already, you can find videos on the Internet for this  song.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence/Body Smart

  • Create actions for “Away in a Manger” or use ones found at this website:          http://christmas.lovetoknow.com/Christmas_Songs_for_Preschool
  • Visit a Living Nativity. The one we attend each year at a local church has attendees walk to ten different scenes that explain the events of the birth of Jesus. 
  • Scavenger Hunt-Take a walk in your neighborhood for Christmas displays that show events or characters from the book. Make a list with words or use picture cards of items or characters that you would like the child(ren) to find. Ideas for this Scavenger Hunt include: baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, manger, Christmas star, shepherds, angels, and wise men. (You could also use this list if you go to a Living Nativity.)

Interpersonal Intelligence/People Smart

  • Use dramatic play to enact a journey to Bethlehem using robes, sheets, or pillowcases to improvise costumes. A baby doll can be the baby Jesus. (Use the manger idea under “Naturalist Intelligence” to make the crib for the baby.)
  • Guessing Game: Have one person call out a letter of the alphabet, and another person name something from the Christmas story that starts with that letter. (You can decide whether it has to be the exact same word from the book or if other responses are allowed. For example, the book has “A is for Augustus,” but if my grandsons answered “Angels” I would consider that a correct answer.)

 Spatial Intelligence/Picture Smart

Tahoe was eager to use his pattern blocks on pre-made mats to make Nativity scenes.

Tahoe was eager to use his pattern blocks on pre-made mats to make Nativity scenes.

  • I gave the grands some pattern blocks to make pictures of Nativity scenes. I used the Nativity pattern block mats I found on this wonderful website: http://thisreadingmama.com/nativity-pattern-block-mats/
  • The Letter “J” project-It just so happened that “J” was our alphabet letter of the week, so we created a picture of the baby Jesus laying in a manger made by the hook of the “J”.
  • Christmas Star project-The book has such gorgeous illustrations and I wanted the older grandsons to notice them. Since the Christmas star appeared on many pages of the book, I designed a project for Kona and Tigger that would look similar to the one in the book.

Logical/mathematical Intelligence/Number Smart

  • I had Tahoe count the images on each page. For example, he counted all the people in the “C is for Crowds” page and the angels on the “H is for Heavenly Host” page. 
  • Using a “child friendly” nativity set as manipulatives, I created story problems for Kona and Tahoe such as, “If two shepherds and three wise men came to see the baby Jesus, how many people visited Him in all?”

Naturalist Intelligence/Nature Smart

  • Find natural items, such as twigs or straw, to make a manger.
  • Gaze at the night sky to find the brightest star you can see. Do you think any of them are bright enough to be the Christmas star? (If you want to go into depth on this topic, there are many articles on the Internet that speculate about the origins of the Christmas star.)

 Intrapersonal Intelligence/Self Smart

  • Let each child engage with a “toddler friendly” nativity set. If you listen to the child while he/she plays, you can get a good sense of their understanding of the events regarding the birth of Jesus. (I loved watching one of my older grandsons play with the set. He was very concerned that the baby Jesus have enough food. Bless. The youngest grand, Tahoe, focused on playing the music that went with the manger. Obviously he is learning a lot using his musical intelligence.)

    Kona enjoyed playing with the nativity set by himself.

    Kona enjoyed playing with the nativity set by himself.

  • Ask each child their favorite letter, picture, or event from the story.
  • Allow each child an opportunity to look at the book by themselves.
Kona loved the illustrations.

Kona loved the illustrations.

 While this book was first written for second graders, and my grandsons are all younger than that, they got a lot out of this book study. This is a book I can use for many years with them and change my literacy goals for them as they mature.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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T is for Turkey – Book Study Unit

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This week I planned a multiple intelligence study unit for the book, T is for Turkey by Tanya Lee Stone. Not only is this a fun alphabet book with adorable pictures, it contains lots of good information about the Thanksgiving holiday. (I learned some new information too.)

As I planned this study unit, I kept the needs of my grandsons in mind.

