Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

Books About Clouds: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

We’re in the middle of winter, and so in our “neck of the woods” we have more clouds in the sky than at other times of the year. This is when I would usually schedule my “weather” units when I taught fourth and fifth grades. Now that I am retired and watch my grandsons several days a week, it was the right time to plan some weather related units to use with them.

I decided to start by creating “Cloud” themed lessons for the grands. After ordering several books from the local library, I created some multiple intelligence lesson plans on clouds 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 (3). Since I am an “afterschooler” for my two oldest grands, and a “homeschooler” for Tahoe, I don’t spend the same amount of time on these lessons with each grandchild. However, during the  three weeks I spent on this study unit, I tried to complete at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

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 each day during the three week period. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary, discussing the photographs or pictures to predict or better understand the content in the book, and pointing out “describing” words such as colors, shapes, and numbers. 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:

It's Cloudy Today bookIt’s Cloudy Today by Kristin Sterling is a good book to introduce the cloud theme. It provides basic information and beautiful photographs on the three types of clouds and the type of weather they bring. Additionally, this book contains an activity using shaving cream to form clouds. (We used this activity as part of the Spatial Intelligence). There was also information on the Latin root words that are used to describe clouds (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and nimbus).This was a good book to use with all three grandsons.

Discussion Focus: Latin Roots-This skill was adapted for each grandson. With Tahoe (3), I introduced the pronunciation of the Latin roots for each cloud and had him repeat them aloud.  After introducing the Latin roots to Kona and Tigger, I had them match the Latin roots with the cloud type and why those particular Latin roots were chosen to name each cloud.

Clouds Weather Wise book

The Weather Wise book, Clouds, by Helen Cox Cannons, is another good book to use to provide basic information on clouds for all three grands. The illustrations and pictures are very informative in explaining water droplets, water vapor, and the types of clouds. This book has a table of contents and index too.

Discussion Focus: Table of Contents and Index-I discussed how useful it is to know how to use the table of contents and the index. Tahoe was more interested in the numbers, while Tigger and Kona were able to use them to find topics in the book.

The Cloud Book

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola starts with the three basic cloud types and then adds word parts (Latin roots) to make ten categories of clouds. Cloud mythology and  common sayings regarding clouds and weather are also part of the story.  

Discussion Focus: Rhyming Words: Many of the common sayings were in rhymed verse. With Tahoe I read the rhyming words aloud and had him repeat them.  For Kona, I would give him one of the words from a rhyming pair on each page, and he would have to listen and tell me the rhyming word that matched. Tigger had to give me the rhyming pair as I finished (or he finished) reading each page. Sight WordsI had Kona (5) pick a few pages and tell me (or write down on a white board) all the sight words he knew (a, and, the, it, see, of, are, up, can, by,

look, there, ). Tigger (7) and I reviewed the Latin roots and how they were used to create new cloud names in this book. (Tahoe is still learning his letters so we focused on finding the letter “C” on some pages.) 

Freddie and Gingersnap fina a cloud to keepFreddie and Gingersnap Find a Cloud to Keep by Vincent X. Kirsch is a fanciful story about two dragons who look for clouds. One of the dragons wants to keep a cloud, while the other dragon tries to explain that he can’t keep it. Or can he? This was Tahoe’s favorite book of all the “cloud” themed books and he asked me to read it to him over and over again. It has “A Cloud’s Song” as part of the story, which is found in its entirety at the back of the book. (See Musical Intelligence to listen to the song on the author’s website.)

Discussion Focus: Main Character (Who) and Setting (Where and When): I still need to break down “Setting” into “Where” and “When” for Kona and Tigger. I have Kona discuss these with me, while I have Tigger write them down. Tahoe and I talk about who, where, and when as I read this book to him.

Cloudette pictureCloudette by Tom Lichtenheld tells the story of a little cloud who watches the big clouds water crops and make mighty rivers flow. Cloudette dreams of making a difference too, but what can a small cloud do? 

Discussion Focus: Finding Details – I had the grands find the details to answer the major theme of the book: Why are clouds important? The younger grands discussed their answers with me, and I had Tigger write his answers on a white dry erase board.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • Lie down in your yard, look up at the sky, and classify the types of clouds that can be seen that day. You can even do this for several days, keep track of them each day, and see if the children can find all three types of clouds in the sky during the length of this unit of study.
  • Watch a cloud in the sky and time it to see if it is moving. In which direction does it move?  Do all clouds move at this speed? If not, what might make the cloud go slower or faster?
  • With the oldest grandson, I can discuss larger numbers, so we discussed the height of clouds using the chart found on this website: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Listen to “A Cloud’s Song” that goes with the book Freddie and Gingersnap Find A Cloud to Keep. You can find it on the author’s website: http://www.vincentxkirsch.com/listen-to-a-clouds-song/
  • I taught my grandsons some songs and rhymes about clouds that I found at this link: http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music-station08/cloud-songs-rhymes-mar08.shtml

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

  • Creating Cloud Pictures 1: I have several sizes of circle punches that I use for many of the craft projects I do with the grands. They love punching out the circles themselves, so it is a good fine motor activity for them as well. This craft was very simple to create, but helped Tahoe to understand that the rain was going to come from the darker cloud.
  • Creating Cloud Pictures 2: I drew a simple cloud for Tahoe to cut out. Then he painted it a dark color. In the meantime, I cut up some linguine and placed them in a cup of blue paint to turn the linguine into a bluish color. Once the linguine pieces were dyed, I pulled them out of the paint and set them on a paper towel to dry. When the cloud and linguine were both dry, Tahoe glued them onto construction paper to create a rain cloud.
  • Making Clouds from Shaving Cream: Using the activity on p. 28 of It’s Cloudy Today, I had Kona make the three main types of clouds using some shaving cream. I also had him practice his handwriting by tracing the names of these clouds to label the shaving cream creations. (I placed blue construction paper under a clear plastic tablecloth for this activity. It was easy to clean up afterwards.)

