Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Bird Count" Picture Book, With a READ AND DANCE Lesson Plan

GREETINGS!


For this blog post, I am introducing a beautiful new picture book by Susan Edwards Richmond, with gorgeous illustrations by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company, Inc.

        This book will be released on October 5, 2019!




Here is a 
READ AND DANCE lesson plan to present to young children, to enrich and enhance the enjoyment of this book! This lesson is a collaboration between Susan and myself; I developed some movement prompts based on her book, and she created this full lesson plan around my movement ideas, tying it to arts and early literacy standards. She includes materials needed, explanation of how to present it, accommodations for children with special needs, and an idea for expanding this activity into an informal performance for parents and friends. 

You will find this plan, and many more imaginative ideas for preschool through fifth grade, on Susan's website. Some of the resources she has developed for a unit on birds and bird watching include linking the book to technology and math, art and music, social studies and geography, Next Generation Science Standards, and so much more! 


 Susan Edwards Richmond's Bird Count Activity Plan: 

Moving Like a Bird 





Description and Goals
Children will use movement to retell the story of Bird Count, by creating a dance that incorporates their interpretations of different birds described in the book. This activity offers children an alternative method of storytelling through a kinesthetic learning experience.
Developmental Areas and Skills: Creative and Physical Domains

Curriculum Standards and Guidelines
Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences (MA Department of Education):

Guiding Preschool Learning in the Arts: Movement and Dance: 6. Act out ways that movement
and dance can show feelings or convey meaning.

       Common Core English Language Arts Standards

Reading Literature #2: Key Ideas and Details
Reading Literature #7: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Speaking & Listening #2: Comprehension and Collaboration


       Objectives

      Children will use their bodies to act out the movements of       birds in the story.

          Children will work cooperatively to create a dance based on their creative ideas.

  • Materials

  • Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. 
  • Music and a method to play it, such as a CD player.

  •  An open space in the classroom or outdoors.


  • Introduction

  • Read or review Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Ask children if they can think of other ways to tell the story without using words. Tell them that, today, they are going to recreate the story using movement, or dance.

  • Procedure

  • 1Introduce Activity (above)

  • 2. Show children the illustrations of each bird in the story, one at a time.
            For each bird, ask: How might this bird move?

       3. Give movement prompts, and incorporate childrens ideas. Here are some examples:




  •  Canada goose: Can you fly like a Canada goose? They are very strong fliers. Flap your wings as you sail through the sky. Now land in Curcurbit Farm’s fields, just like in the story.
    Fly like a Canada goose!

  •  Downy woodpecker: Fly like a woodpecker, and land in a tall tree. Use your long beak to peck and find insects.

  •  Duck: Imagine you are swimming like the mallards in the pond, and turn upside down with your bottom sticking up! Now dive like a merganser.

  • Great blue heron: Stretch your long neck looking for fish. You see one! Try to catch it.


page1image3907950528
Turn upside down like a mallard!

  • 4. Once you have explored movement with all of the birds in the story, play some lively music and ask the children to dance freely about pretending to be all of the birds in the book.

  • 5.  Optional: If children are interested, have them choose which birds theyd like to be.Then retell the story, asking each one to perform when they are introduced in the text.
Conclusion

Wrap up the activity when interest wanes or the activity begins to stray. Ask children if they would like to perform their dance for their families. If so, tell them you will revisit the activity at a later time to practice and prepare. If there is interest, you may wish to add an art component by encouraging children to create costumes or sets.

Accommodations

This activity provides children with challenges expressing themselves verbally an alternative method of expression. Allow children to participate using whatever kinds of movement they are comfortable with. Children who use a wheelchair can use their arms to imitate birds or maneuver the wheelchair in ways that imitate bird movement. Give children who may need additional focus a job to do, such as helping to display the book pages, or leading particular movements.

Evaluation
The activity will be successful if the children engage in movement that represents different birds in the story. Other measures of success are if the children are able to incorporate some of their own original ideas into their movements and if they can cooperate with others in performing a class dance!

Family/Community Engagement
Present the dance at a community celebration or special event. Or record the dance and share it in a weekly newsletter or on a class website.




Keep on dancin',


Connie


Moving Is Learning!




Thursday, August 15, 2019

Apple Activities Using Free Printables for a Montessori-Inspired Apple Unit

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

It's time for a new school year! And it's time to expand my already-huge apple unit. So I've added a lot of free apple printables and activities along with a free apple pack (subscriber freebie at LivingMontessoriNow.com)! 