  • Tigger, 6, already had some knowledge of Thanksgiving, so I wanted to build on this. He would most likely be able to read or decode several words on each page, so I would probably have him read several of the pages with me on the second or third read throughs. Tigger would also benefit from recognizing rhyming words in the story. Additionally, I wanted him to memorize the date in the story.
  • Kona, 4, knows short vowels and most consonants, so I would focus on having him repeat initial sounds of the keyword on each page. He’s at an age when he should be learning some basic facts about Thanksgiving. Since he loves cooking and dramatic play, I definitely wanted to include those type of activities. Crafts should be designed that would develop his fine motor skills.
  • Tahoe, 2,  will really enjoy the pictures in the book, so I’ll spend a lot of time discussing what he sees in the pictures. He will probably enjoy dramatic play and other physical activities. His crafts will focus on shapes and gluing.

I always over plan, and I may list more than one activity for each intelligence so I have choices. If you use this study unit, it is best to do at least one activity from each intelligence, but don’t feel that you need to use every activity I described. This was planned as a four day unit. Each day I read the book to them and provided two other activities from this list.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

  • Read the book T is for Thanksgiving daily..
  • Discuss the rhyming words on each page.
  • Discuss the sound each alphabet letter makes at the beginning of the keyword on each page.
  • Make a list of foods served at the first Thanksgiving as shown in the pictures or mentioned in the story.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number Smart)

  • Have two youngest grands count the number of letters in the alphabet as you turn each page.
  • Create math problems based on the story or pictures. For example, “If two Wampanoags and three colonists sit at the same table, how many people will that be?”
  • Have oldest grand  write or trace the year 1620 on some paper or on a rock in the yard. Teach him how to pronounce this year.
  •  Show oldest grand  how to subtract 1620 from the current year.

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Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

  • Find Cape Cod on a map or globe. You can also trace the voyage on a globe starting at England, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, and ending at Massachusetts.
  • Make a poster of foods eaten at the first Thanksgiving by drawing pictures or cutting them out of magazines.
  • Turkey Crafts-I planned two different crafts for the grands:

The first craft was chosen for Tigger and Kona.  For the body and wattle of the turkey I had them fold different size (and color) pieces of construction paper and drew a “half heart” along the fold for them to cut. They also used scraps of construction paper for the head, eyes, beak, legs, and feet. These were all glued to a larger piece of construction paper. The feathers were created the day before using paper towels, markers, and small drops of water from an eye dropper or straw.(Ooooh, Science!) To make each feather, they drew a dark line with a marker on a piece of paper towel. I actually had the grands draw over the line three times with the marker to make sure there was plenty of of ink on the paper towel. Then I had them carefully place small drops of water from a straw all along the line. (An eye dropper would be easier, but we didn’t have one. To use the straw method, I added 1/4 inch of water to a cup. For each drop, one of the grands dipped the straw into the cup to capture some water. He placed a finger on top of the straw before lifting the straw out of the cup to keep the liquid inside the straw. Next he put the straw on the marker line and lifted his finger from the top of the straw to release the water. We practiced this first before using the straw method on the marker lines. Make sure to stay on the line when releasing the water, otherwise you won’t get the desired effect. Repeat this method until water is placed all along the line.) The “capillary” action of the water on the paper towel will spread the ink to make a “feathery” look. I let the paper towels dry thoroughly before cutting them into feather shapes and having the grands glue them on the turkey picture. (See pictures below for more clarification.)

The second craft had less steps and was planned for Tahoe. I cut construction paper circles for the body and head of the turkey. I also cut out eyes, a beak, and legs from scrap paper. He glued these onto another piece of construction paper. Then I used some leaf foam stickers we already had around the house to become the “feathers” for the turkey. I had to begin peeling the paper on the back for him, and he peeled the rest. Then I showed him the spot to place the leaf on the turkey. (See the last picture below for Tahoe’s finished product.)

 

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Play Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” while doing craft activities or when reading the book aloud.
  • Transform “Old McDonald Had a Farm” into “Plymouth Pilgrims Had a Feast” and add verses to go along with information from the book such as…

“Plymouth Pilgrims had a feast,

A-E-I-O-U,

and at this feast they ate some corn,

A-E-I-O-U,

with a kernel here, and a kernel there,

kernel here, kernel there, lots of kernels everywhere,

Plymouth Pilgrims had a feast,

A-E-I-O-U.”

