I have had the idea for this /i/ is for igloo mini-unit for our sss is for sounds series since last summer. I feel like I’ve waited way too long to finally have snow… and now it’s actually too cold outside to take the children out!
So, in a very weird twist of weather-related fate, we now bring you an igloo mini-unit that you can do completely indoors!
As a bit of background, for these sound units, we do a few activities related to a word or action that can help reinforce our learning a phoneme all in one day. We use a variety of influences – Montessori, Reggio, Orton-Gillingham – and try to incorporate physical movement, crafts, and open-ended fun.
I started off our day by discussing the differences in /i/ as in “igloo” and /i:/ as in “ice cream.” We tried to think of as many words that we knew that had the /i/ sound (even if they didn’t have the letter “i”). I then passed around our “i” sandpaper letter and began reading Robert Munsch’s A Promise is a Promise – a great book that features igloos as part of its setting.
As a display, I put out this wooden igloo set on top of our unbreakable mirrors in the building corner. Directly underneath I placed our Melissa and Doug cardboard blocks to see if the kids would be encouraged to attempt their own igloo structures. (It would have also been really cool to wrap the blocks in white paper to resemble snow blocks.)
We did manage to get outside for a short period of time, but this was as far as we got with our igloo construction. I had purchased this igloo block maker, but the kids weren’t interested in using it. Next time, I’d love to gather enough drink cartons in advance and make several coloured ice blocks for the activity.
We made this igloo craft to reinforce that “igloo” is constructed with /i/ by writing “i” on all of the cubes before gluing them into our pictures — it was really cool seeing the variations of structures that the kids came up with under the umbrella category of “igloo.”
We also had a lot of fun with this ice cube igloo engineering activity!
I made two trays of ice cubes – one with just water, and one with a packet of gelatin mixed into the water before freezing.
I set out a plastic tray and some blue paint for a fun sensory experience – painting cold ice cubes! Because we had been talking about igloos during the day, Ella naturally attempted to make igloos on her tray with her painted ice cubes.
The gelatin ice cubes were a bit of a let down – I thought they might stack but be wobbly and provide a contrasting sensory input (solid vs. squishy) but we couldn’t get past much past this point in the stacking process:
But they were cold fun for squishing!
If you lived somewhere where milk was sold in gallon jugs (in Canada milk is either in cartons, glass bottles, or plastic bags) it would be really cool to try this milk jug igloo that Lollygag Learning made for her daughter’s first birthday party! Alecia has promised to give write a special guest post for me describing how she made it, so look forward to that!
This would have also been a great time to explore our footprints in snow play dough activity, but I think we fit a lot into one day as it was!
We had a lot of fun exploring /i/ is for igloo — I hope your kids enjoy these ideas for playing with phonemes!
Which phoneme would you like to see us explore next?