Project Home School: Day 6 

Yesterday we talked about exploring writing at home with our children; today I’m just going to share two other literacy activities that have been popular at my house over the past few days.

  • Alphabet Adventure:  (see images below) This is a fun literacy game that my kids have asked to play repeatedly.   I set up a toy castle and then a few feet away a knight figurine riding a horse.  To make a path between the night and the castle, I lined up letter pieces that I repurposed from an old alphabet puzzle (you could also write the letters on squares of paper or post-it notes).  I spaced out the letters so that the knight toy had to dramatically leap from stepping stone to stepping stone.  We then imagined that the carpet was quicksand; the only safe way for the knight to cross was on the alphabet path!  But in order to advance onto a letter piece we first had to think of a word that started with that letter.  It was fun and the kids got super into the drama of returning the knight safely to his castle.  (We’ve also played since with fun variations such as a cat toy following a letter path to get to its milk and a driver following a letter path to get to their monster truck.).

To modify for kids at different ages/stages, instead of asking kids to think of a word starting with the given letter, instead try:

    • What is the name of this uppercase letter?
    • What is the name of this lowercase letter?
    • What sound does this letter make?
    • What kid in your class has a name that starts with this letter?
    • My brilliant friend riffed on this by making paths of addition problems or vocabulary words to define, for those of you who have older siblings at home.

Let me know what variations you come up with if you decide to try this one at your home!

  • Dictation Station:  If you have access to a printer, here’s a super simple activity: offer what I call a Dictation Station (why bother calling it this?  Because in my experience, kids are often truly tickled by things having fancy, official names).  This is just a special time when your child can sit on your lap and narrate a story to you that you type on the computer and then print out. This is wonderful for them as developing writers because it allows them to tell much more detailed and complex stories than they can record themselves (or that we necessarily have the patience to write down for them all the time).   There is also something about seeing their words in print that feels very grown-up, very “real author” to kids (and mine often enjoy adding illustrations after we’ve printed them out).  We’ve been doing this activity most days and Calvin and Idgie have produced such masterpieces as Kitty and Swirly Go on a Hike and Carrot’s First Monster Truck Race Against Five Animals Related to People.  Please share your own published works with us!

Sending you all my very best thoughts and wishes,