Upon special request we squeezed in one more quick letter I craft late Friday afternoon. One way we practice letter recognition each week is by doing a letter craft that includes a simple cutout related to the letter of the week and foam letters. With everything else this week, I didn’t include it in our list of activities, but somebody noticed. Lovey pointed to all of the others hanging on her bedroom door, and said, “What are we making for I, Mommy?”
Umm? I had nothing. But we had just seen this amazing praying mantis outside. We had discussed how a praying mantis is an insect and insect starts with I, so I had an idea.
I quickly cut out three green rectangles and eight black rectangles for each child. I talked to them about the three main body parts of an insect (head, thorax, abdomen), and told them that we were going to build an insect with our green rectangles. They easily formed the capital I, and we pointed to the top, middle, and bottom as we reviewed the three main body parts again.
Then we talked about the number of antennae insects have and glued two black rectangles to the head.
Next we counted how many black rectangles we had left, six. We looked back at our picture of the praying mantis and found its six legs. Then we glued six legs onto our I insect.
The kids are getting really good at digging through our large bin of foam letters and finding the letter of the week. I used to have to help them more, but now they love sifting through the letters together. Some kids may need a smaller amount of letters to sort through, maybe small handfuls or a mixture that includes only a few different letters instead of the whole alphabet.
As the kids found their letters, they placed them in one group stack. This helps prevent one child from having all of the letters, and gives us a chance to practice a few sorting and counting skills along the way.
After they found as many Is as they wanted, we counted all of the letters. They found 30 today. Well okay, I may have hidden one in my hand so we could have an even number to divide, but nobody noticed.
Once we knew how many we had in all, the kids took turns choosing one letter from the stack until the stack was gone. This is one way I like to practice taking turns and handling disappointment. As a classroom teacher I saw so many kids get upset if someone took the piece they wanted, so I try to expose the kids to this kind of task occasionally. For the most part, it goes over pretty well.
After sorting our letters into two piles, the kids counted their individual stacks. They were so excited to find out they both had the same amount, and I was, too. That meant nobody cheated and skipped a turn!
We finished up by putting all of the letters on the insect. Of course, they turned the letters in all directions, so that brought up a great conversation about how an I can be and H if you turn it on its side. This is what our finished I Insects looked like. I will probably add eyes if we make this craft again, but the kids enjoyed putting it together.
What crafts do you do to teach the letter I?