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Language Lesson Descriptions



Age: 3 years and up (or when the muscles in the hand are ready)


    -blank chalkboard


    -squared chalkboard


    -lined chalkboard

    -chalk (long pieces should be broken in half)

    -felt eraser, cut to size for child’s hand

Purpose: to write with chalk in preparation for writing with a pencil, help to develop fine motor skills


*only present when the child is not ready to hold a pencil and can not use lined paper*

  1. draw a letter on the chalkboard

  2. allow the child to copy your letter or number

  3. erase the chalkboard

  4. continue with as many letters or numbers the child desires

Sand Tray


Age: 2 years old and up

Materials: tray with a small rim filled with sand to cover the bottom (bottom can be transparent or a color which clearly outlines the drawn letter)

Purpose: to form the alphabet letters in the sand, preparation for writing with chalk and pencil


  1. trace a letter or number in the sand

  2. dust sand off of fingers

  3. shake sand tray

  4. let child copy what you did

Grammar Box-Noun

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Age: 4 years old and up


-paper/pencil for lables OR prepared labels for the objects 

-noun symbols (large/black triangles)

Purpose: to help the child become aware of the function of the noun


  1. present three objects to the child (from a box of objects or items around the environment)

  2. place objects in a vertical row in front of you, naming them as you take them out

  3. “the name of each of these is called a noun”

  4. make a label for each object, place the label to the right of each object

  5. “we have a special symbol for nouns; it’s a big, black triangle,” (hold triangle up), “it means these words are all nouns, the names of all the objects”

  6. place a triangle above each label repeating that each object is a noun



Age: three years old and up


    -set of cards that depict an event occurring in the natural or social environment

        -examples: tree budding (natural); apple preparation (social)

    -container to hold cards

Purpose: to develop vocabulary and language, to identify a sequence of events as a logical group, help the child’s ability to think abstractly, to understand time as sequence, preparation for future work in the history area


  1. lay out all pieces/cards on a table or floor rug

  2. present the first part of the sequence

  3. “what is she going to do next”

  4. “what is first, what is next, what is next, what is last”

  5. talk about what happened in the sequence

Cutting Paper


Age: two years and up


    -small scissors (should fit the hand of the youngest child)

    -small tray

    -strips of heavy paper cut in .5” x 12” strips (recycled manila folders; tag board; recycled greeting cards also work)

    -basket or envelope for pieces of paper

Purpose: learning how to cut paper, to develop fine motor muscles, to prepare the hand for writing, a preparation for literacy 


    1. place tray with the paper stip and scissors on the table

    2. cut the strip using one snip at a time

    3. continue cutting until the whole strip is gone

    4. place pieces of paper in the basket or envelope 



Age: three years and up

Materials: 10-15 pairs of cards or objects representing common things that are associated with each other 

    -examples: pencil/eraser, sock/shoe, vase/flowers, chick/egg, and etc. 

Purpose: to help develop an understanding of common ways we group objects


  1. place all cards on a table or floor rug

  2. lay each association set on opposite sides of the rug or table

  3. choose a card and name the object on the card

  4. find the match and pair the matches 

  5. lay matches in the middle of the rug or mat

  6. continue with all matches

Metal Inset


Age: three years and up

Materials: two sloping stands for holding five insets each, ten metal frames contrasting color with knobbed insets that fit in each one, supply of soft color pencils, pencil holder for three pencils, tray or other flat container, supply of paper cut to size of frame

Purpose: direct preparation for writing, developing control of pencil 


  1. gather materials- tray, pencil holder, three pencils, metal inset, white paper

  2. place tray on table

  3. take all items off the tray and place in front of you

  4. place pink frame on top of white paper

  5. hold inset by anchoring subdominant hand on frame

  6. show child how to hold a pencil by laying pencil between the thumb and pointer finger

  7. choose one color and trace the shape in the frame

  8. take frame off and admire work

  9. put blue shape on top of paper

  10. use different color and trace the blue shape

  11. place shape back in frame

  12. while holding the paper down with subdominant hand, color in shape making sure to stay inside of the lines- start at top and go left to right, slow down at the edges, use overlapping small parallel strokes

  13. place materials back on tray

Beginning Sounds


Age: two years and up

Materials: a set of at least six items with the same beginning sound in a basket

Purpose: to help the child explore and analyze the known language and associate it with a graphic symbol, to help the child understand that sounds have meaning, preparation for reading and composition 


  1. take work to a table

  2. take out one object and name the object 

  3. explain to the child that each word has a beginning sound, the first sound of each word

  4. tell the child the beginning sound of the chosen object

  5. continue with the rest of the objects in the container

  6. after all objects are named review the beginning sounds while placing each object back in the basket

Sandpaper Letters


Age: two years and up

Materials: one set of sandpaper letters, container holding entire set in an upright position, materials for washing hands

Purpose: to introduce child to symbols of the alphabet through the phonetic sound, to introduce child to shapes of letters, help child develop ability to abstract


  1. bring whole set of letters to the table

  2. place container of letters in front of you

  3. pick two letters- not two that have similar sound, teacher chooses sounds at first lesson

  4. place container at upper right of table

  5. flip over unused Sandpaper Letter

  6. place the Sandpaper Letter that you are going to teach in front of you

  7. use two fingers to trace letter three times with no sound- anchor board with subdominant hand, trace sound where you start to write the letter

  8. give to child and allow child to trace letter three times

  9. take letter back and say sound three times while tracing- “this says…”

  10. give letter to child and allow them to trace and say the sound- can say the sound with child if they are struggling or forgot the sound

  11. turn letter over and place next to container

  12. introduce the second letter the same way as the first letter

Movable Alphabet


Age: three years and up


    -a basket of at least five objects that child can successfully sound out 

    -Moveable Alphabet

    -tray (can have a wide band of felt on it to keep letters in place)

Purpose: to help the child explore and analyze the known language and reproduce it with graphic symbols, to help the child understand that words have meaning, preparation for reading and composition    


  1. take materials out and place on a table or floor rug

  2. take out all objects and name all the objects

  3. allow the child to take out a tray

  4. give child one object

  5. place the object on the tray

  6. pronounce first sound of the object with the child

  7. ask child to retrieve the beginning sound from the Moveable Alphabet

  8. continue with the rest of the sounds of the object (middle and ending sound)

  9. child can continue by themselves

  10. continue with all objects

  11. read words back when done and record what child says

  12. put Moveable Alphabet away by stacking like letters

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