Letter Unit Activities · Uncategorized

Letter A Preschool Unit

OVERVIEW

We spent 4 days of school in one week on A is for Apple in May, using The Peaceful Preschool as a guide (you can download the Letter A Unit for FREE here). Then, for the second week of our Letter A Unit I did 2 days of A is for Ant and 2 days of A is for Acorn.

For the record: if I made a weekly plan today for a Letter A Unit, I would do half this stuff (or less). I do not regret doing this much because I had to try and I had to learn in my own way what too much was for our family. I’m sharing everything we did below, but just know that I think this was too much for a 2 week time frame!

BIBLE FOCUS

IMG_0198 We focused on the story of Adam & Eve: that God created us and takes care of us. You can read more about our Bible Story by Letter Unit here.

A IS FOR APPLE

BOOKS

*Books for The Peaceful Preschool curriculum

PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES

  • Phonics
  • Counting
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Practical Life Skills
  • Art Skills
IMG_9848.jpg Phonics

Sandpaper Letter A: I demonstrate how to form letter A with the card then ask my son to repeat

Letter A item basket: name the items and make the letter sounds. We also did the Jolly Phonics letter A sound action. We also play “I Spy” where I describe one item at a time and the kids have to guess what it is.

Glitter glue letter A, via The Peaceful Preschool

IMG_0086.jpg The Peaceful Preschool crafts

Glue wheat berries on to a large letter A printout. I have my kids spread glue with a Q-tip on to the letter, asking them to hold the Q-tip in the pencil grip.

Glue cut colored squares on to the provided apple printout. We used squares cut from paint sample sheets.

IMG_9801.jpg Wash & dry 10 apples for some practical life skills.
IMG_0087.jpg Cut open a couple of apples, sort & name each part: peel, core, seed, flesh. Talk about how apple trees grow from tiny seeds.

Have a snack 🙂

This was a nice activity to not rush through.

IMG_0199.jpg Sort, name & count apple varieties. I bought 5 different varieties so they could make pairs. We laughed a lot about silly apple names and made up a few of our own.

Book: Farm Anatomy (Apple Varieties, page 103)

The book Apples also has a great apple varieties spread.

IMG_0187.jpg Make homemade apple-themed play dough: red, green, and yellow.

I always have my kids help make play dough — they love helping and they love the anticipation of enjoying a new WARM batch of play dough!

IMG_0345.jpg Art skills: make apple trees with play dough and natural materials.

Stamp play dough with the letter A.

Pretend to harvest apples.

IMG_0343.jpg Read and reenact Ten Apples Up On Top!

We stacked & counted cut wood discs that I made, but you could also use blocks! Great for combining storytelling, fine motor skills, and counting skills.

IMG_0238.jpg Chop apples for apple pie (using our nylon knife)
IMG_0334.jpg Bake apple pie or apple crisp together. Have a tea party and read a favorite story to enjoy.
IMG_0335.jpg While baking apple pie I provided a flour and brown sugar tray to practice letter A formation.

This is the tray we have (and love). Sandpaper letters are here. Glitter glue A is via The Peaceful Preschool

IMG_0344.jpg Pretend play Farmer’s Market after reading Apple Farmer Annie with: apples, apple pie, apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, and dried apples.

Take turns being the apple farmer and have the others pay with pretend money (with very simple counting: “one apple will be 3 coins”)

This tray is from Target.

IMG_9849.jpg Mini apple fine motor skills & sorting activity.

Use: red, green, and yellow pom poms, tweezers, and a sorting tray.

This is an activity that I first demonstrate, then have my kids take turns, and then leave on our learning shelves for them to revisit later.

IMG_0088.jpg Sensory bin after reading How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World.

Oats, brown sugar, flower, wheat berries, cinnamon, and frozen cranberries (“apples”).

Practice scooping and pouring and just PLAY.

IMG_0186.jpg Letter A 3-Part Card learning activity.

Letter A 3-Part Cards via Treehouse Schoolhouse.

I slip the whole card into our Learning Resources Tabletop Pocket Chart. Then, I provide the picture cards in one basket and place the word cards on the table. My son then matches the word cards to the picture cards using the Tabletop Pocket Chart set as a guide.

IMG_9916.jpg Fine motor skill threading & counting activity: frozen cranberries on to an “apple tree” (sticks stuck in play dough).

I had to punch a hole in some of the frozen berries to help out, but this was a huge hit. Why? Because they made an utter mess!!! They eventually took the sticks out and smashed cranberries all over the table. Awesome.

