This month, we have been learning the alphabet through play dough, games, and activities that Mother Goose Time has sent in the monthly curriculum box. The students are having a lot of fun learning letters through games and play.
As part of the monthly curriculum, Mother Goose Time sends cookie cutter letters to use with play dough. These cookie cutters are an alternative, fun way to teach. The students pick a letter, identify the letter, and use it to make its shape with play dough. I also use the cookie cutters to help students learn the letters in their first name. They pick the letters in their first name, identify the letters, make them out of play dough, then put the letters together in order to spell their name.
This month, we learned about police officers. We played a game called, “Letter Burglar”. We pretended that robbers were stealing our letters. We picked a robber card with a letter on it. “Oh no! The robber stole the letter ‘H’!” The students searched through books looking for the letter ‘H’. One of my favorite things about this activity is that students are identifying the letter ‘H’ in various fonts. One thing I found with little kids is that if it doesn’t look exactly like the ‘H’ they learned, they doubt whether what they are looking at is really an ‘H’ or another letter that looks like it.
One last activity we did this month was called “Street Names”. I used tape to make ‘roads’ on my table and floor. The students pretended to drive cars down the streets. I labeled the streets with letters. It’s difficult to see the street labels in the pictures below. As the students were playing, they would call out, “I’m driving down ‘A’ street.” If they didn’t know the letter, they would ask a friend. They would say, “Meet me on… this street. What is this letter?” They liked this activity a lot. And I think the students thought they were really playing, but secretly they were practicing identifying letters.
I have discovered that my students learn a lot better through play. Occasionally, I make them sit and listen to me as I introduce a letter. But, I know they remember the letters through the activities we do throughout the month that get them moving, exploring, and playing.