Sometimes when I am teaching, ideas come to me at the last minute or as I am speaking to my students. This happened the other day when I was talking to my kids about consonants and vowels. I was trying to get across the idea that consonants make one sound, but vowels make more than one sound. As I spoke, this tale of how vowels are like superfriends evolved. Vowels are so powerful that they can change the sounds of other letters and that they can make more than one sound. The reaction from my students was incredible. Lightbulbs were going on all over the place. And, for the first time in all my years of teaching first grade, EVERY student understood the difference between the two types of letters and could name the 5 vowels or “superfriend letters” as they are now known in our classroom.
I shared this experience with my teaching partner and what happened in her classroom couldn’t have been more perfect. One of her students brought up the letter “y” and how it can be both a vowel and a consonant. Then one of her students exclaimed, “Y is a villian!” It can be a superfriend letter and consonant so it is the “villian letter!”
The kids took off with this idea as did we. Here are handful of the follow up activities we did using our Superhero Letters.
Superfriend Letters Toilet Paper Figures
I went home the evening of this discussion and created these Superfriend Letters using construction paper, toilet paper tubes and fabric.
front of the figures:
back of the figures:
and the villian, of course:
The kids went nuts over these figures and immediately asked to make their own versions. Each child picked their favorite superfriend letter and made one of their own.
Here are some of the Superfriend Letters created by my first graders.
Aren’t they wonderful???
Graphing Our Superfriend Letters
Every year at the beginning of the school year, we graph how many consonants and vowels are in our names. This year, using the Superfriend Letter twist, we graphed how many Superfriend Letters are in our names.
I created this sheet for the children to use to figure out how many Superfriend Letters are in their names.
Each child then filled out one sheet with their name and information.
Then we graphed our data and discussed our findings.
More Superfriend Vowel activities on the way!
For FREE download the recording sheet, click HERE.
Superhero Graphics courtesy of:
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