0217161404a-1

 

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Science Demonstration in a Group: Make a cloud in a bottle with adult supervision. The directions can be found here: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/experiments-cloud.htm
  • Cloud Recognition Game: Using the illustrations or pictures of clouds in the books from the library, make copies (or draw pictures) of the three types of clouds. Play a game in a small group to see who can say the correct name of the cloud as you hold up each picture.
  • Finding a Cloud Game: Hide pictures of the three main types of clouds around the house (or in your yard). Have children take turns finding a cloud, bring it  back to you , and tell you the type of cloud they found.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

  • Pantomimes: I planned a simple activity to help Tahoe remember which clouds are highest and which are lowest. I had Tahoe place his hands over his head and make his hands pantomime a feather. Then I had him say “Cirrus.” Next he pantomimed a big puffy cloud in front of his tummy and I had him say “Cumulus.” Finally he bent down and waved his hands back and forth in front of his knees and said “Stratus.”
  • Cloud Relay: This can be done with one child or a small group of children. Place pictures of each type of cloud at one end of the playing area (or hallway). Have the children start at the other end. Call out a child’s name along with a cloud’s name, and have that child run to get the correct picture and return it to the starting place.
  • Water Cycle Game: I found a more complicated “Cloud” game on this website but haven’t yet played it with my grandsons.  http://teachers.net/lessonplans/posts/1663.html

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • I had the grands go outside to look at the clouds. I asked them if they saw pictures in the clouds. Kona saw a dragon and a snake.

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  • Observe the clouds outside. Have the children describe the clouds they see. They might even take pictures of them and later make a Cloud Journal.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Discuss: Which is your favorite type of clouds in the books that we have read?
  • I showed the grands “Giant in the Clouds” by N. C. Wyeth, which can be found on the internet. Then I had the grandsons go outside with blue construction paper and a white crayon to draw the clouds and try to find a picture in the clouds they had drawn.
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

 

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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“Ocean” Themed Lessons Ages 3-7

During the summer we took the grands to the beach again, and their mom took them to a small aquarium. I decided to build upon these experiences by creating “ocean” themed lessons for the grands. So I ordered several books from the local library and 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 (3). We spent three weeks on this study unit, and completed at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

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 (Word Smart)

Read books-These are the books I borrowed from the library and used to create the lesson plans. I read at least one of these books to the grands each day during the three week period. I chose three nonfiction books:

 

  • National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting by Janet Lawler has beautiful photographs. Besides being a counting book, it has has simple information on the animal featured on each page.
  • Oceans by Cathryn Sill has beautiful illustrations and features a nice variety of ocean inhabitants. The Afterword includes more information about the animals in each illustration.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blue Ocean includes information and experiments related to twelve different topics about the ocean. The information in this book is more in depth, so it may appeal better to elementary aged children rather than preschoolers.

I also chose one fiction book for the Ocean Study Unit:

Sneakers the Seaside Cat

  • Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown is a fictional story about a precocious cat who explores the wonders of the seashore when her family takes her on their vacation.

Discussions-For the book Sneakers, the Seaside Cat, we made predictions on the topic of each page by looking at the illustrations. With the non-fiction books, I focused on the vocabulary and recalling details on each page. 

Audiobooks-Our library also had an audio book version of Magic School Bus – On the Ocean Floor. I always try to have at least one audio book in my car for the grands because we spend some time traveling pretty much every day.

 

Magic School Bus - Ocean

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-I found some songs on the Internet to teach the grands, including a youtube video created by Toddler World TV for “The Underwater Song” which was a good one for Tahoe. It has simple rhymes and incorporates some common sea animals as part of the lyrics.  Another easy song I used with Tahoe is “Animals in the Ocean” which uses “The Wheels on the Bus” for the melody. I found a youtube video of this song created by Nursery Rhymes TV. Other ocean songs to use can be found at this link which gives the lyrics for songs and uses familiar melodies such as “I’m a Little Teapot:”

http://www.preschooleducation.com/socean.shtml

Classical Music-I usually try to find classical music to play for the grands. For this lesson unit,  I played a version of The Carnival of the Animals-Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saens. (This is easy to find on the Internet as well.)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Drawings-

To help the grands develop their spatial and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences, I found some videos online that demonstrated how to draw a variety of ocean animals. I had the grands watch a video on sea jellies and they drew their own versions.

Besides using a video, I  found a great book to help the grands draw ocean animals (which includes some fun facts about each creature as well). Learn to Draw Sea Creatures by Walter Foster Jr., shows step by step instructions to draw over 25 ocean animals starting with simple shapes such as circles, ovals, rectangles, squares, and triangles. Some of the creatures included in this book are dolphins, crabs, manatees, octopus, sea horse, and walrus.

 

Videos-The grands and I have been enjoying the television series Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin which we are able to access from the On Demand button from our cable provider and I believe some abc affilitates carry it as well.

Directed Projects-Tahoe needs to practice drawing circles and triangles so I used these shapes to help him draw some simple fish. Then he used a very diluted blue wash to paint over his crayon drawings to look like the fish were in the ocean. Kona did something similar but he used an oval, small circles, and two triangles to draw a parrotfish.