 

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Guessing Game- After reading the book several times, have the youngest grand say an alphabet letter and have the older grands say the keyword from the story to match the letter.
  • Cooking- We made a corn pudding recipe I found online. I adjusted the directions slightly by having the grands add all ingredients except the butter in a mixing bowl (so they didn’t have to work with a hot buttered casserole dish). I also had them add two eggs, which other reviewers of the recipe had recommended. After they mixed all the other ingredients, I poured the concoction into the hot buttered casserole dish, stirred again, and placed the dish in the oven. Tahoe set the timer for 30 minutes, but I kept the pudding in the oven about ten more minutes because it didn’t look done after 30 minutes. The two youngest grands had this for their mid-morning snack when it came out of the oven. Here is the link for the recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Corn-Pudding/

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • Visit a farm stand or actual farm to see what foods are being harvested at this time of year.
  • Plant seeds for beans, squash, or any vegetable that will grow this time of year in your geographic location.
  • Walk around the neighborhood or park. Notice the rocks that you see  on your walk. Do you think any if them are large enough to be Plymouth Rock? If you see a special rock, give it a name.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Ask each grand to name their favorite page in the story.
  • Ask each grand what they are thankful for at this time of the year.
  • Give each grand the opportunity to explore this book or other Thanksgiving themed books by themselves.

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

  • Dramatic Play-Reenact the first Thanksgiving meal. Don’t forget to use the phrase “Good Morrow ” as you greet each other.  
  • Gathering Logs-Place several packaged paper towel rolls at one end of a room or hallway. Have a grand start at the other end of the room or hallway and run to collect one log. Then return to the starting line to stack the “log”. Repeat back and forth until all the “logs” have been collected. (Sorry the pictures below are blurry, but my camera is not very good at focusing on running toddlers). 

This post has been featured at the following link party:

 

 

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I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:

 

 

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Teaching Short Vowels-The M. I. Way (Conclusion)

In the first part of this series, I gave lesson ideas for teaching short vowels to my grandsons using Linguistic, Spatial, and Interpersonal strategies. In this post, I will explain my lesson plans for the other five intelligences: Bodily-kinesthetic, Naturalist, Logical/mathematical, Intrapersonal, and Musical.

As a reminder, I planned the units of study with an eye to modifying the various activities according to the readiness of each grandson:

  • Six year old Tigger had learned the short vowels in kindergarten, but I wanted to give him a good review before he started first grade in September. With Tigger, I would concentrate on short vowel sounds that were found in the middle of words (medial sounds) and review blending them with initial and ending consonants.
  • Kona, 4, already recognized all the uppercase and lowercase alphabet letters and had started to pick up quite a few consonant sounds. I decided he might be ready to learn about short vowels at the beginning of words. Possibly I will try medial short vowel sounds, blending sounds, and word families later on in the year.
  • Tahoe, 2, would not be ready to learn short vowel sounds, but I knew I could modify the lessons so his main focus would be on letter recognition and vocabulary development in the lessons.

I highly recommend using at least one activity from each intelligence, but don’t feel like you need to do all of the activities I’ve listed. I always over plan so I have list of choices, and then decide which activities best fit the needs of my grandsons. I taught the short vowel unit of study over a six week time period, but I am still doing a few activities each week with them as a review.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

My grandsons are very bodily-kinesthetic so I like to have many of these activities planned for them.

Driving to the Vowel Sound(Tigger and Kona) I used the picture cards I created from magazines and old workbooks that Tigger had completed. Then I taped a different short vowel letter to the top of the boys’ toy cars. The idea is to have the grands “drive” their short vowel “car” to the pictures that begin with the short vowel sound.

 

I utilized the grands' love of toy cars to make this matching game.

I utilized the grands’ love of toy cars to make this matching game.

I taped the vowel letters on the grands' toy cars.

