One of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger was to make ALL the things! I had visions of all of the fun activities and lessons I could do with my students and how cute all of our stuff would be when we were finished. I tried really hard to be creative and make fun and engaging activities for my students and succeeded a lot of the time. However, I have more time, freedom, and opportunities to make fun and engaging activities for my kids now that I homeschool. (Side note: You don’t have to homeschool to do activities like this, it’s great review and practice too!)
Engaging the learner in the subject being taught is one of the most important steps in creating a meaningful experience and effective lesson. Anytime the child (or student) is genuinely interested and engaged in the lesson, their comprehension and retention increases drastically . Some skills that require memorization (like the alphabet, for example) are not always engaging or interesting to the student and require some creative touches. Luckily, it is super easy to make games or activities to practice these necessary skills.
Today I wanted to share with you an activity that I made for one of my boys who happens to be totally into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and not at all into learning his letters.
Originally when I made this activity, the sole purpose was to “feed” the chosen Ninja Turtle the correct letter pizza. What’s great about making activities like this is that there are so many ways to modify and use the materials for multiple other lessons! Using just the pizza letters we can sort vowels and consonants, we can practice alphabetizing, we can spell cvc words or sight words, practice spelling names or other important words, and practice letter sounds. You could even add numbers or actual words to the slices of pizza to fit whatever skills you are doing or to match your child’s ability level. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve shown two different ways that I’ve set up the Turtles. The purple turtle is simply glues to a solo cup. He can lay on his side or be stood up. Easy, small, boom. Love it. The blue turtle I glued to the lid of an empty oatmeal container. What’s great about this is that the lid comes off easily and makes storage a breeze. It can be modified however you want. Don’t have solo cups or an empty container? Use a box or a paper bag! There is no wrong way to do it, and all that matters is that the kiddos love it! Making learning fun and interesting is my goal and using characters helps a ton! I recommend printing on cardstock for durability and laminating to keep them in primo condition if you have a laminator.
I’ve attached the files below for both the pizza letters (capital letters) and each of the Ninja Turtle heads. If you use them, be sure to tag me on Facebook (@teachmeimyours) or on Instagram (@teach_me_im_yours)!
Until next time!