Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “E” 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.
The obvious choice for letter days is the “the “ABCDEFG...” alphabet song that most of us learned in school- http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/a004.html
Many different Children’s Music Recordings have other alphabet songs (like Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Alphabet Medley” from their Travellin’ Tunes album), check your children’s collections to see what you have on hand.
There are songs that emphasize the sound of each letter, too (The one that we know sounds like “Farmer in the Dell” but goes “E says ee and E says ehh, every letter makes a sound, E says ee and ehh”).
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Alphabet Coloring Pages ” or print out my “Big E Little e” 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 E day emphasize the two main sounds “ee” and “ehh”).
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:
· Alphabet Explosion! Search and Count From Alien to Zebra, by John Nickle, Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006 – Each page of this book has fun illustrations and invites the reader to find a number of things on each page that start with each letter (the answers are at the back of the book).
· An Edible Alphabet, by Bonnie Christensen, Dial Books for Young Readers, 1994 – Lovely wood engraving illustrations accompany this alphabet book that explores edible plants from Apple to Zucchini. The back of the book has a glossary expanding on each plant word used which I found useful when it came to plants I had never heard of like ipomea, ulu and xanthorhiza.
· Elfabet: An ABC of Elves, by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Lauren Mills, Little Brown and Company, 1990 – This fun alphabet book has a different type of elf (like Acorn Elf, Bottle Elf, Candle elf) on each page with alliterative text about the actions each elf does and fun illustrations with many different things to find also starting with the same letter (check the key at the back of the book to discover what each is).
· Eh? To Zed: A Canadian ABeCedarium, by Kevin Major and illustrated by Alan Daniel, Red Deer Press, 2000 – Each illustrated page offers four words and matching pictures that start with each letter of the alphabet (the back of the book explains what each choice has to do with Canada).
· The Path of the Quiet Elk: A Native American Alphabet Book, by Virginia A Stroud, Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996 – This book is a story as well as an alphabet book as the two main characters Wisdom Keeper and Looks Within are lead on a walk by an elk on their way to learn to look at life.
Letter E Collage:
Materials: A copy of my Ee worksheet, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Look through old magazines together look for things that start with the letter E as well as the letter E.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter E pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Ee 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 E Sticker Collage:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter E (or of the letter E 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 pencil with an eraser at the end, a copy of my Ee 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 eraser starts with the “eh” sound.
Step 3: Show your child how to dip the pencil eraser end in the paint and press it onto the worksheet to leave a prints (you may need to press it on scrap paper to rid the apple of excess paint).
Step 4: Let your child stamp the eraser in the paint and on the worksheet.
Edam cheese and crackers makes a delicious Letter E snack.
Edemama (soy beans) would be a unique and healthy E snack.
Eggs (served any way your child likes them – scrambled, hard boiled, fried, made into egg salad) would make for a different lunch to celebrate Letter E.
A sandwich made on an English Muffin is another easy Letter E lunch.
Try Eggplant Parmesan for a vegetarian dinner.
Think Mexican and serve some enchiladas for another Letter E dinner.
Another possibility is to serve egg rolls on the side with a stir-fry for dinner.
The only dessert I could think of was an éclair. Try to find some at your local bakery for a sweet E treat..
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 Ee 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 Letters A, B, C and D.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Ee Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Ee card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Ee 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 E 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 E.
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 E Day find things that start with E. 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.
Photo: C Wright
E is for echidna
Letter “E” Collage
Photo: C Wright
E is for elephant
Letter tracing in sugar
Letter “E” Sticker Collage