You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).


Montessori Shelves with Apple-Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Apple-Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired apple numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On the top shelf, I have How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro and Apples by Gail Gibbons. How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro is Montessori-friendly and has fairly in-depth information on the apple life cycle. It's recommended for ages 4-8.

I often have a book by Gail Gibbons as part of our unit. Her apple book is another great Montessori-friendly book for 4-8 year olds with a good amount of understandable information. 

On the right side of the shelf (book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have the awesome I Spy: An Alphabet in Art. It has a wide variety of paintings, but I love that the cover photo (the page I have open) is the fascinating Son of Man by the surrealist artist RenĂ© Magritte! The book is recommended for ages 4-8, but I love to adapt it for even toddlers. I also printed out and included an easel with Paul Cezanne's Still Life with Apples

You could mix your apple-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special apple-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.


Apple Books with Apple Life Cycle Work

Apple Books with Apple Life Cycle Work 
Free Printables: Apple Life Cycle Printables (subscriber freebie) from Welcome to Mommyhood 

I like to introduce the apple life cycle with a book like How Do Apple Grow? (see above). The materials were very easy to prepare. I display them simply on a Multicraft tray with the added Montessori cards display box (which I love and typically use for all my 3-part cards now).


Manuscript and Cursive Writing and Spelling Materials

It's a personal preference if you like to introduce manuscript or cursive first. Many Montessorians introduce cursive first, and many Montessorians introduce manuscript first. It often depends on what your child will be encountering most. When I was a Montessori teacher, my students went on to traditional schools, so I always introduced print first. I did the same with my now-adult children as a homeschooler. I'm doing the same with my grandchildren, since they're exposed to print so often in books and other areas. 

I do think that learning cursive is essential so that (at a minimum) children grow up able to read their grandparents' and great-grandparents' handwriting (and the handwriting of others from those generations). When my grandchildren are comfortable writing and reading manuscript print, I focus a lot on cursive. I do focus on it some earlier with the font cards I design to go with each unit. But it isn't a thorough, focused emphasis until they're comfortable with manuscript letter writing and reading. 


A is for Apple Sand Writing Tray (Left Side of Middle Shelf in Shelf Photo)

Free Printables: Apple letters for apple sand writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For the sand tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. I had gotten some lovely white sand for making kinetic sand and other projects. I love that it was so easy to make a bright color simply by adding gel food coloring and some water. I recommend spreading it on a baking pan to dry overnight. If your sand isn’t already sterilized, you might want to heat it up at a low temperature in your oven to partially dry it. 

If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.


National Geographic Kids Apples for Everyone Book with Manuscript and Cursive Movable Alphabet Apple Letters

Because I'm focusing on cursive as well as manuscript, I made a simple tray with the movable alphabet letters for apple in cursive and manuscript. (You could use the apple movable alphabet letters from our subscriber freebie pack.) I like to use the traditional wooden ones as well. We've been using a traditional small wooden manuscript movable alphabet, although we're starting to work with the cursive wooden movable alphabet. There are a number of price ranges available. You can find more movable alphabet resources in my "Inexpensive and DIY Movable Alphabets" post.

I often like to place a book with my materials to draw attention to both the book and the activity. I love the photography in National Geographic Kids books, including this Apples for Everyone book. While there aren't in-depth facts in this book, it's lovely to look at and can be used for toddlers through beginning readers.


Matching Cursive Apple Alphabet Cards to Manuscript Apple Alphabet Cards

 

Free Printable: Apple movable alphabet cards in manuscript and cursive (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

My 5½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, really enjoyed this activity. I introduced it with a cursive tracing board. I got the 2-sided version (with capital letters on one side and lowercase on the other), since capital cursive letters aren't commonly seen on written materials. 

After tracing the letters on the tracing board, Zoey placed the manuscript letters in alphabetical order. Then she matched each of the cursive letters to the manuscript letters.


Parts of an Apple Tree Puzzle and Labels

Parts of an Apple Tree Puzzle and Labels 
Free Printable: Parts of an Apple Tree (subscriber freebie) from The Natural Homeschool 

This was another activity that was super easy to prepare. I simply printed out and cut apart the printable (laminate it if you wish) and placed it in a Montessori Services basket. See bottom shelf in the photo. 

