Welcome to our One Letter a Week journey travelling from A to Z in 26 weeks
26 weeks (equivalent to 6 months) of the English Alphabet exploration : Remember you can spread this out over a year, take breaks as and when you wish or extend weekly explorations to fort nightly ones. You would then do this entire course over 52 weeks at your own pace. Do comment on the posts below, save, like, share them and do connect on social media for more.
For introducing all new letters, try to use the SPARC method. This is a holistic method that we will follow week by week to work through letter activities with early learners.
(SPARC is a simple METHOD we have developed and used with little learners at home. ~Karishma, founder, Think Alternate)
1. S: Stress on the starting sound that the Letter A makes.
2. P: Point to the way your mouth/throat/tongue/belly moves when you make the sound.
3. A: Associate the letter with words by repetition and enunciation.
4. R: Read books, recite poems and revise concepts that associate with the letter
5. C: Create something with your hands- a rhyme, story, game, model or a meal
Pick 4 common words that you will find in picture books. Cut out pictures, use models or build them. Here we have used play dough to create models of 4 common words that begin with A. Ideally use words that start with the sound of A as in ANT, ARROW, APPLE.
Stress on the letter sound ; Point to the shape your mouth, tongue and chin make when you make the sound Aa; Associate the words with the sounds they start with; Read all about these words in books, recite some poems and create some models (play dough models) , games (word, preposition and colour combinations) and meals (apple crumble)
Activity 2. Simple game idea- make variations and combination of commands
Nouns (ant, arrow, Apple) + prepositions (on, under, in front of, behind) + descriptors (colours, sizes, shapes)
put the ANT on the yellow tile
place the ARROW behind the big box
Activity 3 Prep a letter Meal
Choose readily available foods that start with the letter sound Aa in and around your house.
APPLE, AVOCADO are easy to find, but you may use Amaranth, Artichokes, Applesauce and Almonds as well
For Apple- Make an Apple based meal with your child. Involve them in as many age appropriate steps as possible. Allow them to wash, mix ingredients, add spices and sugar into the recipe/s. Linking here the blog post by Yummy Toddler Foods to start you up with ideas.
If using Avocado, here’s a list of super healthy Avocado based ideas you can try.
Activity 4 Nature exploration prompt
Ant hunts in and around your house. Use this nature exploration card as cue to hunt for ants in nature. Journal about what you see, their behaviour and what you would like to find out more.
Activity 5 Ant themed Art work
Here’s a fun prompt to involve art work that focus on fine motor skills and art introduction to little ones- finger print ants
You may use a stamp pad with child safe ink (we have used the Melissa and Doug Stamp Set) or watercolour paints. Both wash off easily. If you want an edible option, use turmeric paste made in water. Stamp an ant and talk about its parts- 3 parts that make the body (count 1-2-3), 2 antennae (put your hands on your head, stick out the index finger and wiggle them to feel around – action association for antennae; act like ants if you may, crawling and feeling around with antennae); and 6 legs (for all insects)
Activity 6 rhymes and songs to go with the letter A
Personal favourites are listed here.
1. Charlie and the Alphabet by a baby Tv – Charlie meets A
3. Funtastic Tv Letter A Phonics
Activity 7 Tape resist free art expressions
On a sheet of drawing paper, create the letter A with paper tape. Offer the child paints, paintbrushes, sponges and stamps to express freely on paper. Once, dry, peel off the tape and file this art work under letter A
Activity 8 Aa as in Animal (Matching game)
Use a simple animal picture books and have children pretend play and match animals in the books to small animal figures or toys. Also, every time the child matches the animal correctly, use a kinaesthetic prompt to allow for movement answers play to complete the experience.
for example, MEOW AND WALK LIKE A CAT ; HOP LIKE A RABBIT; JUMP LIKE A KANGAROO
Additional Ideas and resources –
for older children, 6 years and up
As we have been, at home, doing this module with a 2 year old alongside an older child (5y 6mo) we have also delved further into this topic to create crafts, memorise and write poetry as well.
For an older child, here are some resources on the topic.
3. What you don’t see – Ant hill art Exploration
Art discovery prompt– what lies under an anthill?
Books referred to
- The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson
- The Street beneath my Feet by Yuval Zommer
- Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman
1. By Purvi J – Find her Instagram page here
We have just started with this approach of learning. My toddler is 3.2 years old and we are just working on our pre writing skills and fine motors skills now.