IMG_0180.jpg Letter A formation out of play dough. I slipped The Peaceful Preschool printout in our write-and-wipe pouches.

Simply Learning apple basket counting activity (free printable here).

Book: Apple Farmer Annie

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • Large Motor Skills
  • Nature Study
IMG_9841.jpg Find fruit trees or visit an orchard.
IMG_9850.jpg We explored some fruit we found from our fruit trees on property: peaches, apples, and cherries.

Book: The Apple Pie Tree

IMG_9920.jpg Interactive play with Ten Apples Up On Top!: scatter balls around and have your child run and collect them back in to a bin.
IMG_0078.jpg Ladder climbing to pretend to pick apples. My kids each took an apple with them and then threw them down to me!

A IS FOR ACORN

BOOKS

SONG

5 Little Acorns

(Five) little acorns swaying in a tree,
Hanging from a branch as high as can be.
Along came a squirrel and took one away.
(Four) little acorns are left to sway.

(Four) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(Three) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(Two) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(One) little acorn swaying in a tree…

ACTIVITIES

IMG_0883.jpg Form Letter A with acorn caps.
IMG_0755.jpg

IMG_0756.jpg

Sensory bin & play:

Planting acorns to make oak trees!

Complete with a squirrel.

IMG_0853.jpg Lacing activity: thread oak leaves.

I used embroidery thread and a plastic yarn needle. This was the first time I did something like this with my kids and it surprised me how great at it they were and how much fun they had making little leaf necklaces.

IMG_0859.jpg Nature study: compare oak leaves to two other kinds of leaves.

We also identified trees in our yard, not expecting my son to be able to correctly ID them but just for him to hear the names of different trees and see that we are interested and witness what features we look at to ID.

Book: My Leaf Book

Moveable alphabet: my own DIY.

IMG_0912.jpg We went outside and went on an oak leaf hunt. The best kind of nature learning happens in real life, not from a picture book!
IMG_0913.jpg Process art: paint with acorns
IMG_0921.jpg Oak leaf rubbings — crayon and paper. I taped the leaves to the back of the paper to make it easier.
IMG_0955.jpg Hide 3-Part cards in a bin of acorns; find a card and match it to the cards on the table.
IMG_0841.jpg

IMG_0842.jpg

Fine motor skills & play: make woodland peg dolls with acorn hats. This took a little while to find the right size match for each doll but they had so much fun doing it!

A IS FOR ANT

BOOKS

ACTIVITIES

IMG_0525.jpg Sing “The Ants Go Marching” and add in some storytelling (and counting) fun.

I collected some small creek rocks and painted ants on them using a fine tip paint pen. As we sang “The Ants Go Marching”, I flipped over our corresponding number cards (via The Peaceful PreschooL) and had my son add an additional ant to our little line.

IMG_0515.jpg Sorting and counting ant rocks.

I set our numbered muffin tin in a “dirt bin” (black beans, pinto beans, brown rice) and my son used our Learning Resources handy scoopers to get the ant rocks out of the dirt and count in to the tin. Involves number + quantity connection as well as fine motor skills.

IMG_0486.jpg Ants in dirt sensory play.

I made our own ant rocks but you could also get small plastic ones.

IMG_0390.jpg

IMG_0524.jpg

Anatomy of an ant using rocks and sticks.

This was so great for simple counting + insect nature study. We’ve studied a lot of insects up close since doing this activity and my son always thinks about the number of legs and antennae.

Book: Nature Anatomy (pages 94-95)

IMG_0631.jpg Letter A salt tray formation with raisin “ants”
IMG_0599.jpg Practical life: spreading peanut butter for making “ants on a log” snacks
IMG_0373.jpg Life cycle of an ant

I made these little pieces with rocks and sticks and thread (wrapped around), and little white pom poms for the eggs. The lifecycle printable is available via The Pinay Homeschooler.

Book: Are You An Ant?

IMG_0632.jpg Ant hunt!

Simply spread honey on a piece of paper (in this case my son spread honey with a Q-tip on to a letter A printout) and set it out to attract some insects. We used our magnifying glass to investigate closely.

IMG_0426.jpg Practical life skills: thoroughly clean the kitchen to keep ants away! We love this little dustpan.
IMG_0685.jpg Studying ants up close at our local children’s museum. THIS is actually why I chose to even do A is for Ant in the first place.
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