Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

Elf on the Shelf Book Study-Age 44 months

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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Books About Autumn: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

Fall 2015: I’ve always loved the autumn season, even though I live in Southern California where the start of the this season does not segue into cooler temperatures. But leaves and acorns do fall from the trees, and Grandpa Jim rakes the leaves in our backyard into piles so the grands can jump into them.

We visit an apple orchard in the local mountains and take hikes. In October we carve pumpkins (and this year our garden produced four of them) and make pumpkin pies. So, yes, autumn is still a wonderful experience for all of us.

I decided to build upon these experiences by creating “autumn” themed lessons for the grands. After ordering several books from the local library, and looking at the plethora of autumn activities that other educators and homeschoolers are posting, 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 (3). We spent three weeks on this study unit, and completed at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

Fall 2016: I revisited this topic with the grands this month and so I have updated the post with more books and activities that I used with the grands in 2016. (In the fall of 2016 the grands are ages 4, 6, and 8.)

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 three week period. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary, using pictures to predict what was going to happen next in the story, and then 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:

Countdown to FallCount Down to Fall by Fran Hawk is a great (backwards) counting book, mostly about autumn leaves, with amazing illustrations. Each page focuses on a different type of leaf and has rhyming verses.

Discussion Focus: Rhyming Words-This skill was adapted for each grandson. With Tahoe, I explained the rhyming words on each page and had him repeat them after me. 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.

Fall by Cynthia AmorosoFall (Seasons of the Year) by Cynthia Amoroso and Robert B. Noyed covers other aspects of autumn such as picking apples at orchards, birds flying south, and squirrels gathering food for the winter . Beautiful photographs accompany the text.

Discussion Focus: Sight Words-I had Kona (5) pick a few pages and tell me (and write down) all the sight words he knew (a, and, the, it, see). For Tahoe (3) I showed him the sight word “a” when we came across it in the book. (Tigger has pretty much mastered sight words.)

Mouse's First FallMouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson is another beautifully illustrated fiction book about two mice playing in some autumn leaves. This is a great book for preschoolers, including Tahoe, aged 3.

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.

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber focuses on the different types of trees and their leaves. This book is Leaf Jumpersnice for younger children interested in matching the fallen leaves with their trees. It has lovely illustrations.

Discussion Focus: Finding details-This was more of a discussion only item for Tahoe, but with Kona and Tigger, I chose three different leaves and after reading the page on each leaf, they had to tell me at least two details. I had Tigger write down the details.

Autumn Leaves book

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins is a terrific non-fiction book that also matches the autumn leaves with their trees. It would be better for school-aged children rather than preschoolers. The photographs and text cover such trees as the sweet gum, hickory, red oak, linden, and dogwood. It would be a nice resource to take on hikes or trips to the park.

Discussion Focus: Finding Details- I had the grands look for details on the “shapes of leaves” as I read Autumn Leaves with them. Tigger had to write this information in his journal.

Why DWhy do leaves change colorso Leaves Change Colors by Terry Allan Hicks is a non-fiction book that is full of scientific explanations, photographs, and an activity for older elementary aged children. It was a wonderful resource book for me, and I did read a few pages to my grandsons and show them the illustrations. However, the grands weren’t ready to have the entire book read to them, even though it is only 30 pages long.

Discussion Focus: New Words-I used this book with Tigger to pick out words that were new to him and had him write them down so we could discuss them.

 

fall-harvest-bookFall Harvest by Gail Saunders-Smith is a great short book for vocabulary development and for early readers. It has wonderful photographs of people and machines harvesting a variety of foods including pumpkins, apples, sugar beets, wheat, corn, potatoes, and cranberries. There are short sentences on each page, so it is a good book for those children who are just beginning to read books and a glossary in the back. 

Discussion Focus: How is Food Grown- I used this book with Tahoe to help him understand how food is grown (some in the ground, some on stalks of leaves, some on trees). Since the sentences are short, Kona was able to read most of the sentences once I had read the book to him several times and he began to recognize words such as harvest, people, and machines. Tigger and I discussed how many non-fiction books have a glossary in the back of it.

animals-in-fallAnimals in Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad (All About Fall series) is similar to Fall Harvest with its fantastic photographs and short sentences on each page. This book differs because it focuses on the many ways animals prepare in the fall for the upcoming winter season.

 Discussion Focus: Similarities and Differences-I had the grands give me details from each animal that was discussed in the book and discussed how these preparations for similar or different from each other.

 

fall-ball-bookFall Ball by Peter McCarty is a cute story about some children who can’t wait to get off the school bus so they can enjoy their favorite fall sport: football. As the children get of the bus, they start organizing a football game at the park, although one boy decides to stay behind because there are too many leaves on the ground. Another character in the story is their dog, Sparky, who also loves football. My grands loved the dog’s antics during the football game.

