I love teaching about the letter O, and all the fun ocean activities we can do for it! It seems I've managed to accumulate a lot of cool ocean resources over the last 20 years. Here's some of what we did this week.
We started our week by reading a realistic fiction book about an octopus. The children are already very familiar with fiction and non-fiction, so they wanted to know which this book was. I told them their moms and dads would be very impressed if the kids remembered to tell their parents they've learned a new category of books!
Each child cut out their orange uppercase O, and painted an octopus on it. For our lowercase o craft they cut out their o, and glued on paper overalls.
We did some ocean themed math games, as well as others that are available regularly. We sorted ocean critters by color, and sorted plastic shapes into ocean/land categories.
We played in our ocean tent. I made this tent years ago, it fits over a card table, and ties onto the table legs on the inside. We took lots of ocean themed stuffed animals in the tent, and had lots of pretend play.
For kiddos who are working on numbers to 100, I've created a fun set of ocean hundreds charts. Here is our crabby! (I really love the shark too!)
For our cooking activity this week, we tried out a new recipe that I found via pinterest.com: baked oatmeal muffins. YUM! You can get the recipe here. As you can see from our ingredients, this recipe is full of healthy things, with only a few chocolate chips added that aren't quite as healthy. (Unless you subscribe to the chocolate IS a food group theory, in which case, this recipe is perfect!)
Here are our cute hand prints for the letter O, you can see other hand print ideas I like on my pinterest board here.
One of my students is named Olivia, so of course we had to read the book Olivia by Ian Falconer! We noticed that Olivia, the character, only wears red - with occasional touches of black and white. We made Olivia crafts, wearing red, of course! I got the idea here, but modified it to look more like the character. I've included a picture of the pattern I created, below, in case you'd like to try it yourself. This was great cutting and gluing practice for my 3-5 year olds, and they were very proud of the finished product!
Another terrific book we read this week was I'm The Biggest Thing In The Ocean, by Kevin Sherry. It is told from the point of view of a giant squid, who thinks he's the biggest thing in the ocean, until he is eaten by a whale! The kids love this book, and the brightly colored, simple illustrations are wonderful. I wanted to make this a science lesson as well as a language lesson, so we learned more about giant squid from youtube and Smithsonian, before following up with a craft.
We trimmed colored copier paper for the mantle, and rolls of crepe paper for the 8 arms and 2 feeding tentacles. You may notice that some of the tentacles are narrower than the others. As we worked, I discovered that that the crepe paper was too wide to fit in one layer on the squid's mantle, and that glue sticks weren't the right adhesive. School glue and half width crepe paper were just right!
Next week we'll focus on the letter P, check back to see what learn about penguins, pigs, pizza, and Pooh bear!