On another day, we discussed sea turtles and created our own representation of one of these beautiful creatures.

Sea Light Table: Just before I was to publish this post, I saw this amazing idea. I haven’t tried it, but I thought it was worth including in this lesson unit:

http://whereimaginationgrows.com/under-the-sea-small-world-light-play/

 

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help the grands understand the stories I read to them. A fun activity was to have the grands pretend they were the characters in the book and act out the book with other members of the family.

Play dough mats- Tahoe and his seven year old brother, Tigger, enjoyed working together on a play dough mat. I loved listening to their conversation as they worked together. Just from their dialogue with each other, I could tell they both had learned a lot of new vocabulary as they named and described the ocean animals and plants they were making out of play dough. (This is also a bodily-kinesthetic activity for Tahoe, who needs to develop his fine motor skills so he can write as he gets older.) 

Experiments-Kona and Tigger worked together on an experiment to help them understand why there is so much salt in the ocean. We read pages 24-26 in Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blue Ocean and followed the directions for the salt water evaporation experiment on p. 27. This experiment needs a few days before looking at the results. (Make sure you tell the rest of the family that the wet plate with paper towels on the patio table is an experiment or else the experiment might get washed after dinner.)

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Crab Walk-I had all the grands practice the Crab Walk (which is really good for developing upper arm strength….believe me…I had to model it for them). To do a Crab Walk, I had the grands sit on the rug with their hands behind them, their feet flat on the floor, and their knees bent. Then they used their arms to lift their bottom off the floor. If they could hold this position, then they could begin to walk; backwards is easier than going forward.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting and measuring activities: There are always lots of counting opportunities for Tahoe in most of the books we read, but the book National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting was a good place to start.

Reading data on graphs-Using information found on a link to a local beach, Tigger, Kona, and I discussed the graphs on wave height and wind speed. Since some of these numbers were written as decimals, it gave me an opportunity to explain what .5 meant as a decimal and a fraction. We also practiced reading time on the graph (low and high tide.)

http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Huntington-Beach/forecasts/latest/six_day

 

Subtraction Problems: Tigger and Kona created simple subtraction problems using the information about surf height from this chart:

http://solspot.com/north-orange-county-5-day-surf-forecast/

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – Giving the grands personal time to look over the books I have read to them gives them a chance to explore at their own pace.

Ocean in a Bottle-I made a sensory bottle for the grands out of salt, water (colored with a bit of blue paint) and vegetable oil. I had the grands shake the bottle and then watch it as the salty water and oil began to separate. This began a discussion on why water and oil don’t mix, and what happens when oil finds its way into the ocean. (I used hot glue on the cap so the liquid couldn’t accidentally spill out when they shook it.) This was an activity they could explore later on their own. It’s amazing how fascinating these sensory bottles can be.  I found the basic information about this activity at this link:

http://happyhooligans.ca/ocean-in-bottle/

Make sure to secure the cap with hot glue or duct tape so the oil and water don't accidentally spill out as the bottle is shaken.

Make sure to secure the cap with hot glue or duct tape so the oil and water don’t accidentally spill out as the bottle is shaken.

 

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips– My daughter had already taken the boys to a local aquarium and Grandpa Jim and I took them to the beach before I started this unit. I took Tahoe to a local pet store thinking we could find some salt water fish on display there, but alas, they only had freshwater fish for sale at this store.  Tahoe still had a blast looking at all the different variety of creatures in the aquariums. I had to be careful not to get the shopping cart too close; he wanted to stick his fingers inside to grab some of them. Grandpa Jim and I plan to take all our grandsons to a local tide pool in a few weeks when all the boys have a day off from school.

Spelling practice in the sand-Whether at the beach, or in the sandbox in the backyard, I usually try to include natural materials when the boys practice their spelling, letters, or sounds.

Kona practiced some spelling words in the sand.

Kona practiced some spelling words in the sand.

 

 

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

You can also find my posts on these linky parties.

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“Ocean” Themed Lessons Age 3

During the summer Grandpa Jim and I took the grands to the beach again, and their mom took them to a small aquarium. To build upon these experiences, I created “ocean” themed lessons for Tahoe, age 3.  I ordered several books from the local library and created some lesson plans that I will share with you in this post.

As always, I used the Theory of Multiple Intelligence to help plan a variety of  activities for Tahoe.  I watch Tahoe three days a week, and we spent about three weeks on this study unit.

Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-These are the books I borrowed from the library and used to create the lesson plans. I read at least one of these books to Tahoe each day during the three week period. I chose one fiction and  two nonfiction books:

  • Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown is a fictional story about a precocious cat who explores the wonders of the seashore when her family takes her on their vacation.
  • National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting by Janet Lawler has beautiful photographs. Besides being a counting book, it has simple information on the animal featured on each page.
  • Oceans by Cathryn Sill has beautiful illustrations and features a nice variety off ocean inhabitants. The Afterword includes more information about the animals in each illustration.

Discussions-For the book Sneakers, the Seaside Cat, we made predictions on the topic of each page by looking at the illustrations. With the non-fiction books, I focused on the vocabulary and recalling details on each page. 

Audiobooks-Our library also had an audio book version of Magic School Bus – On the Ocean Floor. Tahoe and I travel in my car pretty much every day picking up his older brothers from school or activities, so I always carry at least one audio book for the grands in my car. 