This works well for children who can read, but younger children could match the labels to a control puzzle or just put together the puzzle without labels.


Montessori Parts of an Apple 3-Part Cards and Booklet-Making Materials

Montessori Parts of an Apple 3-Part Cards and Booklet-Making Materials

Free Printables: Parts of the Fruit Nomenclature Cards and Little Book from The Helpful Garden 

This is another easy-to-prepare Montessori activity.  I have two of these awesome Montessori cards display boxes, so I used the second one for this activity. It even worked to place the picture/word cards and picture cards in the same section of the display box so that I could place the booklet-making pages in the last section. 

I keep my booklet-making supplies in a separate location, so this was a perfect way to have activities displayed attractively in a small amount of space!


Greater Than, Less Than Apple Activity

Greater Than, Less Than Apple Tray

Free Printable: Apple Tree Numbers and Greater Than, Less Than Symbols (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

If you'd like some extra-fun ways to introduce greater than, less than, check out my greater than, less than alligator math activities. I typically introduce greater than, less than with those and then use an activity like this to reinforce the symbols. I used acrylic craft apples, but almost any small craft apples will work.

Greater Than, Less Than Apple Activity Layout


Free Apple Printables for Preschoolers-First Graders (some printables for up to grade 3)

Montessori-Inspired Apple Pack
  
Free Apple Printables and Montessori-Inspired Apple Activities

Montessori-Inspired Apple Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber).  

Free Apple Printables and Montessori-Inspired Apple Activities
Free Seasons of an Apple Tree Cutting Strips (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download)
Free Apple Printable for Ten Apples Up On Top Activities {Instant Download}

Free apple printable for Ten Apples Up On Top activities (a Montessori-inspired instant download)


Free Fall Playdough Math Pack {Instant Download}

Free fall playdough math pack with apple printables (a Montessori-inspired instant download). For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with Free Apple Printables and Activities for a Montessori-Inspired Apple Unit.


More Apple Resources

Montessori-Inspired Apple Unit {Hundreds of Resources}

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.

Have a happy school year!
Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 44 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

This unit is for my three grandchildren ... and all other lovers of rocks and minerals! You'll find a list of free rocks and minerals printables along with a free rocks and minerals pack (newsletter subscriber freebie) at LivingMontessoriNow.com!



You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K SharingYou'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Rocks and Minerals-Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Rock and Mineral Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired rock and mineral numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On the top shelf, I have the National Geographic Kids Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids' books are always some of my favorites.) I also have the gorgeous Rocks Minerals & Gems book. 

On the right side of the shelf ( book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have DK Smithsonian Picturepedia (beautiful photos and a fabulous reference book for many units!). 

You could mix your rock and mineral themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special rock and mineral themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

National Geographic Kids Rocks and Minerals Book with Rocks and Minerals 3-Part Cards

National Geographic Kids Rocks and Minerals Book with Rocks and Minerals 3-Part Cards 

National Geographic Kids Rocks and Minerals Book with Rocks and Minerals 3-Part Cards[/caption] Free Printable: Rocks and Minerals Classified Cards from Little House in the Suburbs' I was able to store the cards and labels in this Montessori cards display box without taking up much space on my shelf!

Birthstone Syllable Counting

Free Printable: Birthstone Syllable Counting from Rocks and Minerals Unit Language Printable from Every Star Is Different You'll see this work on my top shelf. I'm planning to get inexpensive birthstone crystals, since it'll be used a lot! If you won't be using the activity as much, clothespins or another type of markers, such as the ones pictured, can be used.


S is for Sedimentary and Sandstone Sand Writing Tray

 
Free Printables: Sandstone image from the above classified cards for writing tray
For the sand tray (see middle shelf above), I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. I included the image and a real sandstone to the tray for interest.
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.

Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rock Sort

Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Sorting Tray with Font Cards

Free Printables: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic letter font cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

This activity was super simple to prepare using the printables and a rock kit! I placed the font cards and Toysmith Rock Science Kit on a Multicraft tray. (I also have the Toysmith Mineral Science Kit that I'll use later in the unit.) I like that these kits are inexpensive yet have a nice variety of rocks and minerals.

Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rock Sort

I used the font cards as heading cards for the igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks from the rock science kit. The chart that comes with the kit makes it very easy to sort the rocks.

