Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Land of Letters {FREEBIE}

 What a busy week it has been! I had the pleasure of spending my weekend+ Monday in Salt Lake City at an IB workshop focusing on IB and the Common Core. Our facilitators were the bomb dot com and I came away with a greater level of comfort in regards to implementing the Common Core within the framework of the IB. On Tuesday I was back in the classroom ready to get my glitter on! We continued inquiring into stories and making connections.
Retelling stories with a puppet show twist!

Our guest reader, Officer Mike even shared a few magic tricks!

We read stories from a variety of genres, recorded our connections, and compared and contrasted stories. Guest readers have graced our classroom to share stories that they have connections to, we worked on telling stories through song and dramatic play, and last, but not least, we journeyed to The Land of Letters. This is how we teach our students letters and their corresponding sounds. Each letter of the alphabet is given a character name and has a story (using lots of sound specific vocabulary).  We try to use "real" characters as much as possible. We launch The Land of Letters with an official request from the King of The Land of Letters asking us to help rescue some lost letters.

We put together a "magic carpet" (foam letter mat), climb aboard, and fly to the Land of Letters. When we arrive we search for letters needing help. We have 4-5 characters in different places on the campus with a problem. For example, Rosie the Robot has rusted in the river and she needs her rivets oiled. The students help the characters and then go to the "Rescue Center" (our school library) where we have a party to celebrate the beginning of our Journey in The Land of Letters. After the launch, the characters visit our classroom one at a time, engage the students in sound specific dialogue, and teach them the letter name, sound, and action. We typically have 1-2 characters per week, going in order of frequency instead of alphabetical order. After the character leaves, the students work in their Land of Letters journals and practice the sound and action. Most letters also include either an activity or a craft. The students LOVE the Land of Letters! The best part is that we launch it during our storytelling unit. It is fabulous learning engagement that adds value to the unit and continues the inquiry beyond the official end of the unit.  Below are pictures from our visit with Susie and Sally the Sizzling Sausage Sisters. They sizzled savory sausages in the sunshine for students. It was sensational! I bet you can guess what letter we learned!

Next week Ping and Pong will be visiting. We have convinced a few fun teachers on campus to don afro wigs and 80's sweatbands for a powerful ping pong playoff. We will have popcorn while they play. I can't wait!!

For your freebie today, I am going to give you the letter "S" pages from The Land of Letters journal. If you would like the entire journal, please visit my TpT store! It will be discounted to $4.00 for the next week (CLICK HERE). To download your freebie, just click on the picture below.

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Hi Shelly (great name by the way),
    Your post was so detailed. What a fun week! Thanks for sharing.
    :) Shelley
    The Perks of Teaching Primary


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