Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homeschooling Babble...

Thought I'd share some things I've been using with my kids.
We're studying the letter "E" this week. I had the kids make puppets out of brown lunch bags. You can get the template here. I cut out the templates to save time. I also printed them in color for the same reason.
As I already stated, I cut out the templates the night before. Then I put them in an envelope that had the letter "E" written on the front. This is their "E" envelope, and you can talk about how the word "envelope" also starts with the letter "E." I also included little slips of card stock in their "E" envelopes that had words written on them. Half of the words started with the short sound "E" and the other half were just random words. I'll tell you what I did with these a little later in this post.

Have your kids glue the pieces onto the brown bag according to the directions that are included with the templates. We then gave our elephants names that began with the short sound letter "E". Lily named hers Emily, and Ian named his Ernest.

I then had the kids get their little slips of card stock out of their "E" envelopes. I told them that their elephants only eat words that begin with the letter "E", uppercase or lower case. They had to sort through the words, and when they found a word that started with "E" they "fed" it to their elephant.

Lily had a hard time recognizing the letter "E" when she looked at the whole word. So I covered up all the word but the first letter and held the letter right next to the "E" on the envelope, and she was able to recognize "E" much better.
The kids had a lot of fun "feeding" their hungry elephants, and this activity was a great way to reinforce "E" identification. You could also make different animal puppets and use the same concept. For example, mouse for "M", lion for "L", tiger for "T", etc. Then make word tags and feed the animals like we did for the elephant and "E."

I also wanted to tell you about a great website that we use. You might have already heard of it. It is It is great for letters, phonics, and reading. This is a favorite at our house.

And for all you that have preschoolers that you must distract during school time, here is a great sorting activity. You will need pony beads in assorted colors, a container with different compartments (or small Dixie cups), and a hot glue gun.

Decide which colors you want to include. Then get a bead of each color and glue one color per compartment or cup using the hot glue gun.

Then get approximately 10-20 pony beads of each color you used in your container (cups) and put them into a snack-sized baggie.

Give the baggie and the container to your child, and have him/her sort the beads according to color.


BurttBunch said...

What great ideas! I need to do the pony beads for Arabella. She always needs something to distract her.
And I LOVE LOVE LOVE starfall! I think that is how Malachi learned to read. We did it last year a couple of times a week and he could read the stories like Zac the Rat and the other ones. Love the elephant too!

Michelle said...

wonderful ideas! I'll be printing out that cute little template this afternoon! I have started working with Sarah since she wants to do school like the older girls and this will be a fun project for the letter e

Enjoy this time! this post brought back so many memories of doing stuff like this with the older girls. I wish we could go back and start over!

Katy said...

The elephants are just too cute! What a great idea! :) And the color sorter idea with the beads...another awesome idea!!! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Sarah said...

I love the elephants. That website looks neat...I will have to check it out. :)

Christian said...

These are great ideas, thanks for sharing. I am a huge fan of Starfall, my sister had some of their workbooks, and passed them on to me, unused, for FREE!! After doing a little browsing on their site, I saw you could print out a bunch of stuff, even pages from the workbooks. I LOVE IT! Also, I am totally using that bead sorting idea, great!