I taped the vowel letters on the grands’ toy cars.

Kona easily matched the "toy cars" with the picture cards I made.

Kona easily matched the “toy cars” with the picture cards I made.

Pantomimes- (All the grands) Pantomime is basically telling a story through movement. To help my grandsons learn how to pantomime, I usually did these with the boys. As they became more confident, the older ones attempted their own pantomime:

  • short a: eating an apple, moving like an alligator
  • short e: hatching from an egg, walking like an elephant
  • short i: moving like an inchworm
  • short o: putting shoes on an octopus,
  • short u: swimming under water, tossing something up in the air

For more movement ideas, look at these links:

http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/2008/04/teaching-short-vowels/

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/25870/physical-fitness

Find the Treasure- (All the grands)-This activity combines bodily-kinesthetic and spatial intelligences. I had a new building set for the grands, but instead of just giving this gift to them, I used it as a way to review the short vowels. I divided the set into five parts,  placed each set of  pieces in a baggie, and then hid them. Next I made a treasure map (spatial intelligence) using short vowels in the “clues” and the grands had to run around the house and backyard (bodily-kinesthetic) to find their “treasure”. Tigger had to read the words with short vowels on the map and I helped with the words he didn’t yet know. Kona had to tell me which short vowel sound he heard, and Tahoe guessed the name of the letter. Here are some ideas for clues that contain short vowel sounds:

  • under the table
  • on the bed
  • up the playset ladder
  • on the desk
  • where eggs are kept
  • next to the apple tree
  • in the toybox

The inspiration for this activity I found at this link:

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/2014/10/20/jake-neverland-pirates-treasure-hunt/

Hiding Short Vowels(Tigger and Kona) I use the picture cards I made from magazines and old workbooks for many activities, including this one. I gave each grandson a card for each short vowel and asked them to hide them and remember where they place them. They could be hidden anywhere in the house. When that was completed, each grandson was given a letter (written on an upcycled bottle cap). They were told to find the picture that started with the short vowel sound made by the letter they were given. Since these boys are very competitive, they raced through the house to find their hidden card. I repeated this with each short vowel sound until all the picture cards were found. It was a good workout for them, and they wanted to play the game again.

Bath time Short vowels- (All the grands)- I have not done this idea yet, but when I do, I will use short vowel letters (or words with short vowels in the medial position for Tigger) instead of sight words. Basically you put the letter of each vowel sound on circles made from craft foam. Each child has a net and as you call our the vowel sound, the child has to scoop up the correct foam piece. Here is where I found this idea:

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/bath-time-sight-words/

Relay Race-(Tigger and Kona) Again I will use the picture cards I created and the bottle caps with vowel letters written on them. To play, I will put two picture cards for each vowel at one end of the yard. At the other end I will give each grandson one bottle cap with a vowel letter they have to match with a picture card. They will race to the end of the yard to find the correct card and return to me. Then I will give them the second vowel letter to find and they will again race to retrieve the correct picture. I will do this until all the pictures have been matched correctly.

  Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips(All the grands)-This is a great time of year to visit apple orchards and practice the short vowel sounds. We recently went to a local apple orchard that also is attached to a Nature Conservancy wilderness area. All the grandsons had a blast collecting sticks and acorns to make the letters of the short vowels. We discussed the vowel sounds as we explored the area including: apple trees, red ants, sticks, pumpkins, insects, etc. Field trips to zoos, beaches, botanical gardens, and parks are wonderful places to explore living things with short vowel sounds in their names.

Nature Letters (All the grands) Even in their backyard or local park, the grands love to make the letters of the short vowels out of leaves, twigs, in sand, dirt, mud, gravel, or any other items they find in the natural environment. Here are some ideas from another website:

http://www.sugaraunts.com/2014/09/decodable-reading-with-nature-letter.html#.VEvFfVeI2f4

Scavenger Hunt-(All the grands) I made a list of plants, animals, and other items that could be found in the grands’ backyard or neighborhood for each short vowel. I gave the grands some picture cards to help them with a few ideas, but sometimes you come across other words to discuss during the hunt. Included in my list were words that started with the short vowel sound, or words with the short vowel sound in the medial position. Here are some ideas I  had of living things to look for in our local environment:  liquid amber tree, bird egg, cat, dog, twig, ants, apple tree, sun, walnut tree, lizard, mud, sand, insects, bugs, rocks, elm tree, evergreen tree, animals, apple tree, under rocks, and olive tree.

