Letter Unit Activities · Uncategorized

Letter G Preschool Unit

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OVERVIEW

For Letter G we followed some of The Peaceful Preschool curriculum for Good Night, Gorilla and Goodnight Moon. I then covered three classic stories: The Gingerbread Boy, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

FYI: I covered six classic stories in this blog post in more detail.

And, since goats are such a hit in our home we did just a couple other G is for Goat story extensions as well.

BIBLE FOCUS

IMG_9365 Good and upright is the Lord.” (Psalm 25:8)

We covered the theme of God’s Goodness mainly through the telling of Moses’s life: God takes care of us, God took care of baby Moses, God took care of the Israelites.

For our activity, we made a little boat for baby Moses out of tin foil, placed a toy baby in it, and then set it in water to float down a “river”.

You can see which stories we read from specific children’s bibles on my Bible Lessons by Letter Unit page.

Also a reminder I have Bible character peg dolls for sale in my Etsy shop which we always use for storytelling aids.

BOOKS

LEARNING ACTIVITES

I’m going to divide up the learning activities by book/theme for this post!

GOODNIGHT GORILLA
IMG_9364.jpg Good Night, Gorilla numeral learning and counting game.

Each kid got an empty small metal bucket and a 12-sided die. They roll the die, read the numeral (we helped the 2 year old) and then grab as many small zoo animals from the large basket and place them in their bucket. Whoever fills their bucket first, wins.

IMG_0016.jpg Stamp It! Write It! Poke It! via Simply Learning for letter G. This has now become a huge hit: Letter G was the second time we did this and now my kids are obsessed.

My kids actually use a plastic yarn needle for the Poke It! part because we don’t have jumbo tacks.

I also like these ink pads instead of the jumbo ink pads because with those my kids tend to mix the colors a ton.

We also have both uppercase and lowercase alphabet stamps

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Good Night, Gorilla story interaction & invitation to play. I’m sure you all know how awesome this book is — great for adding in some sequencing & color matching to storytelling. I love books like this where you can read it a billion times but something different will strike your kid on a new day.

We retold the story this time by setting up cages in play dough for all the animals and moved our zookeeper around the zoo, using the color-matched keys to unlock each animal as we went. I left all these materials out and the kids kept coming back to it, even if we didn’t have the play dough out they could still set up the cages!

Supplies:

  • 6 colors of play dough
  • 6 different keys with round key tags
  • 6 different cages made with a glue gun and colored craft sticks (FYI: I painted the orange sticks from this set pink, but you wouldn’t have to!)
  • Doll for the zookeeper
  • The gorilla, elephant, lion, and giraffe are from the Safari TOOB jungle set, the mouse is from the Safari TOOB pet set, the armadillo and hyena are from the Safari TOOB desert set (I just used the bobcat as a hyena–I know one is a cat and one is a dog but oh well)
  • Toy banana
  • Mini flashlight
  • We also have an Ernie doll which my sister-in-law gifted to use *because* she loves this book so much!
IMG_9489.jpg Good Night, Gorilla zoo animal habitat exploration using our Maps book. We found a country where many of our small zoo animals live, matched up the animals to the pictures in the book, and noted that these animals do not live in the wild near us.
IMG_9503.jpg Good Night, Gorilla scissor skills: make cages.
IMG_6453 (1).jpg Good Night, Gorilla zoo visit. We enjoyed a trip to our zoo for this unit and then created a large scale map of our own, placing our small zoo animal figurines on the map as we went.
IMG_9508.jpg Good Night, Gorilla themed poetry tea time! In honor of the baby armadillo we had milk instead of tea and in honor of the mouse: bananas.

Poems:

GOODNIGHT MOON
IMG_9671.jpg Goodnight Moon red balloon smashing fun.

We used this recipe to bake cotton balls to look like the red balloon, and then smashed them with a wood toy hammer and tore them apart. The kids could help in the whole process, so it was super fun to do together.

IMG_9558.jpg Since we were celebrating the moon in Goodnight Moon we also celebrated the sun! I decided to break out our sun art paper and do some letter review using natural materials to form letters and create letter prints.
IMG_9674.jpg Number formation — I used our sandpaper numeral cards and the Handwriting Without Tears number formation sheet (numbers are on page 2).
IMG_0015.jpg And, of course we did our Peaceful Preschool glitter glue letters.
IMG_9472.jpg What’s in the Box? Letter G item game. I got this idea from Games Children Sing & Play.

I hid several Letter G items in a box and said a little rhyme and asked the kids to guess what was in my hand as I grabbed one out. This could work for any Letter Unit!

