Saturday, August 25, 2012

Preschool Arabic Alphabet Games (4)

For the last week of our preschool "Ramadan Club," we had waaaaaay too many letters left to cover: ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي. But we gave it a try anyway :) I only have two new games to share this time, because some of the others were repeats from previous weeks, and not all of my new game ideas were as popular with the kids as I had hoped.

- This wasn't really a stand-alone game. I just wrote a big letter و on a piece of cardboard and taped it to a stick. Throughout the class whenever anyone got something right or did something well, I waved it around and everyone yelled out, "wow!!" :)

Playdoh letter-building circle

  • I pre-rolled some long playdoh "snakes" and dots, because I didn't want the kids to get too distracted by the fun of playing with playdoh during class.
  • I gave each kid a paper plate, a snake, and two dots, and asked them to sit on the floor in a circle.
  • Then I asked the kids to use their snake-and-dots to build me a ف on their paper plate.
  • When everyone was done, I asked them to pass the plates to the person on the right, and change the letter they received into a ق.
  • And so on, changing back and forth from ف to ق, as I gradually sped up how fast I called out the letters and how fast they had to pass the plates around the circle.
  • Sometimes I'd try to trick them by calling out the name of the letter they already had, rather than the opposite one. 

I was trying to get them to remember that the difference between the two letters is that the ق has two dots and a "deeper" tail, whereas the ف has just one dot and a "flatter" tail.

Sand-Tray Letter Writing

  • To help the kids learn ك and ل, I wrote the two letters side by side on a big piece of paper, and we talked about how their shapes were similar and different.
  • Then I set up three trays with about half an inch of sand in them, and a copy of the two letters right in front of each tray.
  • The kids took turns to use their fingers to "write" the letters in the sand.
It sounds pretty simple but the kids liked it a lot, and kept asking for more turns. This is a Montessori-based idea, and the theory is that the kids get two kinds of reinforcement at the same time: the see the shape with their eyes, and they feel the shape (and the motion of making it) with their finger. Hint: to save your floor, put a tablecloth or something under the trays of sand!

For more in this series of posts, please see
Preschool Arabic Alphabet Games (1) ,
Preschool Arabic Alphabet Games (2) and
Preschool Arabic Alphabet Games (3).

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