I have already shared how we integrate the letter of the week with a tactile experience but I wanted to take a minute to elaborate on what we did for the letter E.
Trying to find something that the children could glue on the letter E that started with the sound of the letter E was a challenge. We could have went with eggshells but with so many allergies, we opted for elbow macaroni .
I never know how well something will turn out until I see it in action. This is when I observe understanding as well as whether or not the children are engaged in the process.
I was delighted to discover that the children loved this experience. I think the “elbows” were such a big hit simply because the children love the feel of them.
Because the “elbows” could be mistakenly called macaroni, we reinforced the word elbow by asking the children to show us their elbows while they played. The children were very quick on the draw and held up their elbows for us to see. We talked about how the macaroni is bent just like our elbows can bend.
At another table, we set out a basket filled with elbows for the children to scoop and pour. This center was a very big hit too!
Each of the children would start off by scooping up a full cup of elbows but then they used their hands to manipulate and play with the elbows. I loved how intrigued they were by the texture of the elbows as it glided on the table or flowed through their fingers.
Adding a tactile and sensory experience to the letter of the week does a wonderful job of keeping children engaged and reinforcing the sound of the letter. For “C is for cotton” you could let the children then play with the cotton! The challenge is to find objects that work well for every letter. I am still working on this for the rest of the alphabet.