Kona explores words that begin with the short a sound with an outdoor scavenger hunt. Pictures help him in his search.

Kona explores words that begin with the short a sound with an outdoor scavenger hunt. Pictures help him in his search.

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities:

There are so many ideas for counting, but here are a few:

  • seeds in apples
  • number of apples in a bag or on a tree
  • eggs left in egg carton before and after making scrambled eggs
  • legs on insects
  • sides on an octagon or arms on octopus
  • spokes on an umbrella 
  • number of ingredients in a favorite recipe

Measuring:

Since “inches” starts with a short vowel sound, use an inch ruler or measuring tape to measure other items with short vowels including: apples, eggs, stop signs (which are octagons), umbrellas, etc. Here is a neat idea about making playdough inchworms to measure:

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/11/playdough-inchworms/

Egg carton math:  (All the grands) There are lots of ways a simple egg carton can be used for math activities. Here is one that my grandsons have done. Using an empty egg carton, I created an addition activity for Tigger and Kona. I used two different colors of any small item (buttons, pom poms, plant gems, etc.) and placed some of each color in the separate egg carton areas.  Then they counted all the items to see how many items were in the egg carton altogether. Since Kona and Tigger can write their numbers, I also had them write their answers on paper. (Instead of addition problems for Tahoe, he counted the items in the egg carton.) Besides doing the math activity, discuss the short vowel sounds found in egg carton, buttons, pom poms, and plant gems.

I found some more fun math activities using egg cartons here:

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/09/egg-carton-math-by-teach-preschool.html

Octagon Search- (All the grands)-Although all the grands have seen octagons many times, I gave them a picture of one and had them find octagons around the house or neighborhood (for example a “Stop” sign is an octagon).

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading- (All the grands)-Besides the books I get from the library each week specifically for the vowel sound we are studying, there are plenty of books already in the boys’ library that they can enjoy whenever they want. Their parents have made sure they have plenty of picture dictionary books, which Tahoe especially enjoys at his age. He loves to point to the pictures and say the words he knows. The other boys enjoy retelling the story by looking at the pictures, and Tigger likes to find the words he knows (which are usually words with short vowels in the medial position).
Exploration Bins-(All the grands) Using a box or plastic bin, place items that begin with the short vowel sound inside and cover with rice, beans, or macaroni. For example, place plastic eggs, small toy elephant figures, and little Elmo dolls in a bin for the “e” short vowel. The child uses their hands to find the items in the bin. Afterwards, discuss with the child each item and the connection to the short vowel. Ask them which one was their favorite and why they chose that item. For more information on this idea, check out this website:

 http://www.themeasuredmom.com/letter-e-dig-find-box

Short Vowel App-(Tigger and Kona) I downloaded this new app from one of my favorite websites and introduced it to Tigger. He enjoyed it and can use it by himself now. I will be using this with Kona also.

http://thisreadingmama.com/short-vowels-word-study-app/

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-(All the grands) Wow! There are so many resources to locate songs and finger plays. If you just type in the words “short vowel songs” into a search engine, there will be dozens of songs and fingerplays from which to choose. I have found other songs by typing in the short vowel word (such as “apple”, “octopus” or “umbrella”) when I want to find a song about a particular word. Here are the ones I found recently:

short a: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/johnny-appleseed.html  or http://www.alphabet-soup.net/dir2/applesong.html

short e: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems99.html

short i: http://ccplonline.org/kids/songs4tots/insectsallaround.html

short o: http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/songs/o/orangeoctopus.htm

short u: http://www.letsplaykidsmusic.com/the-umbrella-song-rainy-day-songs/

Create your own fingerplays -(All the grands) Just take a familiar fingerplay song and use short vowel words in place of the other nouns. When the grands were babies, I would sing this song to them although I used the noun “Einsteins” in it. Obviously, that word didn’t work when I taught short vowels, so I came up with other words beginning with each short vowel. For example:

“One little, two little, three little otters,

Four little, five little, six little otters,

Seven little, eight little, nine little otters,

Ten little otter pups!”