 

Magic School Bus - Ocean

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-I found some songs online that I used with Tahoe. There was a youtube video created by Toddler World TV for “The Underwater Song” which was a good one for Tahoe. It has simple rhymes and incorporates some common sea animals as part of the lyrics.  Another easy song I used with Tahoe is “Animals in the Ocean” which uses “The Wheels on the Bus” for the melody. I found a youtube video of this song created by Nursery Rhymes TV. Other ocean songs to use can be found at this link which gives the lyrics for songs and uses familiar melodies such as “I’m a Little Teapot:”

http://www.preschooleducation.com/socean.shtml

Classical Music-I usually try to find classical music to play for Tahoe. For this lesson unit, I played a version of The Carnival of the Animals-Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saens. (This is easy to find on the Internet as well.)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Directed Projects-Tahoe is practicing how to draw circles and triangles so I used these shapes to help him draw simple fish. Then he used a very diluted blue paint to brush over his drawing to give it an “ocean” effect.

On another day, we discussed sea turtles and created our own representation of one of these beautiful creatures.

Sea Light Table: Just before I was to publish this post, I saw this amazing idea. I haven’t tried it, but I thought it was worth including in this lesson unit:

http://whereimaginationgrows.com/under-the-sea-small-world-light-play/

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help Tahoe understand the stories I read to him. A fun activity was to have him pretend to be Sneakers, the seaside cat, and I played the other characters in the book.

Playdough mats- Tahoe and his seven year old brother, Tigger, enjoyed working together on a play dough mat. I loved listening to their conversation as they worked together. Just from their dialogue with each other, I could tell they both had learned a lot of new vocabulary as they named and described the ocean animals and plants they were making out of play dough. (This is also a bodily-kinesthetic activity for Tahoe, who needs to develop his fine motor skills so he can write as he gets older.) 

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Crab Walk-I tried to teach the Crab Walk to Tahoe (which is a really good exercise for developing upper arm strength….believe me…I had to model it for him.) To do a Crab Walk, I had him sit on the rug with his hands behind him, his feet flat on the floor, and his knees bent. Then he used his arms to lift his bottom off the floor. Once he is able to hold this position, then he can begin to walk; backwards is easier than going forward.

Tahoe is able to hold the Crab Walk position, but still needs to practice crab walking.

Tahoe is able to hold the Crab Walk position, but still needs to practice crab walking.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting  activities: There are always lots of counting opportunities for Tahoe in most of the books we read, but the book National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting was an excellent book to use for practicing his counting.

Tahoe counted all the ocean animals on each page by himself.

Tahoe counted all the ocean animals on each page by himself.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – Giving Tahoe personal time to look over the books I have read to him gives him a chance to explore at his own pace.

Ocean in a Bottle-I made a sensory bottle for the grands out of salt, water (colored with a bit of blue paint) and vegetable oil. I had the grands shake the bottle and then watch it as the salty water and oil began to separate. This began a discussion on why water and oil don’t mix, and what happens when oil finds its way into the ocean. (I used hot glue on the cap so the liquid couldn’t accidentally spill out when they shook it.) This was an activity Tahoe could later explore on his own. It’s amazing how fascinating these sensory bottles can be.  

Make sure to secure the cap with hot glue or duct tape so the oil and water don't accidentally spill out as the bottle is shaken.

Make sure to secure the cap with hot glue or duct tape so the oil and water don’t accidentally spill out as the bottle is shaken.

 

I found the basic information about this activity at this link:

http://happyhooligans.ca/ocean-in-bottle/

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips– My daughter had already taken the boys to a local aquarium and Grandpa Jim and I took them to the beach before I started this unit. I took Tahoe to a local pet store thinking we could find some salt water fish on display there, but alas, they only had freshwater fish for sale at this store. (The store’s website seemed to indicate that salt water fish were for sale at the store, but there weren’t any on display.) Tahoe still had a blast looking at all the different variety of creatures in the aquariums. I had to be careful not to get the shopping cart too close; he wanted to stick his fingers inside to grab some of them. Grandpa Jim and I plan to take all our grandsons to a local tide pool in a few weeks when all the boys have a day off from school.

 

 

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

You can also find my posts on these linky parties.

Preschool-and-Kindergarten-Community-Linkup

 

 

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“Construction” Themed Lessons for 3 Year Olds

I love spending time with my 3 year old grandson, aka, Tahoe, and luckily I get to spend three days a week with him. As a retired teacher, I also love to plan lessons to teach him, especially using the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. During the last two weeks, I have used a “construction” theme to help Tahoe explore a topic he really enjoys. As I planned activities for the “construction” unit, I tried to plan at least one activity for Tahoe in each of the eight intelligences.

 Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-These are the books I borrowed from the library and used to create the lesson plans. I read at least one of these books to Tahoe each day during the two week period.

  • One Big Building by Michael Dahl is a counting book showing construction workers busy working on a twelve story building. 
  • The books Construction and Demolition by Sally Sutton also have wonderful illustrations. Besides describing the different jobs, machines, and tools needed in the construction and demolition processes, there are rhyming words and samples of “sound words” in these books. These are great books to use when “modeling” expressive oral reading.
  • Builder Goose by Bobi Ashburn reworks familiar nursery rhymes and children’s songs using a construction theme. Examples are:

      “There was an Old Foreman” (“There was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”)                                                                                                                                    “Roll, Roll, Roll the Road”  (“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)                                                                                                                                                                         “It’s Spinning, It’s Roaring”  (“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”)

 

Discussions-Whenever I read to Tahoe, we have lots of discussions about the illustrations, rhyming, and new vocabulary (such as skid steer, jackhammer, and concrete mixer).

