Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter of the Week Activities for Letter M

We ended our letter of the week activities for the letter M yesterday. It has been one M as in magnificent week for us! ;)
Let me share what activities we had in the past week.
First, my toddler son finger painted the letter M in both upper case and lower case. That same day, he and his older brother who is 5 years old painted a mango using their handprints.
Below is the step-by-step procedure in making the mango handprint painting.
1. Paint the child's hand/palm with yellow paint using a brush (or your finger or a sponge).
2. Ask the child to press his palm (fingers together) into a bond paper.
3. Use a brush dipped in yellow paint to smoothen the portions near the child's thumb and pinky finger to make the handprints look more like mangoes.
4. Clean the child's hand while air drying the paint.
5. Ask your child or guide your child in painting a leaf for the mango using a paint brush.
6. Air dry. 
7. Ask your child to label or put a caption on his painting (as part of his writing and spelling practice).
Our second activity this past week was writing a Bible verse about Mary. we did this activity when we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

Our third activity was making Mary and the Magi crafts using toilet paper tubes and colored papers.
You may read more about how we celebrated her Feast Day and how we made these crafts in my previous post here
As usual, since we love music very much, we reviewed another song about Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary on her Feast Day. My husband taught our son how to play this in the piano. Thus, this was the new song he has been practicing in the past days.
On the same day that we made these Mary and the Magi crafts, my older son and I had Math lessons as well using Level 3 of Fun Thinkers. I introduced division to him through the concept of sharing since we have already discussed fractions in the past. I used our previous discussions as spring board to this new lesson. Since we were talking about sharing, my son used the angels, Magi and Mama Mary crafts that we made together with his wooden blocks as manipulative toys for our Math lessons. He enjoyed 'playing' Math with these crafts and toys in the past days.

Another activity that we had was making a diagram of the different phases of the moon since we just had a lunar eclipse the other day. You may read about this lesson and art activity in detail here in my previous post.
We also read books about the moon, (the planet) Mars, Mary, the Magi, monkeys and a book where mangoes or a mango tree was included. I also used props while reading the books to them to make our storytelling sessions more fun. The boys pretended to be winged monkeys while we were rereading the story about The Wizard of Oz. :) My eldest son read the book Can we live in Mars again. The book is recommended for 9-12 year-old kids but my son wants to learn more about Mars so I bought him this book last month. That's why I love homeschooling because we are not limited by books that are recommended for his biological age. He can go ahead and read more advanced books if he is ready and interested in them. He has learned so much through this interest-led approach to homeschooling. He remembers so many things from the books he has read because he likes the topics that he's reading. Of course, being gifted is a factor as well why he retains a lot from what he reads.

We had macaroni soup with sausage the other day and my husband made a mango float last Friday night, which we ate for dessert yesterday to celebrate our magnificent week with the letter M. :)
Yesterday morning, the boys woke up to a wonderful surprise from their Dad -- a new toy motorcycle for each one of them! They played with this using the transportation-themed page I made on the letter M. (You may download a free copy of this transportation-themed curriculum that I customized for my son Mateo by signing up on my blog's side bar.)
Our last activity was an art activity for M as in Mass. Since we go to Mass daily, I thought of helping the kids understand better what's really happening during the Mass.
Let me share the steps in doing this activity step by step:
1. I asked the kids to use a round shape sorter toy to trace a circle on a bond paper.
2. I asked my older son to cut the circle.
3. I gave each boy a blue bond paper which I folded in half.
4. I asked each one to glue the white circle on the right side of the bond paper.
5. I cut a yellow-colored paper in the shape of a cup.
6. I asked each child to glue this cut out under the white circle.
7. I reminded them that these are what the priest raises during the Mass. I also explained what these are to them.
8. I asked them to finger paint grains on the left side of the bond paper to symbolize the grains which are used to make the host.
9. I mixed red and blue paint to make purple paint.
10. I asked them to use the purple paint to finger paint a bunch of grapes, explaining to them that the wine comes from grapes. I briefly explained how wine is made. I also explained that during consecration, the host becomes the body of Christ (specifically His heart) and the wine becomes His blood.
11. I asked them to finger paint drops of blood under the host. 
12. We air-dried the paintings while we cleaned their hands.

While the kids were painting the grains and grapes, we were also singing a (Filipino) Mass song about the grains and grapes being gathered and formed into the host and wine.
Isang Pagkain, Isang Katawan, Isang Bayan
Katulad ng mga butil na tinitipon
Upang maging tinapay na nagbibigay buhay
Kami nawa'y matipon din
At maging bayan mong giliw
Iisang Panginoon, iisang katawan
Isang bayan, isang lahi
Sayo'y nagpupugay

Katulad din ng mga ubas
Na piniga at naging alak
Sino mang uminom nito
May buhay na walang hanggan
Kami nawa’y maging sangkap
Sa pagbuo nitong bayang liyag

That's it for our maginificent week with the letter M! Watch out for my next post about our activities with our next letter of the week!

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