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Name of Activity:
Purpose of Activity:To use as a fun warm-up to reinforce letter recognition.
Prerequisites:Knowledge of letters
Suggested Grade Level:K-2
Materials Needed:26 Alphafriends Cards (free and printable at Houghton-Mifflin web site) or you can make your own by printing animal pictures off of the internet and writing the letter beside it.
Description of Idea
Students are in a self space in the gym and teacher introduces the Alphafriends and exercises 5-6 each class. In a few weeks the class will know them all and can do a few each class or use in a variety of ways. One of my favorite ways with 2nd grade is to put them face down on the floor and play music. The students will do the designated locomotor movements around the cards such as skip, gallop, jog, etc. When the music stops they will turn over the card closest to them and do the stretch/exercise. When the music starts again they will turn the card face down and do another locomotor movement that the teacher designates.
A - Andy Apple is an acrobat and walks heel-toe on a line like a balance beam can do forward and backward
B - Benny Bear does the bear walk
C - Callie Cat is in a crawling position and then points her tail (one leg and then the other)
D - Dudley Duck likes to dance
E - Edna Elephant puts her hands together like a trunk and swings her trunk from side to side (stretches shoulders)
F - Fifi Fish pretends to swim in the gym- (walking doing front stroke and then back stroke)
G - Gertie Goose guards the garden gate (arms straight out even with shoulders and lower to sides and back up
H - Hattie Horse gallops in the gym
I - Iggy Iguana plays his instrument (air guitar or drums)
J - Jumping Jill jumps rope (imaginary)
K - Keely Kangaroo does the karate kick
L - Larry Lion pounces to a push-up (start on knees and kick feet out behind into a push-up position and do 1 push-up)
M - Mimi Mouse rests in her mouse house (lay face down on floor with knees tucked underneath, chest on thighs, arms to sides
N - Nyle Noodle has arms reaching high and stretch from one side to other
O - Ozzy Octupus spins on the ocean floor (sit on bottom and spin
P - Pippa Pig rolls in the mud (log roll)
Q - Queenie Queen jogs in the gym to keep her heart healthy
R - Reggie Rooster does the chicken dance (teacher leads- I usually just hum it)
S - Sammy Seal lays flat on belly and just stretches with arms (similar to cobra yoga pose)
T - Tiggy Tiger makes the letter T, then turns around then touches the ground or as close as they can go withopur bending their legs (hamstring stretch)
U - Umby Umbrella- pretends hold an umbrella with one hand and then spin to the left, and then holds with other hand and spins to the right
V - Vinny Volcano does the V Sit Sitting on ground, legs in a V, reach to left, middle and right
W - Willy Worm lays on his back and wiggles all over
I usually pretend to squash the worms-they love this and lots of giggling!)
X - Mr. X-Ray Stand with body forming an X, then when teacher says Ray put hands by side and bring feet together, when teacher says X back to hands apart, feet apart like X-shape, etc. Like a jumping jack
Y - Yetta Yo-Yo standing in Y shape, curls toward floor like a yo-yo being wound up then when teacher says Yo-Yo jumps high in the air with arms reaching toward sky
Z - Zelda Zebra walks in a zig-zag path
Note: In my district the Alphafriends were used to teach the letters in the past to the classroom kindergarten classes. They don't use them anymore but I still use them for warm-ups.
After doing them for a few weeks hold up the cards and see if the kids know the exercises without you leading them. I have also had 2nd graders do this with partners. One partner thinks of a spelling word. They must do the exercises that go with that word and the other partner must guess the word. So for example if they were spelling D-O-G they would do Dudley Duck, Ozzy Octupus and Gertie Goose. I have small whiteboards that they use to write down the letters as their partner performs them.