Thursday, September 5, 2013

Flannel Friday: Hippos in Hats

The highlight of my summer programs this year was my Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers. Though this story time had been happening since January, I really feel like I hit my stride with it in July and August, and I especially enjoyed creating literacy games for the kids to play. To my great disappointment, nobody came to the last session of the season, so I wound up with one game that I didn't get to use. It's called Hippos in Hats, and it explores consonant digraphs containing the letter H. (I had planned a letter H-themed story time, which is where the inspiration came from.)

To play, you need two sets of pieces: hippos labeled with words containing the letter combinations sh, th, ch, ph, and wh and hats labeled with those same letter combinations. The object is to match each hippo to the correct hat based on which digraph the word contains. I color-coded the hats to make it a little bit easier to tell the digraphs apart, but the hippos all look the same.

Here is a hippo labeled with the word "when," who gets a "wh" hat.

This hippo's face reads "phone" so he gets a green "ph" hat.

This hippo's word is "chat", so she's wearing a red "ch" hat. 

If I were sharing this at story time, I'd have the piles of hats set out where the kids could see them and I'd show the kids one hippo at a time. Depending on the size of the group, I might let the kids choose a hippo from a basket or bag to get them more engaged. If I trusted the pieces not to disappear, I'd also love to set this up as a station for kids to play with on their own outside of a formal story time setting. Though this version of the game is designed for beginning readers up to age 8, it would be easy to simplify for a preschool audience. Instead of matching words to the digraphs they could contain, kids could match words to their first letter, or even uppercase letters to their lowercase counterparts. 

I am this week's Flannel Friday host! You can leave your links here, and they will be included in the final round-up, to be posted no later than Saturday afternoon. For more information on how to participate in Flannel Friday, visit the official website.

1 comment :

  1. Those are really clever! What a bummer no one came to this session. It seems that everyone takes a last-minute trip before school starts up again or else they get really busy getting ready for school. The next group of kids to use your hippos will love them!


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