Discussion Focus: Making Predictions-There are many opportunities in the story to ask, “What do you think will happen next?” so this a great way to practice making predictions with all of the grands.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • Walk around neighborhood and pick up some of the fallen autumn leaves. The children can later categorize them by color, shape, or even tree.
  • Create math problems with autumn themes such as: The squirrels in the neighborhood park are collecting acorns to store for winter. If five squirrels each collect six acorns today, how many will that be? What if one of these squirrels is very ambitious and collects nine acorns instead of six. How many acorns would be collected by all five squirrels now?
  • Have the grands throw a football and measure the distance it was thrown.

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Play Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons-Autumn”  as you read one of the stories aloud.
  • I found some great rhymes and songs including “All the Leaves are Falling Down” using the tune
     “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “Saw a Leaf” using the melody from “My Darling Clementine” at this link:

http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music_station07/fall-leaves-songs-rhymes-sep07.shtml

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Autumn Leaf craft projects-Since most of the books focused on leaves, I designed some autumn leaf crafts for Tahoe (3). Among the art supplies that I frequently use are Creatology foam stickers and circle punches. I buy the buckets of foam stickers from the craft store whenever they are on sale or I have a 50% off coupon because the boys love to work with them. I also have three different sizes of circle punches because (again) the grands enjoy punching out circles from construction paper and the circles can be used in so many craft projects.

Scarecrow and Spider Crafts-My grandsons also enjoyed making autumn themed crafts for a scarecrow and a spider.

 

You can get the directions here from my other blog posts:

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2015/10/16/kid-craft-challenge-2-craft-stick-scarecrow/

https://mimiandthegrands.com/2015/10/02/kid-craft-challenge-1-paper-plate-spider-web/

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Dramatic play-Reenact the story of  Mouse’s First Fall  or Fall Ball with siblings.
  • Work together with others (such as siblings) to rake the leaves and create a large pile of them. Then take turns jumping in the leaves.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I found several physical activities on websites for autumn and created one of my own. 

  • Acorn Race: I gave my grandsons one acorn and a wooden spoon. I had them hit the acorns with the spoons to move the acorns from one side of our front sidewalk to the other side. They got to practice first before an “official” race began.
  • Leaf Blowers: My grandsons were given each a leaf and a straw. The object of the game was to blow the leaf across the width of the table. After they raced several times and were getting really good at this, I challenged them to race along the length of the outdoor table.
  • I found the Leaf Blower idea and many other physical activities for autumn at this link: 

http://www.kidactivities.net/category/Games-AutumnFall.aspx

Football Activities: Since one of the books we read together about autumn is focused around the game of football, I have included some bodily-kinesthetic ideas for football. One idea is to have the grands practice throwing a football through a hula hoop. Of course, the grands are at a good age to start passing the football to each other as well. I looked for other easy activities they could do with a football and discovered some excellent ideas on this website: http://fitfamilytogether.com/fun-games-for-kids-football

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • What is your favorite autumn activity? Draw a picture or write about it in a journal.
  • Discuss: Which is your favorite autumn leaf in the books that we have read?
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • Visit a pumpkin farm or an apple orchard. Grandpa Jim and I usually take our grandsons to the local apple orchards for a picnic, hiking, and buying apples. We also visit a nearby pumpkin patch.

 

  • Walk around your neighborhood and collect fallen leaves, seed pods, acorns, or other natural materials. I had the grands start a nature journal using natural materials we found on our walks or hikes.

 

I hope the children in your care enjoy these activities as much as my grandsons did. 

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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.

 

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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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“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.

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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.

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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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Learning at the Beach with Multiple Intelligences

Even trips to the beach can be part of your curriculum. During this trip, my grandsons learned about wind currents, jellyfish, seagulls, and wrote vowel letters in the sand.

Even trips to the beach can be part of your curriculum. During this trip, my grandsons learned about wind currents, jellyfish, seagulls, and wrote vowel letters in the sand.

Hooray! It’s summer once again…but that doesn’t mean learning is on vacation. While your children may not be “hitting the books” during the summer season, their minds are as active as ever. Whether you are a parent, grandparent (like me), homeschooler, afterschooler, or caregiver, you are probably planning some special summer activities. Let me share with you how one “typical” summer activity can be a wonderful learning opportunity for the children in your care using Multiple Intelligences.

This summer my grandsons are the following ages: Tigger just turned 7, Kona is 5, and Tahoe is a curious 3 year old. (I am not using my grandsons’ real names in my blog.)

Linguistic Intelligence

Read books-There are so many great books about the beach to read to children before going on your trip. These are the books I have used in the past and the grands have enjoyed very much:

Not only do I read aloud to the grands, but now that Tigger is reading, he can read these books aloud to us as well.

