Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apple Language Development

Today, I had all my preschool kids home so I decided to dive into something a little more advanced (though my 3 year old did great with it!).

For snack today, we continued with our apple theme and did a taste test of 3 types of apples: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith (red, yellow, and green).  
Each child got to sample slices of each apple and tell me which was their favorite.  The best part of the taste test was listening to them talk to each other and describe the apples.  Beyond discussing the colors, they came up with words like "sour", "juicy", and "tasty".  They also compared the apples to each other.  For the most part, I let them run the conversation, but I did encourage them to tell me more than just "good" or "yucky".
Showing me which one was her favorite.
He was deep in thought about how to describe his apple!
After our snack, we gathered with a large piece of chart paper and smelly markers.  (No, you do not need chart paper and smelly markers, but I've found that nothing captures a child's interest like a really big piece of paper and scented markers).  I started writing "Apples are" on the paper and the kids were fascinated watching me form letters and telling me which ones they knew.  Then, I had each child come up and point out a letter.  We also focused on the difference between the capital 'A' and the lower case 'A'.  Once the paper was set up, I gave each child a chance to pick a word that described the apples that we just ate and we wrote them together - super easy!  The learning comes in with what you do while your writing the words.  Be sure to have the kids help you pick out the letters.  It will sound something like this.

Me:  Sydney, I heard you say something about the yellow apples while you were trying them.  Can you remember what word you used to describe the yellow apples.
Sydney:  Juicy 
Me:  That's a great word!  Hmmm...let's write "Apples are juicy".  What sound do you hear at the beginning of j-j-juicy?
Kids: ja, ja
Me:  Good!  What letter makes the 'ja' sound?
Sean: J
Me:  Great!
And so it goes, sounding out the words and helping them come up with good adjectives.  It's really important to validate all of their ideas and try to find a way to use them - especially with the little ones.  I was actually shocked at how long their attention span lasted for this one.  They had a great time with it and asked me if we can do it again tomorrow :)  Thank you smelly markers!!

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1 comment:

  1. We just went this weekend to pick apples and our daughter got her first real taste of a fresh off the tree apple. I love New England apple picking. Smelly markers are the best! My favorite was always the blue one...I think maybe it was plum? Thanks so much for the follow. Following you!