ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Letter Sort: Fat or Thin

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Letter Sort: Fat or Thin

It is a privilege today to welcome Malia, the founder and lead writer at Playdough to Plato, as our newest feature writer.  Once a month she will be sharing effective and entertaining reading activities in The Book Nook!    Malia has a specialized focus on literacy for PreK - 2nd grade children.  Malia adds another highly qualified perspective to our team.      

Malia has taught both kindergarten and second grade.  She graduated from Stanford University with a Master’s degree in Education and received her Elementary Education Bachelors from the University of Arizona.  Malia was selected as a Fulbright-Hays scholar in 2007 and earned National Board Certification from the United States Department of Education in 2011.  She is currently enjoying her job as a full time stay at home mom!

We are so excited to seeing the clever and useful reading and writing activities she will share with us here.  Enjoy this first post and please leave a comment welcoming Malia and/or suggesting any literacy topics you might love to see her cover!

Children learn to recognize letters by noticing what makes each one unique and sorting is a simple and fun way to make those differences clear.  In this sort called “Fat or Thin”, your child will try to squeeze letter cut-outs through a hole to decide if the letter is too fat and won’t fit or if it is thin and easily pops through the other side. 

You’ll need:

A medium-sized plastic storage container that you don’t mind cutting.

A pair of scissors.

A set of alphabet letter cut outs.

A sorting mat labeled “Fat” on one side and “Thin” on the other.  Make your own or click here to find the free printable on the Playdough to Plato website.

To play:

Cut a hole in the top of your storage container that is large enough to squeeze thin letters including [i], [j] and [l] through the other side.

Invite your child to play along by trying to squeeze each letter through the hole.  If the letter is too fat like the [a] shown below, have her place it (or write it) on the “Fat” side of the sorting mat.  

If the letter cut-out pops through like this [f], have her place it on the “Thin” side of the sorting mat.

As you play together, be sure to name each letter your child picks up and encourage her to repeat the name after you.  If your child already knows the names of the letters, teach her the sounds they make.

When your child is finished, review the letters on each side of the mat to reinforce her learning.

I always love hearing from readers.  Please share any comments or questions you have in the comment section below and I'll do my best to respond quickly.


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