Initially I was focusing on all of the alphabets at a time. Like letter recognition, letter sound, pronunciation and recital of alphabets.But your blog made me rethink. And I am planning to go one alphabet at a time. Again these are just a few of the materials.
We are also using jolly phonics poems. Painting/ tracing the alphabets is another way we are incorporating to work on our pre writing skills Also planning to use the magnatiles for creating alphabets. We trace in sand in the playground as well.
2. By Sonakshi R, Speech & Language Pathologist – find her Instagram page here
The Letter B is a fun letter that can be moulded into even more fun alliterations. Use combinations of words from the list below to make your own alliterations that can be drawn, painted, constructed or imagined, or all at once.
BEES ON BUTTER | BIG BUBBLES IN THE BLUE BATH | BIG BIN IN THE BLUE BUS
Play with words and ask children to make their own silly alliterations, while you ensure that you stress on the letter sound ; Point to the shape your mouth, tongue and chin make when you make the sound Bb ; Read all about these words in books, recite some poems and create some models (play dough models) , games and meals (brown bread and butter would be a go to!)
Here’s a small, simple set up for a 2 year old to associate the letter Bb with objects that begin with the sound: BANANAS IN A BLUE BOWL, BUNNY AND BUTTERFLY WITH A BAG, BABY BEAR IN THE BATHTUB, BEAR UNDER A BLANKET ON THE BED
Activity 2 Prep a letter Meal
Choose readily available foods that start with the letter sound Bb in and around your house.
BREAD, BUTTER, BANANAS, BEANS, BROCCOLI, BEETROOT, BERRIES
We chose to BAKE BUTTERY ONE BOWL BROWNIES(click to head to recipe). Serve with a side of BANANA AND BERRY BOWL OR SMOOTHIE.
Activity 3: Nature exploration Bees
Bees are of many kinds- honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, digger bees, mining bees, just to name a few. Find out all about 28 different species of bees here. But not all of them BUZZ. The typical buzzing associated with bees is made by BUMBLEBEES. Use this nature exploration card as cue to hunt for BUMBLEBEES.
In fact, the appearance of bees is a sign of the arrival of spring worldwide (except Antarctica). Have you checked our I Spy Spring cards? They take you through 20 nature observations that children can hunt for to note seasonal changes
Activity 4 ONE MINUTE FAMILY GAMES
One minute family game invitations with the letter Bb. Enunciate and repeat and play multiple games in a single fun family afternoon. Each player gets a minute to win it!
Activity 5 Build a letter B Sensory I spy Bin
B themed I spy sensory Bin
- Fill a clear jar/ bottle with sugar/ salt/ flour/ sensory material
- Let the toddler take lead. Look for and stuff in little toys that begin with the sound Bb
Buttons/ Beads / Ball / Bunny / Bucket / Brush / Butterfly / Bug /
(You can adapt this to any letter actually! )
- Shake shake shake the bottle.
- Now spy for the different object and ask the toddler to find and pronounce the BB words
Invitation to create for an older child ( 3 years and above)- Bb as in Bear
Bb as in Bears : when you want to extend the #EnglishAlphabet exploration to older kids #preschoolers #bearsofIndia.
Bear study mini module forms part of “Starting Journalling with Children” for 2-4 year olds based on the popular story – Goldilocks and the Three bears
Invitation to create for an older child ( 4 years and above)- Draw a bee
Any book of choice about insects ; a few of which I’m linking here.
Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman
We also went ahead and watched the Bee Movie on Netflix to aid in discussions about hives and behaviour. To further about bee vision I will recommend this photography Blog that simulates flower images as seen through the eyes of bees , mostly in the Ultraviolet range and be completely blown away by this set of Images by Craig Burrows
Art-Science-Mathematics and Environmental Science bundled studies
Create a hive Art form, using hexagons and packing patterns (these are patterns found in nature ; you may check out our Pattern Hunt Nature discovery cards to find out in details about these patterns and 18 others )
Also learn to make a hexagon out of a square by Origami techniques linked here.
Look through 58 species of bees found in India here! This has a distribution map as well, so you may be able to focus on the species you may see in your location.
Guest post :
1. B as in Bindi
Sticking bindis to trace the letter B with a 2.5 year old.
2. By Sonakshi R, Speech & Language Pathologist – find her Instagram page here
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