My little one and I have been having a lot of fun lately with a new alphabet based project: Alphabet Fairy Mail! Jennifer Compton designed an amazing and fun Waldorf-inspired curriculum to help little ones learn their letters (she has both PDF and print versions available in her Etsy shop). The lessons she has put together are centered around six different letters written by fairies (okay, no actual fairies wrote the letters, Compton did) and there is a letter for each of six weeks. Each letter is written “by” a different fairy character, and each week of the curriculum incorporates four letters of the alphabet. The letters are so fun to read; my little guy loves hearing what the fairies and animals are up to, plus each piece of mail has a little character lesson in it, too. Compton gives suggestions for crafts, recipes, and math lessons with each week of fairy mail, plus each week has a poem for every letter of the alphabet. There are lots of ways you can use the curriculum, but here is what we do each week (we started week 3 today):
On Monday, we read the letter together and talk about it. Who are the characters in this week’s letter? What animals are there? What happened in the story? Then my son draws a picture to visually tell the story of the letter. (I need to add that he thinks it is quite magical to get letters from fairies!) After this, we get out our watercolour paper and paints and he covers the paper in a light coat of paint. This gets set aside to dry until the next day.
On Tuesday, we divide the paper into four separate pieces (one full size piece of paper lasts for one week; a painted page for each letter of the week). We talk for a minute or two about what the fairy letter from Monday said. Then we read the poem for the letter of the day (example: A was for Acorn and had a lovely acorn/oak tree poem). I read the poem all the way through, then my son and I discuss what the poem was about. Sometimes we have to re-read lines or go over vocabulary to make sure he understood everything. (Oh, we also see if there are any connections between the poem of the day and the fairy mail.) Once he has a clear idea and can tell me what the poem is about, we practice writing big & little versions of the letter of the day. Then we take one of our painted pieces of paper and re-read the poem line by line, writing it on the paper as we go. Sometimes he writes a line, then I write a line; sometimes we rotate word by word who writes.
(Look! The little guy got glasses!)
Then on the back, he gets creative and draws a picture to show the meaning of the poem, adding colour with crayons or coloured pencils. This is the picture he drew for A: an acorn under the ground with roots coming off of it and a tall tree growing up from the acorn.
Here’s what he did for D:
At the end of the six weeks, we will have a lovely collaborative book of poems and pictures (the hole punch in the corner is where the pages will be attached with a metal ring). We are both having a lot of fun with this, and he asks me every day if it is time to do our page. He was disappointed this past weekend because we don’t do pages on Saturday and Sunday– which tells me just how good this curriculum is (nope, not paid for this blog post and I bought the pdf version myself, too. I just really love it!). My son basically knows all of his letters already, but he does get some mixed up (like lower case b and d), so this is a fun and creative way for us to review everything. Plus I LOVE the poetry component!
Soon I will share with you the brilliant little paper fairy we just made, too. She will be accompanying us each day on our lessons, from here on out.