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-Tahoe loves to sing. Since the book Builder Goose already contains familiar songs rewritten with the “construction” theme, I used it for my source of songs for the musical intelligence for this unit.  Some examples of rewritten songs from this book are:

             “Do You Know the Bulldozer” (“Do You Know the Muffin Man”)

             “Three Dump Trucks” (“Three Blind Mice”)

             “I’m a Heavy Grader” (“I’m a Little Teapot”)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Videos-I played several videos for Tahoe (found online) which showed construction vehicles in action. 

Freestyle Crafts-While I often give Tahoe a more “directed” craft project, I also encourage him to create art on his own. I gave him pieces of construction paper, scissors, glue, and crayons, and we talked about some of the illustrations of buildings in the books we read together. While Tahoe doesn’t cut on lines yet, he was happy practicing his cutting skills on scrap paper and using the pieces he cut for his projects. (His older brothers had cut some of the bigger pieces of paper for him.)

After gluing together his "building," Tahoe decided his project needed more colors.

After gluing together his “building,” Tahoe decided his project needed more colors.

 

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Building Together-Tahoe enjoys getting involved in projects with my hubby, Grandpa Jim, with handyman projects around the house. I feel it is important that Tahoe learn how to work on projects with other people.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pantomimes-  Tahoe and I discussed some of the construction jobs from the books and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. (He usually incorporates some of these pantomimes on his own during his dramatic playtime.)

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – Giving Tahoe personal time to look over the books I have read to him gives him a chance to explore at his own pace. Often, Tahoe retells the stories in the books as he looks at the illustrations.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to him and retelling the stories to himself.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to him and retelling the stories to himself.

Building Towers-Tahoe also enjoyed being able to play with the building blocks and create his own “construction” projects.

Tahoe decided to construct a tower with the blocks.

Tahoe decided to construct a tower with the blocks.

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: There are always lots of counting opportunities for Tahoe in most of the books we read, but One Big Building was written as a counting book, so Tahoe got practice counting from 1-12. 

Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips-There are many opportunities to see construction in our area, so we stopped at a site (at a safe distance) and discussed the tools, machines, and vehicles that were being used. Also we discussed how nature had been changed by the new construction.

 

 

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Thanks for reading my blog. I hope this article is helpful when you are planning learning activities for the “tots” in your care.

I love reading posts and getting ideas about teaching the preschool age group. Here is one of the links I love to explore:

Tot_School_Gathering_Place_300

 

 

 

 

 

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“Construction” Themed Lessons Ages 3-7

School hasn’t started for my two oldest grandsons yet, but I wanted to continue their learning as the summer was ending for them. I decided to use one of the subjects that all my grandsons find interesting as a theme for some lessons. Now, my grandsons had always been enthused by anything on wheels, and lately I’d seen them play a lot with their construction vehicles: dump trucks, bulldozers, etc. So I ordered several books from the local library and 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 (3). We spent two weeks on this study unit, and completed at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

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 (Word Smart)

Read books-These are the books I borrowed from the library and used to create the lesson plans. I read at least one of these books to the grands each day during the two week period.

  • One Big Building by Michael Dahl is a counting book showing construction workers busy working on a twelve story building. All the grands enjoyed this book whether they were counting or measuring the items in the illustrations.
  • The books Construction and Demolition by Sally Sutton also have wonderful illustrations. Besides describing the different jobs, machines, and tools needed in the construction and demolition processes, there are rhyming words and samples of “sound words” (onamonapeia) to discuss with the grands in these books.
  • Builder Goose by Bobi Ashburn reworks familiar nursery rhymes and children’s songs using a construction theme. Examples are:

                    “There was an Old Foreman” (“There was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”)                                                                                                                                      “Roll, Roll, Roll the Road”  (“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)                                                                                                                                                                         “It’s Spinning, It’s Roaring”  (“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”)

 

Discussions-Whenever I read to the grands we are always making predictions on the topic of each page by looking at the illustrations, and having discussions on the vocabulary.

Making Lists and Writing Simple Paragraphs- After reading the book, One Big Building, Tigger (7) and I discussed the topic “vehicles” and he made a list of vehicles from the story. Then I modeled orally how to use this list to plan a paragraph which included a topic sentence. I will continue doing this with Tigger over several days until he understands how to use the list to create an oral paragraph. Then I will actually have him write the paragraph about vehicles.

Rhyming words-The book Builder Goose contains familiar nursery rhymes and songs rewritten with a “construction” theme. After reading the entire book to the grands, we discussed rhyming words and the grands wrote some of rhyming words on a dry erase board.

After reading one of the rhymes in Builder Goose, Kona, 5, wrote down some of the rhyming words on a dry erase board. (The last word on the board is supposed to be "feet." If you look closely, he squeezed in a small "t" at the end of "FEE.")

After reading one of the rhymes in Builder Goose, Kona, 5, wrote down some of the rhyming words on a dry erase board. (The last word on the board is supposed to be “feet.” If you look closely, he squeezed in a small “t” at the end of “FEE.”)

Figurative Language-Onamonopeia-The books Construction and Demolition have lots of examples of Onamonopeia (sound words) in it, such as Clang, Swoosh, and Thonk. I thought this concept would be easier to explain, but the grands didn’t quite get it. They think most words make sounds. (“But, Mimi, chair must be a “sound” word because it makes a sound when it is pushed around on the floor.”) Well, at least they have been exposed to this concept. Mastery will come after a lot more examples I’m sure.

