- To help familiarize children with the letters of the alphabet and practice beginning phonics
- To help learn about different animals
- To create a helpful and colorful reference book using some recycled materials
Before You Start: For each child, gather a small notebook or several sheets of loose paper that can be stapled or held together easily. Collect (or have the children help collect) a variety of old magazines and newspapers for this activity. Have the children cut out pictures of various animals. Spread these animal pictures and letters out on a table so that they can be easily recognized and sorted through. You may need to prepare pictures of rarer animals to ensure there are a variety of animals represented for various letters of the alphabet. Because the students may also want to draw the animal that corresponds to a letter, not every letter needs to have an associated animal. Set out Colorations® washable school glue, Colorations® crayons and markers. Prepare a sheet with the alphabet for children to reference, or have flashcards on hand with the alphabet letters on them. Or, write the alphabet on a chalkboard or whiteboard for the teacher to show to the whole class at once.
Let's Get Started! Step 1. Help the children practice a letter or set of letters if you are having them create more than one page at a time.
Step 2. Help children print the letter of the alphabet on its own page of their notebook or papers, using the alphabet guide you've chosen for reference. Or, if the children are not able to write the letters, have preprinted letters available for them to find and match to the letter you’ve shown them.
Step 3. Have children make the sound of the letter. Introduce an animal or various animals whose names begin with that letter's sound.
Step 4. Children can then draw a picture of an animal whose name starts with the same letter or take turns finding animal pictures to match the letters that can be glued on to each page.
Step 5. Demonstrate how to glue on pictures and help children glue their own as necessary.
Step 6. When the students are finished, they will have a one-of-a-kind picture dictionary of animals and letters.
Furthermore: This activity can stretch over many days/weeks. The creation of each page can be an opportunity to have a lively discussion about the different animals the children have drawn or found pictures of. Teachers may want to talk about where the animals live, what kinds of foods they eat and sounds they make. Have the children take turns making the different animal sounds. Once the dictionaries are complete, the children can also take turns saying the name of an animal that starts with the same letter as their own name; i.e., Tiffany – tiger, Brandon – bear, Olivia – octopus, etc.
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