To take this a step further, I will try to have the grands suggest short vowel words to replace “otter” in this example.

Create your own songs-(All the grands) I like to create my own songs, so I used the tune to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and adapted it for each short vowel sound. Here are the lyrics for the short “a” sound:

“The short vowel “a” goes ah, ah, ah,

ah, ah, ah,

ah, ah, ah,

apples, ants, and alligators,

start with ah, ah, ah.”

I followed the same pattern with the other short vowels. I changed the fourth line in each song as follows:
The short vowel e: “Elmo, eggs, and elephants”
The short vowel i: “igloo, inch, and iguanas”
The short vowel o: “otter, on, and octopus”
The short vowel u: “under, up, and umbrella”

 

Using multiple intelligence strategies, such as the ones I have put in this unit of study, I have found my grandsons to be very engaged in learning. And because they are doing these activities with their “Mimi”, we are having some very special bonding time. By making sure I use at least one activity from each intelligence, I am increasing the probability that the grands will retain the main points of the lessons.

As for the progress of my grandsons, Tahoe is beginning to recognize some alphabet letters, although his favorite letter of the alphabet right now is “O”. His receptive and expressive vocabulary is rapidly increasing. Kona is doing so well with the short vowel sounds, I have begun working with him on blending one short vowel with one consonant. I am also working with him on the consonant sounds he hasn’t yet mastered, using strategies similar to the ones I used for the short vowels. Tigger is seven weeks into first grade, and he is not having any problems with his reading homework. (I interpret that as a good sign.) I can tell when he reads with me that he is able to sound out words with his short vowels very well. Time for me to plan another unit of study using multiple intelligences.

I hope these ideas have motivated you to think about multiple intelligences when you are planning an activity for the children in your care.

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Teaching Short Vowels-The M. I. Way

Now that I’ve finished my series giving a brief overview of Multiple Intelligences (M. I.), I want to share how I use these strategies when planning a unit of lessons for my grandsons. The first unit of study I am presenting to you will cover short vowels. I have so much information to share, I’ve decided to divide this information into two different posts. This post will cover three intelligences: Linguistic, Spatial, and Interpersonal. The lesson ideas for the other five intelligences will be presented in another post.

Since my grandsons are 2, 4, and 6 years old, I planned the units of study with an eye to modifying the various activities according to the readiness of each child:

  • Six year old Tigger had learned the short vowels in kindergarten, but I wanted to give him a good review before he started first grade in September. With Tigger, I would concentrate on short vowel sounds that were found in the middle of words (medial sounds) and review blending them with initial and ending consonants.
  • Kona, 4, already recognized all the uppercase and lowercase alphabet letters and had started to pick up quite a few consonant sounds. I decided he might be ready to learn about short vowels at the beginning of words. Possibly I would try medial short vowel sounds, blending sounds, and word families later on in the year.
  • Tahoe, 2, would not be ready to learn short vowel sounds, but I knew I could modify the lessons so his main focus would be on letter recognition and vocabulary development in the lessons.

Even though I am a retired teacher, I had only taught 4th and 5th graders, so I had never actually needed to teach short vowels before. Obviously, I would need to do some research and get advice from people who had taught short vowels successfully. And fortunately, there are many educators, homeschoolers, and afterschoolers who share their engaging lessons on their websites and blogs. I have been inspired by their ideas so much, and I happily share their links.

Crafts that visually match the letter with the short vowel sound are fun ways to help the grands learn. Their mom displays their crafts in their room, so they see these every day.

Crafts that visually match the letter with the short vowel sound are fun ways to help the grands learn. Their mom displays their crafts in their room, so they see these every day.