Here is a box
Put on the lid
I wonder what 
Inside is hid?
Oooooohhhh
It's a goat 
Without a doubt
Open the box 
And let it out
Maaaaaa, Maaaaaa
THE GINGERBREAD BOY
IMG_9368 Obviously for this story extension we: baked a gingerbread boy! My kids helped with the whole baking process plus worked on forming the letter G (I gave them extra dough to just play with & smash and roll and cut — and they made a huge floury mess).

We enjoyed eating our gingerbread boy during our poetry tea time and read the poem “The Three Foxes” by A.A. Milne from When We Were Very Young.

*Bonus activity to burn off the sugar high from gingerbread: take turns pretending to be the gingerbread boy and chase each other around! I’m serious.

IMG_0514 In the story the old woman uses raisins to make the buttons for the gingerbread boy. We counted out some raisins into a numbered muffin tin with jumbo tweezers for a fine motor skill & simple counting exercise. Then… we snacked on some raisins!
IMG_9434.jpg As always, we do simple matching games and memory with our Letter Unit 3-Part Cards via Treehouse Schoolhouse
GOLDILOCKS
IMG_0010 We retold The Three Bears story using our Goldilocks peg dolls (available on my Etsy shop) and dollhouse furniture.
IMG_0009 BIG, MEDIUM, AND LITTLE sorting activity based off of The Three Bears. We had a huge line of items on the floor that I couldn’t capture in a picture well so I just set up this little sampling. The kids really had fun with this, hunting around toy bins.

The concept of big, medium, and little has really stuck with my 2 year old since doing this activity — she keeps bringing it up in a variety of circumstances!

IMG_0027 For our poetry tea time on the day we read The Three Bears we had big, medium, and little bowls of porridge (recipe via The Peaceful Preschool)! We also read the poems “A Good Little Girl” (A.A. Milne) and “A Good Boy” (Robert Louis Stevenson)
IMG_0012 We acted out The Three Bears story in a little play house in the woods we have on the camp property where we live. There’s three of us so we just took turns being Goldilocks (my 2 year old needs prompting for this but she’s all in).
THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF

We read the following G is for Goat books:

IMG_0106 We read The Three Billy Goats Gruff and G is for Goat (the cutest little A-Z book ever).

We also made a G using grass my son cut (see below) — the kids applied glue to our Letter G printout (from The Peaceful Preschool) with a Q-tip first and then placed the grass on to the G.

We also adore the Heather Forest song version for The Three Billy Goats (from Sing Me Story)

Here are our goats: bigmiddlelittle … and we use a dinosaur for the troll!

IMG_0107 Small world sensory bin & invitation to play. I used rocks, blue-dyed rice for water, and grass we collected in the morning from the scissor skills activity below. We retold the story together as we act it out but also listen to the audiobook or the story song version.
IMG_0108 Cut some great green grass.

A free and zero-setup scissor skills activity! Seriously: this will occupy your scissor-loving kiddo forever.

IMG_0746 TRIP TRAP rhythm stick song: The Three Billy Goats (simplified version) via Jbrary by Dana and Lindsey. I don’t try to memorize these songs in advance when we do them: I just watch the video with my kids and we learn it together and repeat it.

We also don’t have real rhythm sticks: we just use unsharpened pencils that I got at the Target Dollar Spot.

IMG_8035 Act out the story on a bridge: There’s nothing more satisfying than stomping your feet across a bridge pretending to be a trip-trapping billy goat! Also I love attempting the troll voice.
IMG_0148 This week I found these simple & free printable letter mazes from brainymaze.com so we slipped them in our write and wipe pouches and worked on prewriting skills with dry erase markers.
 unnamed.jpgIMG_0443.jpgIMG_0378.jpg The Goat in the Rug was a surprising hit for our Letter G unit. It really is a lovely book, but my son got particularly fond of it so I decided to add in some fun learning extensions:

  • We compared types of goats using our Farm Anatomy book and reviewed photos of goats we took when we visited the Indiana State Fair earlier this year
  • We made a stick loom and did some weaving with an ornamental Green Grass (for letter G), pretending to be Glenmae from the story (and just enjoying the act of creating something beautiful)
  • We made shape patterns like the rug Glenmae makes in the story using a variety of pattern blocks.
 IMG_0146.jpg Beatrice’s Goat extension activities.

I’m so thankful for stories & picture books that can extend my children’s cultural horizons. We all enjoyed the book Beatrice’s Goat for Letter G week — it is the true story of a 9-year old girl living in Uganda whose life was changed when a generous donation through Heifer International gifted her family a goat named Mugisa.

It’s a beautiful story (and a lovely nonprofit organization), and we extended this by tracking the girl Daphine from Uganda through the This Is How We Do It book — Daphine, like Beatrice, also lives in a house made of mud with a steel roof, among banana groves and goats.

Earlier this week we also had the kids draw pictures for our Compassion sponsor who happens to live in Uganda as well! My son drew the Ugandan flag to send along to our friend.

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