Some letters lend themselves to so many activities that it is hard to schedule all the fun things I want to do. Q on the other hand, has always been a challenging letter to find appropriate activities for. Thank goodness for Pinterest, with so many people sharing their great ideas, I found plenty of fun ways to reinforce this letter!
We made a class quilt, with each child drawing or coloring in 3 squares. They enjoyed the open ended drawing activity, and we had a nice cooperative piece to show off afterwards. This idea came from www.teachpreschool.org.
Another fun book we enjoyed this week was Eating Fractions, by Bruce McMillan. We cut and ate a fraction snack one afternoon, breaking our graham crackers into 4 quarters, and cutting our bananas into quarters. I don't expect the children to have mastered the concept of quarters in these brief lessons, but I've introduced the vocabulary, and by connecting it to an eating activity, it's more likely to stay with them. We'll start noticing quarters and other fractions in the world around us more now that the concept has been introduced. We also practiced quarters as coins, reviewing some favorite money songs from youtube.
I had the children explore an unknown item this week as a science activity, observing and making predictions about what they were manipulating. I provided each child with the intact stem and core from a bell pepper, and watched and listened to them as they picked the seeds off, and tried to discover what it was.
"It has seeds. Because of these things in the middle."
"There's a bunch of them everywhere, I think they're already dead."
"What are the pieces?"
"It smells like cauliflower."
"It's a pepper coz it smells like it."
I asked "What are we going to do with these seeds?" and was told, "Make a like a bean collection," and "Put salt on it, so it would be yum." It was very interesting watching the kiddos try to identify the pepper cores!
On another day we made our hand prints for the letter Q. The kiddos regularly pull down their hand print alphabet books to look at them, and review the letters and sounds while they check out their own artwork. It's a great motivator, and I think a nice keepsake for their pre-k years too.
No preschool Q unit would be complete without some royal play, especially in preparation for a visit from HRH the Queen! We played with knights and castles, dressed up in royal garb, and played in my castle tent.
We read some fiction books about queens, Tea for Ruby by Sarah Ferguson, and The Missing Tarts by BG Hennessy, before making our uppercase Q project. Don't these look royal?!
We prepared "tarts", using a recipe from this Scholastic book. The children crushed graham crackers and added some butter to create a crust, mixed vanilla pudding to top the crust, and added cherries on top. YUM! They tasted wonderful, but some of the paper baking cups didn't hold together well. Next year I'll use sturdier containers.
Before The Queen arrived, we learned how to curtsey and to bow, and practiced polite greetings. We also reviewed meal time etiquette, so we would remember to wait for everyone to be seated before eating, use napkins and forks appropriately, and to talk quietly at the table.