Welcome to November! The month when the air is crisp, the leaves are swirling, and the mornings are too dark! Here are some language arts activities for you and your kids! ~Gina
Crayon Crunchers: These youngest kids range from lap babies to toddlers. They love to cuddle with you and share a story. They are at a great age for you to make up stories about what you see around you. You can explain how it is that the leaves fall, and even if they don’t understand that, they are beginning to understand that the things you tell them have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They also are beginning to get it that the things you are telling them relate to the world around them. Have some fun making up stories in which their stuffed animals play a part. Draw people or shapes, cut them out, glue them to a stick or the handle of a spoon, and make a play. The more you do with language now, the more your child is used to hearing a story and paying attention to what is being said. The main thing – Have FUN! Your child is only going to be this little once. Make it count.
Pre-K: These kids are hearing stories about Pilgrims and Thanksgiving at school this month. They’re talking about being grateful, too. Make it simpler. Ask your child what makes him/her happy. Ask your child what his/her favorite things are. Draw pictures to go with them and make a book. You can do a page a day or a page a week. At the end, you’ll have a collection of their pictures – perhaps with words they’ve written on each page or with what they’ve dictated and you’ve written for them. Have them make a cover and be sure to include his/her handprint or a tracing of his/her hand on the inside cover, along with the date.
K&1: Children in these grades are doing work in school and bringing home colorful pieces of art to go with the season. Why not press some leaves to use in artwork in December? Pick nice leaves, put them between two sheets of paper, then put HEAVY book on top. You can also get a leaf press at a crafts store to make it fool proof. When the leaves are ready, set them aside. For now, their minds are full of turkeys and Pilgrims and Native Americans. Find some facts about each that celebrate each. Then have your child draw a picture or make a puppet to go with those facts. These kids are old enough to write, too, so have them write one sentence to go with each drawing.
2nd Grade: The Bon Vivants are full of energy and feeling like they know it all. Ask your child to imagine he/she is a Pilgrim – on a new planet. Have your child imagine what he/she would do. What would he/she need? How would he/she find it? Would it be scary to be brand new somewhere? What would they bring from home? Help your child make a personal connection with the Pilgrims by thinking through his/her own experience as a Pilgrim. Do a bit each day. By Thanksgiving your child will have an idea of what it means to be new to a place. Maybe he/she will share some of it at dinner.
3-5 Grade: These kids have done Pilgrims and Native Americans and the First Thanksgiving so many times they can recite the facts in their sleep. Why not pep things up a bit? If you’re into cooking, have them help make a different fall-inspired dish each week. They could make applesauce one week, pumpkin bars another, butternut squash soup another, and apple pie the last. They can practice their reading and math skills in the process. They can also write about the experience of cooking each week. It can be one paragraph about the cooking, one paragraph about the eating, and one paragraph about what they plan to make next.* Not into cooking? Not a problem. Have your child pick one spot and take a picture – or draw a picture – of that spot each week for the month of November. What has changed? Why have the changes taken place? Have your child write a paragraph a week about what he/she sees, and a second paragraph about why the changes have occurred. A third paragraph could be about what he/she thinks will happen next.
- You’ll find recipes to get you started here http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/fall.html