My colleagues and I sometimes find it a bit challenging to plan integrated language arts lessons for kindergarten students, especially at the beginning of the year. We want all of the students to progress in writing without frustration. We have found that it is helpful for these young students to start with creating art, and after the experience of creating, the students write about their experience or about the project itself.
One lesson that has been successful early on in the school year is practicing writing letters and words in different media. Allowing young students to write using iPads is very exciting for them and helps with letter formation and word recognition. Students can also write in finger paint on trays, with different color markers and with a clay tool in a slab of clay. Using different media helps cement letter and word formation for young children. Let's face it, using paper and pencil all the time is not very exciting for a five year old child!
Clay is always a big hit in art class, and sometimes it is just the thing to use in our HOT Block. Many students in kindergarten were having difficulty with the difference between 2D and 3D shapes: circles and spheres, triangles and cones. So we created them out of clay! Making flat shapes and 3D shapes helped many students grasp this concept. After the students created all of their shapes and forms, they wrote about it. Ashton did a great job, you can definitely see how he hears the word "sphere" in his writing and drawing!
This was first posted on Education Closet on August 20, 2015