Weaving Literacy Into Learning Numbers

by Scott on November 18, 2010

Here’s a fun way to help your child expand their vocabulary when you aren’t even “working” on reading.

Chick Pea is working on a weekly art project that is geared towards helping her learn the numbers that are multiples of ten. Each week, she gets to glue the appropriate number of objects onto the numbers, counting them out (with Ana’s help when needed). There’s also a corresponding sentence that accompanies each number that describes what’s going on in the picture. These will later be put into a book that she can look through on her own for review.

She loves to do art projects, and it’s really helping her get a concrete idea of amounts of objects. That alone makes this a great activity. But while I was admiring her work last night, Ana pointed out something very interesting about the project that I hadn’t picked up on. Can you see it?

Notice that the words “speedy”  and “fierce” are used to describe the animals in the project. This is important because Chick Pea doesn’t know what these words mean–at least she didn’t before. She knows what “fast” and “angry” mean. Those are words she can naturally understand because they are used so often. And even though she may not make sentences with the new words on a daily basis, just being exposed to them is helping to expand her vocabulary.

Another activity Ana has planned once an entire book is finished is to point out to her that all of the sentences start the same: “I am as…”. Notice how those small words are one line by themselves. This can be used to help her expand her bank of sight words and also introduce the concept of similes.

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  • LOVE this idea!! So quick and easy to incorporate into reading and math learning time! For those of us less creative types, do you mind sharing the themes for the remaining numbers?

  • Scott

    Sure! But you can change things up if you like. Or you can split them up for boys and girls.
    10 Speedy Snakes
    20 Fierce Dinosaurs
    30 Springy Balls (boys) or Bedazzling Jewels (girls)
    40 Caring Hearts
    50 Delicate Butterflies
    60 Brilliant (explain that this means also means “smart”) Stars.

    If Pea’s interest is still there after 50 we’ll keep going. Anyone have ideas up to 100? We were thinking “Diligent Ants” in there somewhere too, but at some point we’re going to be pushing our luck with her attention span. 🙂

    You can always pick it up later with higher numbers or change it up with counting by 2s, 5s, 10s. etc.

  • Rachel

    I love this activity and your George Washington story, wow! You could build up to the 100th day of school with this activity for kindergarten or first grade.

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