Rock and Mineral Spelling with Montessori Movable Alphabet and Printable Rock-Themed Movable Alphabet

Rock Spelling with Montessori Movable Alphabet and Printable Rock-Themed Movable Alphabet 
Free Printable: Shale Rock Movable Alphabet (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

Free Printable: Rocks and Minerals Spelling List from the Rocks and Minerals Unit Language Printable from Every Star Is Different. 

You could cut apart the pictures for the initial spelling work, although they'll be small. Older children can work on analyzing the words and using the word lists as spelling lists. 

For the movable alphabet work, I used a traditional small wooden movable alphabet. You can just use the shale rock movable alphabet for word building, or you can match letters from the two sets. On the shelf, you can’t see the letters in the Montessori Services basket very well from this angle, but those are the shale rock movable alphabet letters from my subscriber pack.

Amethyst Division Activity

Amethyst Division Activity

Free Printables: Amethyst Numbers and Symbols for a Division Equation (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

Free Printable: Amethyst Card from Pikes Peak Rock Shop 

I used 20 tumbled amethyst stones to makes a hands-on activity dividing numbers by 2. There are enough amethyst stones in the set I bought to make DIY Montessori cards and counters using the number cards and amethyst stones for a younger child. 

Sister Sharing Activity - Hands-on Amethyst Division (Note - Close Toddler Supervision Required)

I love to teach division as a sharing exercise. Zoey and her 19-month-old sister, Sophia, enjoyed some hands-on sister sharing. Zoey would choose a number (12 in the photo) and share the amethyst crystals equally ("One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me....").


Sister Sharing Activity - Hands-on Amethyst Division with Equation (Note - Close Toddler Supervision Required)

After sharing all the crystals, Zoey counted how many each had and placed the answer card on the equation. Both girls found it interesting, and Sophia especially enjoyed being included. 

Note: I don't leave small objects like these out for my toddler grandchildren, and I don't recommend that small objects be available to toddlers without direct and constant supervision. I only used these because I was so closely supervising the activity. Sophia's at that sensitive period where she's especially drawn to small objects, and it's nice when she can be included. She just felt each amethyst and didn't put any in her mouth, although that most likely wouldn't have been the case if they had been left out.

Famous Rocks Around the World 3-Part Cards with Cut-and-Paste Activities

Famous Rocks Around the World 3-Part Cards with Cut-and-Paste ActivitiesFree Printable: Famous Rock Formations from the Pinay Homeschooler 

Free Printable: Printables from Free Rocks and Minerals Unit from Homeschool Den 

I placed both the famous rock formations 3-part cards and printed pages from the rocks and minerals unit on a tray. I added scissors and glue for a cut-and-paste activity using the pages. 

First, I'd have the child use the 3-part cards to learn about famous rock formations. I used colored pencils to place a colored dot corresponding to the rock formation's continent on the back of each control card.  So, in addition to matching the images and words, the child can sort the 3-part cards by continent. I also added the Montessori continents globe

An elementary-age child could use a regular globe to find each actual place using the word labels.

Free Rocks and Minerals Printables for Preschoolers through First Graders

Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Pack

Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber). 

For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with Free Rocks and Minerals Printables and Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Activities.

More Rocks and Minerals Resources


If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.

Happy rock collecting!
Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 43 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Ocean Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

An ocean unit is perfect for summer, although it's great at any time. Today, I have a new ocean unit along with a free ocean pack (subscriber freebie at LivingMontessoriNow.com)!



You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Ocean-Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Ocean-Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired ocean numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On the top shelf, I have Steve Jenkins' Down Down Down (an amazing book and one of Zoey's very favorite books), The Big Book of the Blue (lovely!), and Ocean: a Photicular Book (see below). On the right side of the shelf (book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have National Geographic Kids Ultimate Oceanpedia (gorgeous photos and a fabulous reference book!). 

You could mix your ocean-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special ocean-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

Ocean Sensory Bottle with Ocean: A Photicular Book

Ocean Animal Sensory Bottle with Ocean: A Photicular BookOcean: A Photicular Book was a New York Times bestseller. It's a super-fun book for multiple ages to look at with images that use Photicular technology to make each image like a 3-D movie on the page. It also tells about each ocean animal, including vital statistics such as size, habitat, range, diet, life span in the wild, and threats. 

The sensory bottle is my old baby beluga ocean sensory bottle with a new Voss 11.2 oz. bottle and with Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis Sea Life Pack.

