In Part 1 I mentioned that I would share activities that I incorporated into my Child Development class along with "Story Time" - here's the first!
On back-to-back days, I read the following books:
The first is exactly what you would think: an alphabet book of NASCAR terms. The second, well, it's obviously not a real children's book. Great opportunity to teach about both satire and using good judgement when choosing reading material for young children! Also, just plain hilarious for both teacher and students alike - definitely a memorable class moment!
Reading these in succession naturally leads to a discussion of why so many books for kids have an alphabet theme, wherein we review the importance of letter awareness and learning letter sounds. And then, I have them write their own mini-alphabet stories.
I gave them a blank template with four squares, and the following conditions:
- Choose any four letters in a row of the alphabet
- Choose a theme
- Use words and pictures in each frame to create a mini-alphabet "book"
Here is a sampling of the results:
Several students chose a fruit/veggie/food theme.
A few chose to use names.
Animals were very popular.
And a couple of them really developed their themes.
After I collected them I created a slideshow from them, which became their "story" for the third day (note: before showing I of course went over guidelines for commenting on and responding to other students' stories - particularly the drawings and the spelling). For each we discussed what children could learn from these little stories, what age group each might be appropriate, and then we talked about how to help kids create their own short alphabet stories.
And naturally the students LOVED having their stories projected on the board. Even for them I cropped the names out so that they could remain anonymous if they wished, but almost every single one was anxious to claim credit for their creation - pretty cute how much pride they took in something like this!
Very successful lesson, I would definitely do this one again. And if nothing else, you should definitely read "K is for Knifeball!"