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-Since the book Builder Goose already contains familiar songs rewritten with the “construction” theme, I used it for my source of songs for the musical intelligence for this unit.  Some examples of rewritten songs from this book are:

             “Do You Know the Bulldozer” (“Do You Know the Muffin Man”)

             “Three Dump Trucks” (“Three Blind Mice”)

             “I’m a Heavy Grader” (“I’m a Little Teapot”)

Classical Music-I played Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” from Il Travatore to the grands. (It sounds like a hammer hitting an anvil in the music from this opera.)

 

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Videos-I played several videos I found online that showed construction vehicles in action. 

Freestyle Crafts-We did several kinds of crafts in this themed unit. Some days I had the older grands cut out rectangles and squares from construction paper (I modeled how to make rectangles and squares with a ruler first.) Then the grands could create their own buildings by gluing the shapes on a larger piece of construction paper. Tahoe (3) doesn’t cut on lines yet, but he was happy practicing his cutting skills on scrap paper and using the pieces he cut for his projects.

Directed Projects-Other art activities were more directed. I made a sample of a concrete mixer using ovals, circles, half circles, squares, and rectangles made from construction paper. I also wanted the grands to get drawing practice, so I found some online videos that showed step by step directions to draw some construction vehicles. We tried one of them that basically used rectangles, squares, and circles, and was easy enough for Tigger and Kona to follow.

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help the grands understand the stories I read to them. A fun activity was to have the grands pretend they were the characters in the book and act out the book with their siblings and/or adult. 

Building Together-The grands love to help my hubby, Grandpa Jim, with handyman projects around the house. The boys learn how to use tools, and Grandpa Jim gets some assistance, so it is a win-win situation.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pantomimes-  The grands and I discussed some of the construction jobs from the books and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. Then we played a game where the grandsons pantomimed one of the jobs and the rest of us had to guess which job he was performing.

Human wheelbarrows-Making human wheelbarrows is a good way to help develop their upper arm strength and coordination.

Tigger and Kona played wheelbarrow. Tigger insisted on having something on his back. (It was very light and kept falling off because Tigger was so wiggly.)

Tigger and Kona played wheelbarrow. Tigger insisted on having something on his back. (It was very light and kept falling off because Tigger was so wiggly.)

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting and measuring activities: There are always lots of counting opportunities for Tahoe in most of the books we read, but I added measurement for Kona and Tigger. Then I had the oldest grands practice drawing various lengths with a ruler on a dry erase board.

Creating Addition Problems-I used one of their toy trucks and some building blocks to “construct” word problems for Tigger and Kona. 

Testing the Strength of Cylinders-We used toiler paper rolls to demonstrate the strength of cylinders. (Later as we are traveling, I can point out examples of the use of cylinders in structures.)

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – Giving the grands personal time to look over the books I have read to them gives them a chance to explore at their own pace.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to them and retelling the stories to himself.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to them and retelling the stories to himself.

Building Towers-The grands also enjoyed being able to play with the building blocks all by themselves. It is interesting to see the different types of structures they create when allowed to work on their own projects.

 

Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips-There are many opportunities to see construction in our area, so we stopped at a site (at a safe distance) and discussed the tools, machines, and vehicles that were being used. Also we discussed how nature had been changed by the new construction.

 

Reading outside- I read a lot to the grands, but not all reading has to take place inside.There is  something wonderful about reading books outside, under a tree.

thank-you-clipart-thank-you-flower

 

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

You can also find my posts on these linky parties.

 

 

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Whales, Weather, and the Letter W

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

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

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

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

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

Linguistic (Word Smart)

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

 

 

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

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

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

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

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

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

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

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

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

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

 

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

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

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

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

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

    Interpersonal (People Smart)

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

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

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

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linguistic (Word Smart)

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

 

 

Matching  Pictures with Sounds-I have the grands match “bottle cap” letters of sounds we have been learning with picture cards. (To make the picture cards, I  use illustrations from the grands’ completed workbook and glue them on construction paper. I also save bottle caps from the gallon milk containers when they are empty and print letters on the bottle caps with a marker.  These are great ways to reuse items I already have on hand.)

 

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

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

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

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

 

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

 

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help the grands understand the stories I read to them. A fun activity is to have the grands pretend they are the characters in the book and act out the book with their siblings and/or adult. 

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

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

 

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pantomimes- I put pictures/words that begin with the letter “Q” on cards and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. Then we played a game where the grandsons picked out a card without showing me, and then pantomimed the word or picture.

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

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

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

Nature Letters or Words-Making letters from natural items is always a good way to make a connection between the shape of the letter and a word that begins with the letter. So making the letter “Q” out of stones is a good activity for the naturalist intelligence. I had Tigger spell some “Q” words using a stick to scratch out the letters in the dirt.

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

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

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

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

Pattern blocks: I had Kona make a capital “Q” with pattern blocks. Then he had to name all the shapes he used to make the letter. I had him do this several times using the different types of pattern blocks. 

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – I give the grands independent time to look at the books I mentioned in the Linguistic Intelligence. In fact, they love to curl up under a quilt as they read.

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

 

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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Library Lessons and the Letter L

It was time to work on the letter “L” and as I was looking for books to read to my grands for these lessons, I found several wonderful books about libraries.

That reminded me that I needed a way to help the grands learn about the libraries that they visit all the time. (And to help Tahoe, 2, to understand that the library was not really a racetrack with conveniently placed bookshelves as obstacles to keep Mimi from catching him.)

Another goal was to familiarize or expand the grands’ vocabulary with words that begin with the  “L” sound besides the word “library.” I brainstormed words that began with the  letter “L” and fun activities to help them understand and remember these words.

So I planned a study unit that combined activities connected with the letter L and libraries. As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (6), Kona (4), and Tahoe (2). I try to do two intelligences each day, so this would be a four day unit.

