Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “N” 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 of song 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 “N says nnn, N says nnn, every letter makes a sound, N says nnn”).
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 N Little n” 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 N day emphasize the sound “nnn” ).
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:
· Discovering Nature’s Alphabet, by Krystina Castella and Brian Boyl, Heyday Books, 2005 – This unique alphabet book offers photographs of nature untouched in the shape of each letter. My son thought it was really neat to see the letters in rocks, trees, leaves, etc..
· NASCAR ABC’s, by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender and illustrated by Aaron Zenz, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2007 – Using bright illustrations, this rhyming alphabet book looks at the many elements involved in car racing and has a glossary at the end to explain the terms more.
· Naughty Little Monkeys, by Jim Alyesworth and illustrated by Henry Cole, Puffin Books, 2003 – Twenty-six little monkeys with names that start with each letter get into mischief by performing naughty deeds that begin with their letter.
· New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z, by Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrated by Frané Lessac, Collins, 2005 – There’s a lot offered in this travel alphabet book as the illustrations are teeming with detail and each page has a rhyming verse about the part of New York City highlighted alphabetically but also gives little side notes of interest as well.
· A Northern Alphabet, by Ted Harrison, A Tundra Book, 1982 – There is a lot in this book: unique paintings, a story about what is happening in each painting using each letter of the alphabet, a puzzle of sorts as the author challenges the reader to find other objects in each picture that begin with the letter illustrated, alphabetical names of northern places border each page, and the author/artist invites us to make up the rest of the story for each picture.
LETTER “N” COLLAGE:
Materials: A copy of my Nn 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 things that start with the letter N.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter N pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Nn 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 “M” STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter N (or of the letter N from 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 and let him/her stick them to the coloured paper however he/she wants.
NOODLES AND PAINT ART:
Materials: A copy of my Nn worksheet , cooked and cooled noodles, paint, disposable paper bowl, scrap piece of paper, newspaper or plastic to spread over work table, old clothes or an art smock to protect clothes from the paint.
Step 1: Remind your child that the word noodles starts with the “nnn” sound.
Step 2: Put some paint (let your child choose the colour/colours) in the paper bowl.
Step 3: Show your child how to dip the noodles in the paint and then remove excess paint by dragging along a scrap piece of paper.
Step 4: Show your child how drag the noodles on the Nn worksheet to leave a noodle print.
Step 5: Let your child dip and drag.
Step 6: Let it dry and then display or glue in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
For a healthy Letter N snack eat a nectarine.
If there are no allergies in your family munch on some nuts for this theme day.
For something different make some nachos for lunch by sprinkling shredded cheddar on whole wheat tortilla chips and popping it in the oven until the cheese melts.
Make some noodles for dinner.
Make homemade or use frozen chicken nuggets for a Letter N dinner.
Serve some Neapolitan Ice Cream for dessert.
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 Nn 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 to M
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Nn Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Nn card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Nn card and glue it on the Alphabet Chart (or you can have your child use tape) in the appropriate spot.
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 N 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:
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:
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” only trying to find things that start with the letter N.
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 N Day find things that start with N. 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
N is for nutcrackers
Letter “N” Collage
Letter “N” Sticker Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
N is for nails
Photo: C Wright