This is one activity that I have been so excited to do with our alphabet rocks! I remember seeing @littlepinelearners create rock puzzles for her kids to help with spatial reasoning and bringing letter rocks into this turns it into an amazing early literacy lesson! No matter the age, I am a firm believer in play. Even with my teenage students, I always saw them learning best when they were laughing and free to move and explore with the language through play. When teaching phonics, we want to make sure we keep the pressure off. There is no rush, there is no need to force anyone to do anything, let them lead the way and provide your children with the invitation to engage if they are interested.
The set up for this is super simple! All we used was a piece of paper, alphabet rocks and a permanent marker. I actually did this activity with their names since we have been working on them for the past week but in the photos you will see I chose a short 4-letter word that can be easily sounded out – gato.
My children are now at the age where they can sit and wait while I model for them how to work through problems and games. I had it all set up for them with the rocks to one side of the paper and I showed them how I searched for the correct spot for each rock. As I worked and modeled the lesson, I sounded out each letter and traced it with my finger. Then I slowly sounded out the word and worked with them to figure out what it said. Once they got the hang of it, I stepped away and let them work and explore on their own. They don’t need to be corrected constantly, they don’t need me to hover, all they need is the space and the tools to learn and work on their own!
All in all we worked with this for about 10-15 minutes and I plan on having this set up each week with a new word to work through. I will use words that have only the same letters though, I don’t want to introduce too much too fast. At this point we are working with maybe 9 letters total (they know each other’s names too) and we will stick with these 9 letters for a while. Remember, there is no rush!
If your children already know all their letter sounds this is a great activity to practice with sight words or anything they are struggling with! You can even make a little letter rock puzzle and laminate it to be used each day while you focus on this skill.
I hope you love this activity as much as we did! Remember to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more ideas for your bilingual home.