Montessori Movable Alphabet with Long-Spine Porcupinefish Movable Alphabet Cards and  Ocean Words Pictures and Booklet

Ocean-Themed Movable Alphabet Spelling Work

Free Printable: Ocean Word Cards from PreKinders. I printed the printable out twice ... once to make an ocean animals booklet and once for pictures to use with the movable alphabet. 

Free Printable: Long-spine Porcupinefish Movable Alphabet (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

We use the small Montessori movable alphabet. I have the movable alphabet from Alison’s Montessori, which I love. You can also get a movable alphabet from Amazon or make your own. You can just use the movable alphabet printable.

For Zoey's work, I cut out pictures from the printable that would work for the Montessori pink, blue, and green series. Then she call spell the words with the movable alphabets and check her work with the appropriate page in the booklet. 

/o/ for Octopus Sandpaper Letter and Font Card with Schleich Octopus and An Octopus Is Amazing Book

/o/ for Octopus Materials

Free Printables: Octopus Letters for letter o font cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I used the "o" Sandpaper Letter and octopus font card with Schleich Octopus and An Octopus Is Amazing Book.

Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards with Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

The Ocean Alphabet Book with Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards and Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

Free Printable: Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards from Memorizing the Moments 

I am in love with this Montessori cards display box! It recently became available on Amazon in the U.S. I love it for displaying 3-part cards or 4-part cards. It's so attractive and doesn't take up much space. I used the Safari Ltd. Ocean TOOB for this work and placed everything on a Multicraft tray.


Demonstrating Matching Ocean Animal Pictures and Objects

My daughter, Christina, and her son, Caleb worked with the materials at a toddler level. First, Christina named the animals and matched them to the cards. 

Identifying the Dolphin in Ocean Animal Picture and Object Matching

Then Caleb had his turn with identifying each of the animals. Here, Christina asked Caleb to point to the dolphin. This is a great introduction to vocabulary and matching for toddlers! You can read more about teaching vocabulary to toddlers using the 3-period lesson here.

(Note: With toddlers, I keep the Safari Ltd. animals out of reach because they're a choking hazard. We only use them when an adult is working directly with the toddler.)

Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards with Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

For Zoey's level, I'd have her read the words and match them to the picture cards, check them with the control card, and match the Safari Ltd. animal figure.

Toddlers and young preschoolers can just use the picture cards for matching to the animal figures. A pre-reader could have the control card placed first and then match the picture and word to the control card.

Adding Three Numbers and Making an Ocean Bracelet or Necklace with Ocean Charms

Ocean Charm Addition Using World Map Number Cards, Ocean Charms, and Chenille StemsFree Printable: World Map Number Cards 1-15 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

I found these adorable ocean charms to use. There are six of each. I just chose the 10 best ones (leaving out the mermaids, for example).

I used a number dice (either dots or numerals is fine) along with the number cards 1-15 (in case the child rolls 4+5+6). You could have enough for doubles, although I have this activity set up so the child has to roll again until there are three different numbers. Younger children can just add two numbers or roll the dice to choose one number.

Sisters Enjoying Their Side-by-Side Work - Ocean Charm Addition and Necklace Making and Toddler Chenille Stem and Strainer Work 
Zoey and Sophia enjoyed working side by side. Zoey added three numbers and strung the corresponding numbers of ocean animals on the chenille stem to make a necklace. Sophia worked on placing chenille stems in the holes of a strainer, a great activity for toddlers.

Sisters Working Side by Side - Ocean Charm Addition and Necklace Making with Toddler Chenille Stem Bending and Sensory Activity 

Here, Zoey has completed her equation and is finishing her necklace. Sophia has moved on to bending the chenille stems and enjoying the sensory experience.

Ocean 3-Part Cards and Placing Ocean Labels on Continents Globe

Ocean 3-Part Cards with Continents Globe

Free Printable: Ocean 3-Part Cards and Control Chart from Imagine Our Life

I printed out an extra set of labels to attach to the Montessori continents globe. (You could use any globe.)

Ocean 3-Part Cards with Ocean Labels on Continents Globe

This activity is a great way to reinforce the names and locations of each ocean. Using painter's tape or removable double-sided tape, you can have the child place the second set of ocean labels on the globe.

More Ocean Resources

For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with Free Ocean Printables and Montessori-Inspired Ocean Activities

 If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.


Happy summer!

Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 44 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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