Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ A is for Astronaut

 On the Moon by Anna Milbourne
Summary: Combining engaging illustrations and easy to read text, this book is a perfect introduction to space for young children. 

For our first letter of the week series, we start our journey venturing off into space. On the Moon is the perfect book to set the stage for our “A is for astronaut” theme. In fact, we enjoyed this book so much we added it to our permanent book collection.

ABC Letter Box
abcbox2  Aaletterbox I created an ABC letter box to start out each letter unit. On the first day of the letter study, I pull out the box and have the girls tell me the names of all the objects. We listen to the first sound the word makes. Then I point to the letter and tell them that this is the letter that makes this sound. You can find more details about the ABC Letter box and how to use it at Spell Outloud.

ABC Letter Learning Activities  letteradoadot2 Do-a-Dots are a favorite activity around our house. Here’s an astronaut Do-a-Dot (or magnet page) from Making Learning Fun.

image  image

The book, On the Moon, talks about how the astronauts collect moon rocks to bring back to Earth. I decided to make our own collection of “moon rocks” from crumpled pieces of paper. On half the papers I stuck capital letter “A's” and lower-case letter “a’s.” On the rest, I wrote random letters. I dumped all the “rocks” on the floor and told my daughter that she was on an astronaut assignment to only collect rocks that have the letter “Aa” on them.  

I created a poem plus handwriting sheet for my daughter to work on. You can find the download link at the end of this post.

ABC Crafts

  astronautcraft astronautcraft3

I saw this awesome letter “a” astronaut craft at Creativity Abounds. We changed it a little to go along with the book. We added foil stars in the sky and used hole reinforcement stickers to be the craters on the moon.

 letteracraftsupplies  letteracraft2

We also made an astronaut using a print-out from DLTK-Kids.  We used it to retell parts of the story and also as a telescope. :)



Another craft we did to reinforce letter recognition was to create a letter “A” flag to put on the moon. I gathered several different style letter “A” stamps, washable ink, cardstock, and a craft stick. First we looked at the stamps and I pointed out that even though all these “A’s” don’t look the same, they are still “A’s”.
Next I demonstrated how to stamp (I also had a travel-size wet-wipe container next to the stamps. After she would stamp a letter she would stamp on the wet wipe to clean the stamp.) When the flag was complete, we made a playdough moon to place our flag on, just like they did in the story.
ABC Songs and Rhymes

astronautrhyme2   astronautrhyme

Using the rhyme “Five Elephants Went Out To Play” as inspiration, I changed the words to fit our space theme. I then created astronauts to help us tell the poem. You could print these out on magnet paper and make magnets, laminate, or add sand paper to the back and use on a flannel board (See download below.)
ABC Pretend Play and Games


We decided that if we wanted to be astronauts, we needed to build a space ship! My older children helped create this cardboard rocket. My little girls had fun pretending they were astronauts going to the moon.
Extension: Astronauts have to train very hard in order to go into space. Create an obstacle course for your child to go through. Some tasks could be letter-oriented (i.e. throw the “Aa” bean bag in the box) while other tasks can work on gross motor skills (i.e. crawl through the tunnel).
Downloads:  2Aaprintables For each letter I will be providing several downloadable resources plus a letter planner page. You can find these resources at Spell Outloud’s HSPrintables.
Other ABC Resources:


Sara said...

Wow, Maureen! All of those ideas are great! Thank you!

Andrea said...

What a great unit you have put together!

Addington ESOL said...

This is great... thanks

Frannie said...

You're AMAZING!!! so glad I found your site! I'm going to use these great ideas for my boys TODAY!

Charity said...

I just want to take a minute to thank you! You have been such an inspiration and an AMAZING HELP to me. I have 3 yr old quadruplets & have been so overwhelmed looking for creative ideas for our homeschool preschool. I come back to your website time and time again. I love it! Thank you so much for providing your printables free of charge. You have no idea how much help they have been! I really appreciate it!  =)