Last year before we went to the beach, I read The Lighthouse Children to the grands. We took the book along as we drove so the grands could enjoy the book on their own. In case you haven’t read it, the “children” mentioned in the story are actually seagulls. I guess this lesson didn’t make a big enough impression on Tahoe, just two years old at the time. As we walked along the beach, several seagulls followed us. He stopped in amazement, pointed to the birds, and said loudly, “CHICKENS!” I guess I’ll need to repeat this book with the grands this summer.

Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach is one Kona’s favorites so I’m sure I will read it numerous times again to my grandchildren.

I will also make new choices of books about the beach to read this summer to Tigger, Kona, and Tahoe. This website has some great recommendations:

http://www.reallifeathome.com/ten-best-beach-books-for-young-children/

Audio books-I will also try to find the above mentioned books in an audio book format so we can listen to the book as we drive to and from the beach.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: There are plenty of things to count at the beach such as: boats on the ocean, number of waves in five minutes (for times when the children need a rest break), number of steps from your beach blanket to the water, beach umbrellas, birds, etc.

Measuring:  If you have a thermometer, take it with you to measure the temperature of the water as well as the air at the beach. Ask them to analyze this data. Is there a difference in temperatures? Why might that be?

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Walk This Way- As you walk along the beach, try different movements to see which ways are easiest (walking normally, walking sideways, hopping, skipping, running, etc.)

Playing with the waves-My grandsons like to walk into the water a little, and then run back to the dry sand as the waves come in. Older children will probably enjoy boogie boarding.

Frisbees-We always take frisbees to our beach outings as well. Running to catch the frisbee in the sand is totally different than the same activity on grass.

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Letter crafts- Write alphabet letters, spelling words, or messages in dry or wet sand.

Other craft ideas- Collect items from the beach (if you’re allowed) such as seabird feathers, shells, kelp, and sand. 

Tigger collects shells on the beach.

Tigger collects shells on the beach.

 

You could also include copies of pictures that were taken during the beach trip in your collection. At home, use these items to make a collage or scrapbook of beach memories. Or they can cut out pictures from magazines and old workbooks to make a collage.

Kona created this after our beach trip.

Kona created this after our beach trip.

Videos-  There are plenty of videos online that can be used before or after your beach trip to explain natural phenomenon. My husband discussed wind currents with the grands during our beach trip, so we found several videos when we returned home for the grands to watch for more information.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips Going to the beach is of course a field trip itself, but if you happen to go to a beach that has a nature museum, ship museum, or a tidepool, that would be a bonus!

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt- Before going to the beach, create a scavenger hunt and take it with you. It could include items such as seagulls, waves, shells, kelp, and any other natural item that might be found at the beach to which you will travel. Use a checklist or pictures to help the children in your care search for these items. Sometimes, I have my grandsons use my cell phone to take pictures of items they find on the scavenger hunts (which can later be used for the collage activity mentioned in the “Spatial” section).

    Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play- Before going to the beach with young ones, it may be a good idea to do some dramatic play together about the beach trip so the children know what to expect. You might include these ideas in your dramatic play: packing a lunch, laying out a beach towel, walking in the sand, looking for the lifeguard stations, dipping toes in the water and running back to the beach towel, etc.

Packing a lunch- The grands always want to help when I pack food for our trips so we all work together on it. I help all the grands as they make their own sandwiches (usually pbj or turkey and cheese). It is a great bodily-kinesthethic activity to have the grands spread their own butter, jelly, or mayo on the bread. As you have them cut the sandwiches, you can discuss fractions as well. Besides sandwiches, the grands like to spread peanut butter on celery sticks, and slice the strawberries. As you pack your items in a cooler, explain the reasons these foods need to be kept cool.

Kona slices strawberries to pack for our lunch.

Kona slices strawberries to pack for our lunch.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading– The grands love to look over the books we have previously read together on their own time. For example, we take beach books with us for the car ride to the beach.

Sand PlayTake sand toys with you when you go to the beach and allow each child a chance to work on a sand project by themselves, whether it be a sandcastle, a moat, or other structure.

Individual Reflections-Before leaving the beach, have the children close their eyes for a minute or so and use their five senses to enjoy the beach. Afterwards, ask each child about their favorite sense experience.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Finger plays and songs- The grands and I have been learning “Down by the Bay”, “Five Little Fishies in the Sea” and “Surfin’ U.S. A.” There are so many other songs that can be discovered online as well. I found other ideas at this website:

http://www.prekfun.com/A-F/Beach/Beach_Songs.htm

Listening to Classical Music- There are several classical pieces of music with ocean or beach themes such as Claude Debussy’s La Mer or Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. Ask the children if they can hear the ocean in the music as they listen.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence suggestions useful as you plan activities for the children in your care. If you would like to see more about Multiple Intelligence teaching strategies, you can become a follower of this blog.

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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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