Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “C” Day
To help my 3 year old son learn that the alphabet was more than just a song, we had letter days. Having them individually helped him to recognize that each letter is different just like each shape is different. After our theme day we’d review that letter for the week until the next theme day.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
For Letter C day sing the Sesame Street Classic “C is for Cookie” – watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BovQyphS8kA
The obvious choice for letter days is the “ABCD...” alphabet song - http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/a004.html
Many different Children’s Music Recordings have other alphabet songs (like Sharon, Lois and Bram), check your children’s collections to see what you have on hand.
There are songs that emphasize the sound of each letter, too (One sounds like “Farmer in the Dell” but says “C says ca and C says sss, every letter makes a sound, C says ca and ssss).
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Alphabet Coloring Pages ” (you can often find alphabet pages with favourite characters on them too like the Sesame Street Characters) or print out my “Big C Little c” Colouring Page.
While colouring the page, emphasize the shape by helping your child trace it with his/her finger and emphasize the sound (for Letter C day emphasize the sounds “ca” and for older children introduce the soft C sound “sss” as in “city” and the “Ch” sound as well).
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any alphabet books.
Go to the library with your child to find some alphabet books.
Go to the library on your own to find alphabet books to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “alphabet” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try to find some of these fun alphabet books:
· ABC: A Child’s First Alphabet Book, by Alison Jay, Dutton Children’s Books, 2003 – These fantastic illustrations highlight the alphabet on each page but also are full of many visual surprises as they hint the pictures/letters to come and remember the pages past.
· A Big City ABC, by Allan Moak, Tundra Books, 1984 – This book goes through the alphabet by using 26 pictures that capture Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
· The Construction Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Rob Bolster, Charlesbridge, 2006 – With detailed paintings and interesting text this construction book highlights backhoes, cement mixers, dump trucks etc., which taught this mom all the names of the “diggers” her son loved so much.
· A Cow’s Alfalfa-Bet, by Woody Jackson, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003 – Jackson’s bright water colour paintings of black and white cows in different settings showcase each letter of the alphabet.
· Alphabet Under Construction, by Denise Leming, Henry Holt and Company, 2002 – This is a cute alphabet book about a hardworking mouse who accomplishes 26 different actions, each done to the letter that starts the action word (he airbrushes the A, buttons the B, Carves the C...).
· C is for Ciao: An Italy Alphabet, by Elissa D. Grodin and Governor Mario M. Cuomo, and illustrated by Marco Ventura, Sleeping Bear Press, 2009 – This book is probably better of older children since it has many interesting historical and other facts about Italy throughout (A is for Aqueducts, D is for Da Vinci...)
· C is for Construction: Big Trucks and Diggers from A to Z, book design by Kristine Brogno, Chronicle Books, 2003 – This book was a huge hit with my construction loving son as it featured photographs of lots of diggers.
· Caribbean Alphabet, by Frané Lessac, Tambourine Books, 1989 – With brightly coloured illustrations each page lists words that start with each letter of the alphabet that capture images of the Caribbean (also includes a glossary at the end for the dozen Caribbean words that might be unfamiliar to most readers).
· The City ABC Book, by Zoran Milich, Kids Can Press, 2001 – This original alphabet book has black and white photographs not with things that start with each letter but with architecture etc. that has the letters hidden within them that are highlighted in red.
· My “c” Sound Box, by Jane Belk Moncure and illustrated by Colin King, The Child’s World, 2001 – A girl named Little “c” finds things that start with the hard “c” sound to put in her sound box.
Letter C Collage:
Materials: A copy of my Cc worksheet, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and together look for pictures of things that start with the letter C.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter C pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Cc worksheet.
Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the collage and then let him/her glue the pictures on the paper however he/she likes.
Step 4: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into Family Theme Scrapbook.
Letter B Sticker Collage:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter C (or of the letter C if you can find some alphabet stickers).
Step 1: Have your child pick the colour of paper to use for the background
Step 2: Give your child the stickers or cut outs and let him/her stick or glue them to the coloured paper however he/she wants.
Materials: a carrot cut crosswise to form many small pieces to stamp circles with, a copy of my Cc worksheet , scrap paper, paint, waxed paper, face cloth for dirty fingers, newspaper or plastic for covering the table, old t-shirts or art smocks .
Step 1: Have your child pick the colour of paint he/she wants to use.
Step 2: Remind your child that carrot starts with the “ca” sound.
Step 3: Show your child how to press the carrot in the paint and press it onto the worksheet to leave a print or circles (you may need to press it on scrap paper to rid the carrot wrap of excess paint).
Step 4: Let your child stamp the carrot on the worksheet.
Carrots, cucumber and celery make a veggie C snack.