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

Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-I chose two books in particular to be the basis of this study: The Library Pages by Carlene Morton and Valeria Docampo and Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. Both books help teach the rules of the library, but in a really fun way. Tahoe and Kona especially loved Library Lion about a lion who tries to obey the rules in the library so he can stay for story time. (Just after I finished this unit with my grandsons, I discovered a great article about taking toddlers to the library from Growing Book By Book. Her article also includes a recommended book that works with this Study Unit. I’m going to check it out at the library!)

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

Discussions-As we read Library Lion and Library Pages, we discussed the way the author explained the rules of a library in the story without making an actual list of rules.

Matching  Pictures with Sounds-I have the grands match “bottle cap” letters of sounds we have been learning with picture cards. (To make the picture cards, I  use illustrations from the grands’ completed workbook and glue them on construction paper. I also save bottle caps from the gallon milk containers when they are empty and print letters on the bottle caps with a marker.  These are great ways to reuse items I already have on hand.)

 

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

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

 

 

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

 Letter crafts-I used the word “ladder” as the topic of another craft project for the grands. As Kona worked on this project, he sounded out each letter in the word “ladder” separately. He can’t put the sounds together yet, but I was happy that he was understanding that each letter had its own separate sound.  I also wanted to work on Kona’s letter writing skills, so I had him trace some capital “L”s and trace the word ladder. To my surprise, two year old Tahoe also wanted to trace the letters and word on his project too.

 

Videos-I played several videos I found online that teach the sound of the letter “L” and had the grands repeat the sounds and words that began with the letter L during the second playing of the video for them.

 

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play-I love using dramatic play as a way to help the grands understand the stories I read to them. A fun activity is to have the grands pretend they are the characters in the book and act out the book with their siblings and/or adult. 

Cooking-I chose “lettuce” as the main ingredient of a simple salad that the grands help to create. They helped tear the lettuce and added some of their favorite salad ingredients (such as raisins, grapes and shredded carrots)  to it.

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

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

Storytime at the Library- Now that Tahoe is moving his nap time from morning to early afternoon, I was able to take him to a weekly story time at one of our local libraries. It was really crowded, but he did a great job staying with me on the rug, singing and dancing with the librarian, and responding to the stories she read to him. We didn’t stay for crafts (sooo crowded), but he enjoyed the session very much and I will make this a weekly activity for Tahoe.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Walking to the library-This will be a good activity for the grands as they get older. I walk to the one near my home all the time, but the distance is still too far for these little guys (and I don’t want to carry them).

Pantomimes- I put pictures/words that begin with the letter “L” on cards and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. Then we played a game where the grandsons picked out a card without showing me, and then pantomimed the word or picture.

Legos-The grands love playing with legos anyway. Besides designing their own creations with the legos, I had them make the letter “L” out of legos.

Lacing Cards-Lacing cards are another activity I used during our unit on the letter “L.”

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

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

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

Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips-Visiting the local library is always a good field trip. Many libraries have outdoor areas to enjoy. On our recent visit to a local library, Tahoe enjoyed the succulent garden at the entrance to the library. This particular library also had a “Reading Garden” so we investigated that too. Of course, visiting a lake would be another great field trip since  “lake” begins with the letter “L.”

Nature Letters-Making letters from natural items is always a good way to make a connection between the shape of the letter and a word that begins with the letter. So making the letter “L” out of leaves is a good activity for the naturalist intelligence.

Reading outside-It is amazing how pleasing it can be to take a library book outside and read it under a shady tree or near some fragrant roses. I used to take my class to the nearby park for an hour long reading session. We brought along blankets and beach chairs and made ourselves comfortable on the lawn by some trees. My students always thought this was a great treat!

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt-The grands always enjoy scavenger hunts, so either I give them picture cards of natural items that start with the letter “L” or we brainstorm ideas ahead of time. Then we look around the backyard or our neighborhood for these items. Some ideas for this activity are: lemons, lizards, ladybugs, leaves, lakes, and lavender plants.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: Since my grandsons have so many books in their home library, I used these books in their counting activities. For Tahoe, we just counted the books on one shelf until we got to twenty. (He is still forgetting a few numbers as we count together from 11-20.) I asked Kona to count all of the books. He whined, “But it’s too much!”  I showed him how to put   books in groups of ten to make the counting easier. He really enjoyed doing that. Of course, he got sidetracked several times because he kept wanting to stop and have me read him one of the books. Overall, he really enjoyed this activity. This is a great activity for Tigger (6) too!

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

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

Pattern blocks: I had Kona make a capital “L” with pattern blocks. Then he had to name all the shapes he used to make the letter. I had him do this several times using the different types of pattern blocks. 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – I wanted the grands to understand that they had several libraries in their own home. I had them choose two of books they enjoyed and we made a simple craft using the books’ titles that formed the letter “L.” Afterwards, Kona chose several books from the family room library to take aside to read. 

Exploration Bins-Putting together a collection of items that begin with the letter “L” is always a great intrapersonal activity.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-It is easy to find songs for the letter “L” on the internet. On my own I thought about “Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and “Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli.” I found other songs I liked on this website:

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

Create your own fingerplays or songs- I really wanted a song about a library so I created my own using the melody from “The Wheels of the Bus.” These are my first three verses, but I’m sure you could create many others:

The library has so many books, Many  books, Many  books, The library has so many books, I go there every week.

And when I’m there I talk softly, Talk softly, Talk softly, And when I’m there I talk softly, I go there every week.

I really enjoy the Story Time, Story Time, Story Time, I really enjoy the Story Time, I go there every week.

