Learning new vocabulary, practicing writing, and spelling is an important part of our language programs, of course. At school, I always try to bring out themed literacy materials to make sure I provide the children with opportunities to learn key vocabulary relevant to their lives at the moment. Right now, we are diving deep into winter language activities – learning important words, spelling, and writing in a fun, hands-on way! Let’s get straight to exploring our winter activities!
Winter Activities: Language Exploration
We have been really busy practicing language in a very hands-on way. At school, I teach English (I live in the Netherlands) so these types of activities are really my specialty! I love, love, love creating exciting ways for the children to practice new vocabulary, and really to learn it.
These materials can be used even if you live in an English speaking country or English is a foreign language.
Winter Three Part Cards
First and foremost, I begin these activities with an introduction to the (new) vocabulary. This means giving a three-period lesson using our 3 part cards. This is a very important way to help children retain the information you present. It is an interactive part of our day.
We talk a lot, and move slowly through this part. It is important that children really retain these new words, which means we spend enough time as needed on this.
Of course, a Montessori classroom has sandpaper letters that are fantastic tactile materials. Children form muscle memory, which in turn helps them to learn how to form letters. These are used in combination with salt trays or writing trays. Now, we are doing a cute winter extension (note: not as a replacement, but as an addition to sandpaper letters!)!
My son and the rest of my students really, really love these trays! You can use our snowball letters as an addition to the traditional materials (or if you do not have sandpaper letters).
Tip: you can use these letters as a matching work. Have your students match the capital and lower case letters.
We also practiced writing words with the large word cards I created.
Here, I like to present a stand so that the children can easily see the word they are trying to spell. If you want to add a level of difficulty, you could even use the image part of the 3 part cards. Then the child can write the word, and check the spelling with the control 3 part card.
Making Winter Words
I love how you can use the materials in this bundle to create a huge variety of activities. Here, I took the word cards and snowball letters to create a spelling work.
The children can write words using the snowball letters. Afterwards, they can check the spelling on the large cards containing the full word. For younger students, or those who are less advanced, you could switch the order- first, they take the card with the full word, then they build it from the snowballs!
Practicing Hand Writing
Another extension I love to present after we have practiced the new vocabulary is a chalk board. I love that children can try to form letters and words over and over and over again very easily.
We use a small chalk board that the kids can use personally. This is such a hit with them! It is less permanent than a piece of paper, and I believe helps to build up confidence when children are just starting to learn how to write.