Monday, November 3, 2014

Authentic Preschool Spelling Activity: Autumn Leaf

I am always looking for authentic ways to introduce spelling into my son's learning. He was quite resistant, early on, to practice letter recognition, and I didn't want to make it worse by forcing him, so I piqued his interest by creating "real-life" experiences for letter recognition and practice.

Naturally, this has extended to our more recent ventures in learning how to spell.

One day, while collecting Autumn leaves at the park, a thought struck me: why not teach my son how to spell a word using the actual item. This idea culminated into today's Slice of Life...



I'm sure this has already been done in classrooms across the world -- heck, I've even used manipulatives to teach spelling and vocabulary with my 5th graders -- but this day at the park proved to be an epiphanonic moment for me in regards to my young son's spelling development!

When we got home, I placed the leaves inside a book to help flatten them. A couple days later, I pulled the leaves out, gathered the letter manipulatives I had created, and set up our activity.


First, I showed my son the word: LEAF. We identified each letter and then sounded them out until he realized the letters created the word "leaf". Then, I had him find the letters on our Clothespin Alphabet. Once we found the letters, I helped him clip each leaf to a wire hanger using the corresponding letters to spell L-E-A-F:








This activity allowed my son to relate individual letters and their sounds to words in a tangible, authentic way. He understood that the letters, L-E-A-F, strung together didn't just spell a word, they actually spelled something he could touch, feel, and see.

I'm always on the look out for more authentic learning opportunities for my son, so if you have any, please share in the comments below :-)

6 comments:

  1. We use leaves to help children note the smallest details. It is called, This is Your Leaf. Each child has a leaf. Individually, they observe and tell about the details of their leaf. The. The leaves are placed together to mix them up. Spread out the leaves on a table and ask each child to find their leaf. You can make it easy by having each leaf be from a different tree. As children gain in observation skills. Use leaves from the same tree. This activity can be varied by increasing the level of difficulty or by changing the object. Rocks can be used, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a fabulous idea, Pat! I love it :-) My next Fall item is going to be acorns, so maybe we can do this activity with them. Thanks so much for sharing!!

      Delete
  2. What a great idea. Learning spelling in a creative way.Great decoration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I am very much enjoying this learning journey with my son :-)

      Delete
  3. Love this. Your pictures are just too precious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words! Three of my three passions: my son, teaching, and photography :-) It's fun combining them all into one project!

      Delete