Friday, June 22, 2012

Threading AlphaCards + Freebie

I have fond memories of threading cards as a kid -- concentrating-tongue to mouth corner 'n' all.  Heck, I have fond memories of threading as an adult -- show me a sewing-like activity where I can't jam a bobbin and I'm in.  I decided creating a set of threading cards wouldn't require a bobbin either...in fact, it would be something I could do.

What I did:
I mulled over which images I wanted to use and decided I could dovetail the in-built pencil grip + hand-eye coordination lessons with phonetics!  /cue the heavenly chorus.  I grabbed some free colouring sheets depicting "animal letters" (thank you, Education.com) and filled them with colour in Photoshop Elements to create the end result.  I then printed, laminated, trimmed, hole punched (I used a single hole punch, myself, but I'm sure you could swing it with a double...I just can't), and added a pair of shoe laces from the dollar store.  Done and dusted!  Easy!

Okay, not quite done and dusted...I saw too many opportunities to integrate more stuff here...so I also created wordstrips with capital and lower case letter lead-ins, like "Zz is for Zebra," and an accompanying sheet featuring photographs of the animals and a tidbit about each (thank you, National Geographic).  I'm thinking each time we get the set out we can start by matching the threading cards to their word strips, and while she's threading I will direct her attention to the "real life" animal and the trivia so she'll internalise all of it.  Don't even get me started on the inquiry based learning unit I would build from this.
 
Success; Esky already proffers these animals as examples of words starting with their corresponding letters -- after one morning threading with them (i.e. When I lead with "Z is for...?" she replies, "Zebra!").  I may add to the set, but at this stage, I went with the images I thought did the best job of making the letter the animal (instead of simply overlaying a picture of the animal...with little connection in shape to the letter).  Ideally, I'd be using all of the phonetical red herrings for a project like this (C, G, U, W, Y...) -- because I figure she'll spend a lot of time with each card, and hopefully the letter and animal will be married in her mind for future reference.  For now we'll just keep callin' them a "SeeKee, Gee, Uh, Wubbleyou and Yai."
Here are the other letters I included in this set:

 

  Want to make some?  You can download the full set here.
(A new window will open hosted by GoogleDocs with the pdf displayed, ready for you to print.)
All you'll need is to do is laminate, trim, hole punch, and add cheap laces.  And maybe a delicates bag -- everything is better when it's stored in a delicates bag;
 
More Ideas:
  • I keep copies of the matching colouring sheets wih the threading set -- so Esky can add her own colour to images that are fast becoming familiar faves.
  • You could always print the black and whites to begin with and use copies your child/ren coloured for the laminated, threading cards.
  • If these images aren't your style, I was thinkin' torn storybooks and wall friezes could laminated a hole punched for a similar project -- a second life for images you love and want to get face time...but are not sure what to do with. 
  • If you make your own flashcards, you could use these same images in the mix for reinforcement.
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