- Education and Science
"E" Is For Elephant--Letter "E" Activities For Kids
We started with tracing both an upper and lowercase "E" on a worksheet that also included small "E" word pictures to color, cut, and paste to our "E." The problem with many of these online worksheets, however, lies in them not teaching the proper phonetic sound. In fact, NONE of the pictures included with this worksheet hit the mark--eel, eagle, earmuffs, easel, and earwig do not have the beginnings sound your children will practice in kindergarten. When learning the letter "E" in school, your child will be taught the "E" sounds like "Ed" or "elephant." Can you hear the difference? Unfortunately, when you're in a time crunch, it's easier to grab whatever free resource is available online, print it, and go! Otherwise, constructing your own worksheets with the proper phonetic sound would be optimum.
Next, we transformed an uppercase "E" into an elephant for our on-going alphabet book project. When you're browsing for large bubble letters for this project, steer away from fancy fonts that add a lot of curls and swirls to letters--these do not resemble the letters your child will be learning in school. Expose your learner to letters with the correct formation. Sorry--I free-handed this elephant, so there's no template to share. If I can do it, anyone can!
Here are some facts you can discuss about elephants:
- Elephants love to swim.
- Female elephants generally one have one baby at a time, and can keep having babies until they are about 50 years old. If you think nine months seems like forever when it comes to gestation, pity the female elephant who carries her baby for 22 months before delivery!
- Despite the tough look of an elephant's skin, it's very sensitive and can detect something as small as a fly landing on it.
- Baby elephants are born blind.
- Don't tick off an elephant--they have great memories!
- Elephants have emotions and can even mourn lost loved ones years after their death.
- Elephants are scare of ants and bees, not mice like in the myth.
- The trunk of an elephant boasts more than 40,000 muscles.
An Egg Is Quiet
To reinforce our letter "E" along with its correct phonetic sound, we read the book, An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long. This is an excellent resource for the science portion of your learning time. This book presents many opportunities for critical thinking and observation. An egg is quiet--why is it quiet? Why would an egg need markings to camouflage it? Why do eggs come in different sizes? Eggs are textured--what does that mean? An egg might be fossilized--what are fossils? How is an egg giving? When does an egg become noisy?
Since our books also explains how eggs are artistic, we designed our own eggs and gave them a unique attribute. See how these learners made both a "pretty" egg and a "brown" egg.
To continue our scientific exploration of eggs, we conducted an "eggs"periment that was deemed simply magical, judging by the squeals of delight that filled our kitchen! We made an egg float! This is a study of density. Density is a measurement of how solid something is. Your kids can learn this concept hands-on.
- Fill a drinking glass full of water. Let one of your learners gently drop the egg into the glass. It sinks right to the bottom!
- Fill another glass half full of water and stir in at least six tablespoons of salt. Let your kids do the stirring--they love being involved! (Warning: anticipate minor spillage!)
- Once the salt is well-mixed, top off the glass with tap water. Let your child drop an egg into the glass. Voila! It floats!
In the first glass, the egg was denser than the tap water. In the second glass, the salt water was denser, which is why your egg floated.
For the math portion of our day, we focused on recognizing numbers one through five. For our little car lover, we used a fun number freebie. Each number looks like roadway--created for Hot Wheels, Matchbox, or other little cars to drive on. Each number comes with it's own little parking lot, so after driving the car on each number, the car can be "parked" into the corresponding parking lot number. Each number card can be printed on cardstock, cut out, and put into a small photo book for easy flipping during number review time. Our only issue with this freebie is it's a little small. Learners don't really get to experience correct number formation during the "drive." Regardless, it was free, and it was still enjoyed!