 

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

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Favorite Books of the Summer

( A note of caution: if you just want to see the list of books I recommend, skip to end of this post. I’m afraid I might be a little wordy explaining why I’m writing this post in the first place. Sorry, but that’s my linguistic intelligence getting the better of me.)

 

Book-happy

Whenever I take a Multiple Intelligence survey, one of my strongest intelligences is always linguistic. I spoke early as a child, was always encouraged to write, and of course, I read dozens and dozens of books, especially in elementary school. So you would think I would continue to read lots of books as an adult.

I certainly had great role models. Both of my parents were voracious readers. One of my childhood homes was one block away from our school, a park, and a small county library. I think my parents purchased the house for its locale, certainly not for its dark wallpaper, termite issues, and abundance of ivy which seemed to attract vermin (although my parents quickly remedied these drawbacks). My mother walked all of us kiddos to the library every week. Children were limited to three books, but adults could check out many more. My mother would carry home a huge stack of books each week, and she would finish them all! (As far as I know, she only read at night after we were all fed and bathed, so she either read very fast or stayed up late reading.)

My dad went to the library also, but he additionally loved to buy used books. In every home he has had as an adult, one entire side of the garage has always been filled floor to ceiling with used books displayed on homemade bookshelves. (When he decides to move into an assisted living residence in the future, I have no idea where we will put all his books!)

But when I became an adult, even though I still had a passion to read lots of books, I just didn’t seem to make recreational reading a priority compared to all my other responsibilities. That is, until I joined a book club. Then I became motivated to get at least the book club selection finished each month, and sometimes I even read an additional book of my own choosing.  Eventually I was so busy at work, I couldn’t even attend book club meetings. I always had a nightstand stacked with books, however, and found time to read several books each year, usually during summer break.

So as I got older and my retirement neared, I looked forward to having all this free time to read to my heart’s content. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I remember a familiar quote of Aristotle: “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Well, apparently so does retirement.

Don’t get me wrong. The people and activities that have filled my life since my retirement give me a tremendous amount of joy! But time for my recreational reading wasn’t fulfilling my expectations.

So I joined another book club a year ago. Problem solved. Now I make reading a priority (because who wants to admit to not finishing the book club selection when you gather with your club friends). Of course, another benefit of a book club is delving into books you wouldn’t normally have chosen. Now I don’t believe every book we chose is a literary masterpiece, but along the way I’ve been rewarded with some real gems that wouldn’t have received a second glance from me at the library or bookstore.  And I think good books should be shared ( or at least their titles publicized). So that is why I’m taking a break from describing how I teach my grandsons with multiple intelligence strategies, and instead making a list of my favorite reads of this past summer.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks…This was one of those books that once you became involved with the characters, you couldn’t put down. Budo is the imaginary ( or is he real?) friend of eight year old Max, an autistic boy who doesn’t understand other people very well. Fortunately, Budo is very savvy and the book’s main focus revolves around Budo’s actions to save Max from a dangerous situation. Since Budo can’t communicate with “real” humans, he uses the help of the other imaginary friends he has met.  Our book club members are all involved in education in some way, so our discussion hit very close to home as we thought about the “Max” students we have encountered in our careers. We also became very attached to Budo, and a few of the other imaginary friends in the story.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan…Wow! A bookstore that is open 24 hours a day seems like a dream come true, except this bookstore doesn’t get very much traffic. And when a customer does come in, they are asking for unusual books that are found in the top recesses at the back of the store. Main character Clay Jannon, a former web designer who takes on the job as a late night clerk in this puzzling establishment, is intrigued by the customers and their choices of books. As he investigates the real purpose of the bookstore, we meet some very eccentric, but lovable characters. This was another book that I couldn’t put down, and the rest of the book club found it as enchanting as I did.

The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion…Genetics professor Don Tillman is looking for a wife. However, he has difficulty relating to most people (much like Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory”) so he devises a way to find the perfect wife: through a survey that he has meticulously created. Along the way he meets  Rosie Jarman, who involves Professor Tillman in a search for the identity of her biological father. Free-spirit Rosie doesn’t match any of the qualifications for his perfect wife, yet she helps Tillman discover a more enriching and full life. This book is very charming, and the author has written a sequel to be released soon.

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle…I suggested this book to the book club members because I had read about it on someone else’s blog. I have been a fan of Madeleine L’Engle ever since I read A Wrinkle in Time to my fourth grade classroom. So a “journal” type book written by L’Engle sounded intriguing. It was! This is a book  that I want to keep, reread, ponder, and underline passages. It is full of family anecdotes, but more than that, it is a dialogue of her writing philosophy. This isn’t just a book for fans of Madeleine L’Engle; those who love to write, or want to become writers will find so much inspiration and encouragement as she explains her passion for writing even when A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by many publishers.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg…O.K. I’m cheating by including this book because I actually read this book last fall. However, I just had to include it because the entire book club thoroughly enjoyed this book and part of its plot relates to the little known, but important contribution women aviators accomplished during World War II. Mrs. Sookie Poole, an Alabama matron who has just married off the third of her four children, has her comfortable life interrupted when she receives a registered letter from Texas. In her quest to uncover a secret about her parentage, she uncovers the history of a hardworking family in Wisconsin, and their amazing daughters who became WASPs during World War II. It is a story filled with humor and warmth.

For my next post, I will begin a new series on how I use Multiple Intelligence (M. I.) strategies to teach my grandsons about short vowels. I hope it will give you some inspiration on using M. I. when planning lessons or activities for the children in your care.

 

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