Thursday, March 8, 2012

Literacy Baskets, Buckets, Bags, and More: It's Alphabet Galore!

Literacy Baskets, Buckets, Bags and More will give you millions of ways to organize 26 thematic mini units from A to Z!  Each mini-unit can be sent home for children to share with their families as a home-school connection, used as centers in a classroom, or at home visits.  Any way they are presented, these 26 containers will fascinate children and give them ways to practice with fundamental skills.  So, lets pack our baskets, buckets, bags, and more to get ready for some alphabet galore!
Imagine It!
First, find any container that will hold all kinds of goodies.  Find one for each letter of the alphabet.  Some ideas are:

                  E - Easter basket          B - briefcase
                  D - duffel bag               P - pizza box
                  L - lunch pail                T - trash can
These things can be really easy to find and cheap too!  The best places to look are garage sales, clearance aisles, dollar stores, second hand, Goodwill, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Michael's, or even your own basement.  You will be surprised at how creative you can get!  Then, find a stuffed animal figure for each letter of the alphabet.  Some ideas are:

E- elephant          B- bunny          S- snake
   D- dolphin            P- pig               H- hamster

Create It!
Let's put your imagination to work!  Put together your container and animal to make:

Pig's Pizza Box          Bunny's Briefcase
           Tiger's Trash Can       Elephant's Easter Basket

The sillier it sounds the better, and the combinations are endless!  The children love to laugh about a snake in a stocking or a tiger in a trash can.  Taking home a pig in a pizza box is a very funny concept to them, which makes learning the letter "P" more fun!

Make It!

Once you have decided on your letter theme, such as Pig's Pizza Box, then you can fill your pizza box with all kinds of goodies that start with "P".   Start out by making a list of things that start with "P".

pencil          paper          pear          pretzel          plate
popcorn      playdough   pie            pancake        pumpkin

I also include activities in each mini-unit that have to do with the letter.  Each activity not only enhances literacy skills but other skills as well.  For example, Pig's Pizza Box I included:

               * Make a Pentagon with Popsicle sticks
               * Make a Pattern with Pretzels
               * Make the letter "P" with Playdough

In each mini-unit I include a small tablet of paper called a word finder.  In the word finder, the parent and child will try to find things around their house that starts with the letter they are focusing on!

I also make an inventory list in each mini-unit to make sure that everything gets returned!