Kindergartners love homework when it involves spelling games and innovative ways to make letters and words. Meghan came home from kindergarten with a sheet full of fun new ways to learn the week’s words: here, this, and see.
Spello— Spelling with Jello Is Perfect for Kindergartners
Are you willing to waste part of a package of Jello powder mix? Good, but it’s not really a waste. Use a pie tin or other shallow container, and dump enough Jello powder so that the bottom is completely covered. Kindergartner Meghan wanted to do the dumping, but I kind of suspected we would be wasting the entire box, so I guided her hand. Also, I didn’t want her to make the layer of Jello powder too thick, because we want to be able to see the pie tin when the letters are written.
Next, Meghan began writing a spelling word in the Jello powder with her finger. Interestingly, this also taught her a little bit about spatial relationships and planning. Her first two attempts started with letters that were too big. By the time she got to the last consonant she was at the edge of the pie tin, and would have had to put the last letter on the next line. No problem! It’s easy to shake the tin gently and scatter the Jello powder around again. You don’t even need an eraser to correct a mistake and start over. This time Meghan made her letters smaller, and the entire word fit between the left and the right edges of the pie tin. After writing the first word in the Jello, Meghan decided to lick her finger. Surprise! Jello powder doesn’t taste like Jello! It’s very tart. Meghan made a face, and then began to work on the second word.
“Spello” was a big success. It made me think of using chocolate pudding mix powder or instant cocoa mix powder the next time, for better tasting “spelling powder.”
Speedo Spelling — Kindergarten Kinesthetics With Alphabet Blocks
First, Meghan wrote out her three spelling words on colored construction paper with plenty of space between the letters. Then I drew cutting lines for her and had her cut out each letter. We taped the letters to some old toy building blocks and then mixed the blocks up. I would say a spelling word for her and she would begin spelling it by picking the right blocks and putting them in order. I timed her by counting “one-one-thousand” “two one thousand,” etc. Her best personal time was three seconds for the word “see.”
Spelling Words with Human Letters
Next Meghan learned to “be” the letters, with a little help from sister Annie. I asked her to lie down on the floor, legs and arms held tightly to her side. Annie stretched out about a foot away in the same position. Then Meghan stretched out one arm straight on the floor until it touched Annie. I took a picture of them with my phone to show them they had made a capital “H.” To make a little “h,” Meghan stayed straight on the floor by herself on her side, and put her left leg out, bent at the knee.
The next letter in the word here was trickier, because we needed a little “e.” Meg curved herself into a letter “c” then stretched one leg out straight, inside the curve, to turn it into an “e.”
It took both Meghan and Annie to make the “r.” Annie lay straight up and down, and Meghan lay perpendicularly, turning herself into a slight curve. This one made a cute picture too. Eventually the girls formed all the letters in each word, one letter at a time. The “s” in see was fun, because each sister had to lie in a tight curve, almost a hoop, then position themselves so that the bottom of one overlapped with the top of the other. If you can’t quite picture it, you and your kindergartner will have to get down on the floor and make your own “s”!
Kindergartners Learn Fast Kinesthetically
“The kinesthetic learners who are also known as tactile learners, grasp things in a better manner by actually doing them. Performing a physical activity associated with learning, rather than mere reading/listening helps the kinesthetic learners to understand things quickly,” according to Shashank Nakate on Buzzle.com. Not to mention that kindergartners thrive on action and motion anyway!
No Time for Kinesthetics?
When time is too short to do involved kinesthetic spelling projects, just have your kindergartner jump up in the air when saying the spelling word, and then spell it by clapping each time she says a letter. This simple activity improves retention.
Kindergarten spelling activity sheet