Saturday, May 30, 2009

Scrabble for All Ages

I jumped and shouted, "Look! Cheez-Its with letters!" Turned heads and puzzled looks were upon me. "Lady, your in the grocery isle." They thought.

I knew where I was but I could not contain my excitement. A new idea had jumped from the grocery shelf and into my brain. I see learning opportunities everywhere, even in the grocery isle, and frankly, a new tool for learning is like a Christmas present under the tree.

I have thought about this new find for several days. Cheez-Its with letters. The new snack is called Cheez-It Scrabble Junior. Do you realize the learning possibilities?

  • Grab a handful fo Cheez-Its. Group them according to letter...all the C's together, all the T's together, etc. Find out which group has more, which group has less. The math and language arts skills involved are for the youngest learners: grouping, set-building and letter recognition.

  • Make an alphabet train. Line up the letters while singing the alphabet and you have the foundations for alphabetizing.

  • Grab a letter, make its phonetic sound, and find items around the house that begin with that letter. Beginning phonics with a fun twist.

  • Use the letters as mini flash cards. Grab a letter and make the sound. Grab another and make the sound. Go through the whole alphabet.

  • Create two letter words: am, an, at, as, ax, be, go, if, in, is, it, me, on, so, and to. Add a letter to each to make three letter words. Spelling at its earliest beginnings.

  • Spell the names of family members. These are high-interest words with a purpose for new spellers.

The possibilities are endless, not to mention, fun, different, and appealing . What a unique introduction to a positively educational game, Scrabble!

While I am on the subject of Scrabble, let me share how this game impacted our learning. Being an "adult game" if you want to classify it as such, it instantly grabbed my son's attention. He wanted to play because he saw Mom and Dad playing. Being a beginning speller did not stop him. He wanted to play. So, I created a "dictionary" for him. I stapled 26 pieces of notebook paper together. Each page was labeled with a letter of the alphabet. Once labeled, I wrote 3-5 letter words which began with the letter written on the top of the page. My son used his "dictionary" to play Scrabble with us. His spelling skills improved and eventually he was able to play without the "dictionary". Our children love a friendly, family game of Scrabble. It's a great way to spend an evening. Honestly, our older boy's vocabulary and spelling skills now surpass Mom and Dad and the kids usually win the game.

Scrabble (and Scrabble Junior) have been the number one spelling tools in our home. You can imagine how excited I was to find Cheez-Its Scrabble Junior on the shelf. I let the ladies in the isle know what an incredible treasure had been discovered.

With all this thought and excitement about letters, I have been reminded of our favorite alphabet books.

  • A is for Asia by C. Chin-Lee

  • P is for Pilgrim by Carol Crane (just one of the many, many titles in a series from the Discover America series...

  • Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert

  • 26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban

  • Alphabet City by Stephen Johnson

  • The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta (just one of the many, many thematic alphabet books he has written)

  • Wild Animals of Africa by H. Ryden
Have fun with language arts today. Education is real and relevant.

1 comment:

  1. Two of my favorite things! Scrabble and Cheezits!