Lesson: Learn and Label Collage

Concept: Vocabulary/Labeling/Phonics/Beginning Writing

Works Best for: Preschool-Early first grade students

This is a great lesson to pull out any time your child has been asking to do an art project (and you want to sneak in a little bit of learning too!) This lesson is not only fun for your child, but also is a great way to recycle old magazines!

Procedure: Provide your child with an assortment of old magazines, safety scissors, a glue stick, and a piece of construction paper. (Depending on the age of your child, you might need to/should help with the cutting.) Tell the child to go through the magazines and cut out pictures of things they like. (The pictures will need to be intact, thus the earlier note to perhaps help with the cutting if your child is not scissors proficient.) Discourage them from cutting out words and lettering, as those will not work for this activity. Allow them to select and cut a wide assortment of pictures. Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the construction paper, forming a collage. (For this activity, it would work best to leave some space in between the pictures.)  Once your child has finished gluing their pictures down, provide them with a pencil or crayon. Depending on their age and ability level, the next phase of the lesson, labeling, will look differently.

For preschoolers- Have your child look at each picture individually. Work with your child to sound out the word, focusing on the initial sound. (Ie- I see a picture of a bee. “Buh”, “buh”. I hear the “buh” sound. What letter makes the “buh” sound?) Once your child has determined which letter the picture starts with, have them label the picture with the appropriate letter. (Ie-“B”).

For kindergartners- Help your child to sound out the whole word. (Ie- “Buh,” “Eeee”). At this age, it is completely developmentally appropriate (and best in the long run, so as to not frustrate their writing efforts) to allow your child to use approximate spelling. It is better for your child for you to allow them to sound out the word and use their best guess to spell the word, rather than to do the work for them. Focusing on having to have perfect spelling at this age can frustrate the child, and lead to a dislike/fear of writing. It would be perfectly normal for a child at this age to label his/her picture with “Be”.

For early first graders +- At this age, your child should be able to sound out the picture word on his or her own. (Of course, every child learns differently, and you can be on hand to provide support). Have your child try to sound out the whole word and work to spell the word correctly. (Ie- the picture at this age should be labeled, “bee”).

Extend the lesson: Have your child “read” their writing to another parent/older sibling/friend etc. Children learn to read more quickly when encouraged to read their own writing. Even the young preschooler who has simply labeled their pictures with single letters, should be encouraged to read their work aloud.

Modify the Lesson: See the above level descriptions. Recognize that not every child’s abilities will match with their age group. Use the lesson format that works best for YOUR child, regardless of their age.

Have fun!