Usually I do at least one activity for each intelligence, although I may list many more activities in the lesson plan to give me choices depending on the needs of the grandsons. I planned to use two-three intelligences each day (about 30-45 minutes per day), depending on the length of the activity. When I planned this unit, I thought it would take about six weeks to complete with my grandsons. I would teach one short vowel a week, and then have a week to review all of them. Well, that was ambitious! While I did focus on one short vowel each week, I didn’t have time to do all the activities I thought would benefit my grands. So I extended our review week into as many as were needed, because I felt Kona needed a really strong foundation in short vowels before I proceeded to teach him how to blend sounds. Thank goodness I had the luxury of time when teaching my grandsons that I didn’t have as a classroom teacher. Additionally, I kept finding fantastic ideas on websites and blogs, so I kept adding activities to my unit plan. If you use this short vowel plan, it is best to do at least one activity in each intelligence, but please don’t feel you need to do all the activities I share in the post.

Before I begin, let me reiterate that many of these activities can be classified under more than one intelligence, (which makes sense since each of us has a blend of the eight intelligences). In my unit plans, I have organized the activities according to the intelligence that I feel is the most dominant.

Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-(All three grands) This is usually where I start my lessons each day. Before reading each book, we look at the pictures, make predictions, and discuss the vowel sound of the week. During the reading of the book, we discuss words with the vowel sound, and afterwards check on our original predictions.  I found this wonderful website for lists of books that go with each letter of the alphabet:

http://www.themeasuredmom.com/books-to-teach-letter-a/

I perused this website each week and then ordered three books from the library for whichever short vowel I would be teaching. Here are my grandsons’ favorite books that I read to them for each short vowel:

  • short vowel a-The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
  • short vowel e- Eggday by Joyce Dunbar
  • short vowel i-Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
  • short vowel o-An Octopus Followed Me Home by Dan Yaccarino
  • short vowel u- The Umbrella Day by Nancy Evans Cooney.

 

Audio books-(All the grands) Since I drive the grands around a lot, I like to keep an audiobook for them in the car. I have found audiobooks for many of the books I used in the library as well.

Discussions(All the grands) As I went about my day with the grands, I would point out words to the grandsons that started with short vowels and have them repeat the word and isolate the vowel sounds. For example, as I gave each grand a bowl of applesauce for a snack, we would discuss the short a sound in applesauce and have the boys repeat the word first and then say the vowel sound.

Bottle caps, letter stamps, or dry erase boards(Modified for each grandson) I cut out  pictures of things with the short vowel sound from magazines or completed workbooks and pasted them on paper. The grandsons could use the bottle caps (that I created), the dry erase board to write the letters themselves,  or  letter stamps (purchased) to indicate which vowel sound matched each picture.

I saved milk bottle caps and wrote the vowels on them. They can be used to match up with pictures cut up and pasted from Tigger’s completed workbooks.

Personal reading –(Tigger)We used the Progressive Phonics books that matched the vowel sound we were discussing that week. He read them with me, but later on he will be able to read them by himself.

http://www.progressivephonics.com/

Make lists- (All the grands) At the end of the week, make a list of all the words that we discussed during the week with the vowel sound. Tigger and Kona could illustrate the list as well.

Word Puzzles(All the grands) I purchased these word puzzles a while back and used them with this unit of study. Tahoe, 2, recognizes the “o” letter the best and loves to find all of them and place them in the puzzles. Kona, 4, will place all the vowels in the puzzles, and has just begun to blend sounds with some of the pictures. Tigger, 6, has been using all the word puzzles to practice his blending of sounds as well.

All the boys love these word puzzles. Tahoe loves to find all the "o" letters and place them in the puzzles, while these puzzles help Tigger with his blending skills.

All the boys love these word puzzles. Tahoe loves to find all the “o” letters and place them in the puzzles, while these puzzles help Tigger with his blending skills.

