Thursday, June 9, 2011

Animal Alphabet Game

 Grandpa shares a picture from his vacation.

In the age of information and technology, many resources are available to homeschool families.  These resources assist in education.  Computer, iPads, smart phones, X-boxes, Play Stations, and other electronic gadgets can be used to teach anything from reading and math facts to providing practice for eye-hand coordination.  The typical home life of most families has changed with these new technologies.  But, technology can bring isolation, even when together in a group.  Interaction through planned activities is encouraged in an effort to bring families together in a positive way.  Although they can be considered "old fashioned", planned family activities like the one below can be fun, educational, and interesting.  Why don't you give it a try?  Adapt the game rules to fit the ages and abilities of family members.


1.)  Use index cards and a marking pen.  Write one letter of the alphabet on each card.  Shuffle the cards.

2.)  Have each family member draw a card from the stack.

3.)  Discuss the letter each person chose.  Practice making the sound the letter represents.  Have the person who drew the card write the letter in upper and lower case (or trace the pattern with a finger or draw in sand with a stick).

4.)  The person who draws the card thinks of an animal that begins with the letter they draw.  Each person in the family chooses an animal whose names starts with the letter they drew.

5.)  Using nature books, encyclopedia, or the Internet, have each child research the animal they selected.    Each person should share (orally):

a.  name of animal
b.  where the animal lives/habitat
c.  tell what features make it unique; describe how it looks
d.  what are the eating habits of the animal
e.  describe the typical habits of this animal, both day and night
f.  what is the origin of the animal; what country can it be found?  identify on a world map
g.  tell how this animal protects itself?  who are it's enemies?
h.  what are the off-spring of this animal called?  what are the babies like?

6.)  After sharing about animal, have the others ask questions about the research done.  

7.)  Go around the circle, having each family member sharing their research.

Follow up activity:  color a picture of the animal; read a book about the animal; find a poem or verse about the animal; write a story; draw a sketch; draw a map of the country where it lives.  Make a giant collage, using the pictures and information shared about the animal each person researched.

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