Saturday, September 17, 2011

Patriotic Alphabet Parade: A is for America

A local Catholic homeschooling group that I am part of leads Academic Enrichment Programs (or AEP) every year. This is our first year signing up. The theme of this year is all about America. The pre-k/k kids are doing a Patriotic Alphabet Parade, learning a letter each week and fun activities to go along with it. The 1st-4th grade kids are doing a state study. And 5th grade on up are studying American literature. It should be a fun year! Skipper is learning all about the states and creating a state scrapbook while Critter is learning all about the ABC's of America. I have the pleasure of co-teaching the little ones with their ABC's.

A is for America

This being our first week, it was a little crazy but I think it went well overall. The biggest lesson learned is that the kids need to go to the bathroom prior to class or just to take the entire group right away! See what school teaches you? ;)

Our format week-to-week is pretty consistent:
  • sing ABC song
  • have a grab bag with letter of the week items (A: animal, astronaut, acorn, angel, apple)
  • practice letter writing and color a picture using the pages I created (A is for America: Pre-K version or Kindergarten version)
  • eat a snack (apples) and read a book or two (A is for America by Devin Scillian and Pam Carroll)
  • craft time (played music, Wee Sing America, while doing this)
    • craft: apple prints using paper, apple halves and paint
    • letter collage using collage sheets I made (A is for Alphabet - put ABC stickers on collage)
  • Play being airplanes
At home, I took Critter's papers and started his own scrapbook of patriotic letters, using a 12x12 scrapbook and cardstock, and here is what I came up with:

First Page

Since Critter did not do apple prints in class, we did some at home. It turned out more like apple painting than apple printing. Then he decided to smear it all over his hands to paint. That was fun. He made three sheets for me (blue naturally, his favorite). I used one of the sheets as a background for his handwriting page. As you can see, bad photography skills aside, he also chose not to trace his letters.

Second Page

I used another of his apple print pages as a background for the letter collage he made in class. A is for Alphabet (and some had animals on them!).

Third Page

My boys do not like to color much so for lapbooks that we have created now and in the past, I try to steer clear of too much coloring (or just leave it black and white and spice it up with "art" work). For the third page, I found some fun apple activities for Critter to do. After all, what is more American than apple pie?

Sources for Lapbook:
  1. Apple Trinity Snack - I created the apple shape and wrote in how the apple represents the Holy Trinity. The peel = God the Father (protection). The pulp = God the Son (spiritual food). The seeds = God the Holy Spirit (what makes the seeds of faith sprout).
Fourth Page

I came up with a quick Johnny Appleseed game to play with the "board," die, and game pieces (pennies). You start in Massachusetts where Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman was born and work your way to the frontier (in his day, Ohio and Indiana). It's a simple roll and count game, along with some jumping ahead - for working hard and to pass through the mountains - and some set-backs, like losing a turn to sleep with a bear. The game is meant to be fun, simple, and a spring board of learning all about his life. We still have to play this game. Let's just say today was rough and after minimal work that must get done, they were out the door and playing.

Next week we look forward to B is for Baseball! 

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