Chopped cantaloupe is a healthy fruit snack for C Day.
Cream cheese on crackers (or any other cheese) is another easy snack.
Cottage cheese is another healthy choice.
Cheerios with dried cranberries makes an easy trail mix.
For those not allergic to nuts a bowl of cashews would make a quick snack.
Cocoa would make for a warm treat on letter C Day.
A sandwich made on croissants would make an easy C lunch (top with C toppings like cucumber, cheese, corned beef).
Crab salad sandwiches – mix canned crab with mayo for a quick crab spread.
Creamed soups would also work for this theme day.
Chicken is the easiest choice for dinner on C Day.
Serve corn on the cob, or canned corn, collard greens, or cauliflower on the side with dinner for some C veggies.
Other “C “dinners include chow mein, corned beef or anything with cabbage.
Bake some chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon for a sweet treat after dinner.
Other delights from the bakery or oven could include Carrot cake, chocolate cake (any cake), or cup cakes.
Anything with caramel on it would count, too.
Materials: A copy of my Alphabet Chart (from Letter A day displayed on your fridge or on a bulletin board), a copy of the Cut-out Cc Card, markers or crayons, child-safe scissors, glue-stick, face cloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Lead your child to the Alphabet Chart on your fridge, bulletin board or taped to a wall and review the Letter A and B.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Cc Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Cc card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Cc card and glue it on the Alphabet Chart (or you can have your child use tape).
Step 5: Review what letter it is and what sound it is throughout the week by pointing to the chart.
Fill a pie plate with sand, sugar or salt and teach your child how to trace the letter C in the sand. When you are finished tracing dump the sand in a re-sealable bag to use on another day.
Review the entire alphabet by using a set of flash cards (found at book stores, educational stores, even craft stores) or make your own by writing each letter on an individual index card.
There are many different websites that offer games for preschoolers. You can find them by looking up your child’s favourite television characters. Here are two from the Sesame Street website:
Big Bird’s Letters is a simple game because it only involves your child pressing any letter on the keyboard and then the letter appears along with a picture that starts with that letter: http://www.sesamestreet.org/game_player?p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=gamePlayer_WAR_sesameportlets4369&p_p_uid=dd838f23-486b-11dd-bf7b-df62be721a24
Letters to Big Bird is another alphabet game to play together. In this game Big Bird literally receives a letter in his mail box and your chid has to click on something on his shelf that starts with that letter: http://www.sesamestreet.org/game_player?p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=gamePlayer_WAR_sesameportlets4369&p_p_uid=bf02fb88-163e-11dd-98c7-b9f43dcf5330
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” only trying to find things that start with the letter C.
This is similar to “I Spy” in that you walk around your neighbourhood and try to find things that start with different letters of the alphabet. For Letter C Day find things that start with C. You can also do this while in a car or bus etc..
If you have an alphabet puzzle this theme day is the perfect time to play with it together.
Play with any other educational toys that focus on the alphabet.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a focus on teaching the alphabet.
Try to find these titles:
· Blue’s Room: Alphabet Power, Viacom International Inc., 2005 – This DVD has two episodes of blue’s Room and two of Blue’s Clues. The first two shows deal with the alphabet and the last two more with writing and reading.
· Pocket Snails: Letter Adventure, Soaring Star Productions, 2004 – These two simple shows are about three snails who live in a little boy’s pocket who help him learn the alphabet by taking photos of them in Letter Land. One show highlights the Upper Case letters and the other is identical except it showcases the Lower Case letter. There is no focus on the phonetic sounds of the alphabet in these shows but the repetition makes it a good show to reinforce letter recognition.
· Rock n’ Learn: Alphabet Exercise, Rock ‘N Learn, Inc., 2005 – this show has a song for every letter of the alphabet that also incorporates movement like S for Spin and T for Twist.
· Sesame Street: All-Start Alphabet – There’s So Much to See Between A and Z!, Sesame Workshop, 2005 – This fun DVD has capital A and Z interviewing people at a mall about the alphabet while also highlighting each letter with individual skits from the show Sesame Street. Adults might enjoy it because it includes segments with Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, and the Dixie Chicks to name a few of the celebrities featured.
· Sesame Street: Learning About Letters, Children’s Television Workshop, 1986 – This is a great video using classic clips (that I remember as a child) throughout as Big Bird and friends search for things that start with each letter of the alphabet.
· Sharon, Lois & Bram ABC’s: Alphabet sing & dance-along, elephant Records, 2003 – this one reviews the alphabet using different songs about things that start with different letters.
C is for cloud
Letter “C” Collage
Letter “C” Sticker Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
C is for cactus
Near Palm Springs, California
C is for coyote
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright