Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Capital Letters E and M

I'm tutoring a young student who is having trouble with letter recognition, so we are introducing the letters all over again in the Waldorf way. I prefer to teach the capital letters in pairs, using stories and concepts which go together, and last week we were on E and M. (The full list of all of the letter pairings plus stories and activity ideas for them, is on my website.)

We started by playing Mancala, a game he had been interested in the previous week. This is a good educational game for the classroom, ages 5 and up. It's a simple mathematical strategy game which reinforces counting.

Then we reviewed our letters from the previous session, X is for Xylophone and P is for Parrot, and drew the crossed Xylophone sticks in his blank book and then made a feather collage for Parrot, which we set aside to dry. This was inspired by an idea from MaryAnn Kohl in Storybook Art, page 85. She suggests it for How Thunder and Lightning Came to Be: A Choctaw Tale by Beatrice Orcutt Harrell.

It was a very colorful Proud Parrot on a Perch (straight back, big rounded head)! And I let my student have a few craft feathers to take home with him.

E is for Elephant
M is for Mountain

Next I told him our new story would be from India, and we looked at the Montessori Colored Globe of the Continents. North America is orange; Asia is yellow. This story is from the other side of the world! We looked at the illustration for E is for Elephant from The Wise Enchanter: A Journey through the Alphabet (page 38) and the illustration for M is for Mountain from L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z. Then we read a story which has them both: "The Magic Elephant" from Buddha Stories by Demi.

I explained to him that the illustrations are done with gold ink on india blue paper because those were the exact colors of the first printed book... made using a carved woodblock! It's a little dark and hard to read but I think that honoring the world's first printed book is a great concept.

We reviewed the sound of "M" in the beginning, middle, and end of a word with the verses on page 69 of Phonic Rhyme Time: A Unique Collection of Phonic Rhymes for Precise Practice in Speaking and Reading by Mary Nash-Wortham.

Then I stretched a piece of watercolor paper on a painting board and we used white crayons to draw mountains on white paper, then did a watercolor resist with blue watercolor paint. It was so much fun to see the M-shaped Mighty Mountains appear!

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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