 

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Letter crafts-(All the grands)-The grands really enjoy crafts and I always start their craft session with a picture that can be created from the vowel sound. Some of the grands’ creations are pictured near the beginning of this post. While I found lots of ideas on different websites, I had to be careful that the craft ideas I chose were depicting something with the short vowel sound. For example, I wouldn’t make a craft of an eagle for “e” since “eagle” doesn’t begin with the short vowel sound. There are step by step directions for some letter crafts on this fantastic website:

http://crystalandcomp.com/2013/08/u-is-for-underwater-a-letter-of-the-week-preschool-craft/

Other crafts-(All the grands)-Ideas for other crafts to go with each short vowel are endless. (For example, the amount of craft ideas for “apples” could keep the grands busy for a year!) This is the website I usually visit first for craft ideas:

http://www.themeasuredmom.com/letter-o-crafts-preschool-kindergarten/

I also found a terrific project on stamping “pumpkins” that I adapted to use with short vowels at this website:

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/sight-word-pumpkin-patch/

Kona says the short vowel sound before stamping a "pumpkin" on the letter.

Kona says the short vowel sound before stamping a “pumpkin” on the letter.

Videos-(All the grands) Another way to use the spatial intelligence is through videos.  I found so many wonderful  videos that teach the short vowel sounds. Here is our favorite site:

http://www.sightandsoundreading.com/teaching-the-short-aa-letter-sound/

Playdough mats- (All the grands)-While I created these playdough mats myself, you can find printable mats on many websites including the one I used for my inspiration:

http://thisreadingmama.com/alphabet-playdough-mats/

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play (All the grands)-In dramatic play participants may pantomime and speak. There  is often a created story line. Encourage and participate in dramatic play using words that start with the short vowel sounds. Props can be used, although “pantomiming” the props is easier and adds to the creativity. Here are some ideas to try:

short a: astronauts taking a space walk from the Space Lab

short e: collecting eggs; washing elephants

short i: building an igloo; using different ingredients to make a salad (or soup, cake, smoothie, casserole etc.)

short o: pretending to be an octopus trying on new clothes

short u: exploring an underwater habitat

Kona really enjoys our cooking sessions together. Here he is adding cinnamon to his mini apple turnovers.

Cooking -(All the grands) Since this activity requires adult supervision due to my grandsons’ ages, I have categorized this in the interpersonal section. When my grandsons are more independent readers, I will categorize cooking under linguistic since they will be reading and following the directions in recipes. My  grandsons love to cook, so I always include some type of culinary activity with each short vowel:

short a: Make applesauce or mini apple turnovers. (Actually, we made both but on different days.). To make the applesauce, I peeled and cut two Granny Smith apples and placed them in a two quart microwaveable casserole dish. My grandsons added a little water, honey, lemon juice, and a few dashes of cinnamon. After microwaving for three minutes, my grandsons helped me mash the cooked apple pieces. They had to wait for the applesauce to cool before eating.

I found the mini apple turnover recipe at this link:

http://brownchrista9.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/simple-apple-activities-that-would-make-johnny-appleseed-proud/

Short e: scrambled eggs-Use your own recipe or try this one:

http://www.kidsacookin.ksu.edu/Site.aspx?page=Recipe&Recipe_id=4488

short i: Italian bread salad. I discovered this recipe, but haven’t tried it yet.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mid-summer-italian-bread-salad/

short o: olive and cream cheese spread-Mix 3-4 ounces cream cheese with a small drained can of chopped olives, and a tsp. of mayonnaise. Spread on crackers, bread, or in celery.

short u: upside down cake- I will be trying this recipe:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/easy-pineapple-upside-down-cake/c4d3321d-fad9-41cb-8f29-8d91a4279b07

 

Shell game  (All the grands) Even the youngest grandson enjoyed playing this simple activity. I found this short vowel game on this website:

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/vowel-sounds-practice-game/

Rocky and Kona loved this game, however instead of a pom pom, they substituted one of their cars.

Shell game with short vowels:Rocky and Kona loved this game, however instead of a pom pom, they substituted one of their cars.

 

Well, those are some activities for three of the multiple intelligences. My grandsons have enjoyed these activities so much, and my hope is that by engaging all their intelligences, I am helping my grandsons become lifelong learners.

Next week, I will publish a post explaining how I used the remaining five intelligences to teach my grandsons the short vowels.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

 

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