I stumbled upon this video for a clever DIY teaching resource that can be made and used by both teachers and parents to expand vocabulary and improve spelling and literacy in children. What I really love about it is that with the use of pegs, children are not only flexing their mind muscles but also building coordination and strengthening the fine muscles in their hands that are used for writing.
I was excited by the many uses for such a fun teaching aid and immediately messaged Gavin McCormack who graciously allowed us to share with our community.
Gavin's instructions show how easily this inexpensive resource can be made and he gives a wonderful demonstration of how to use it. To expand on the literacy pegs idea, I have listed some other ways it can be incorporated into the classroom or used for lessons at home.
1. Match the letter
The pegs are a fun way to encourage children when they are first beginning to learn their letters. Simply give them a piece of card with the letters of the alphabet spaced across the top and the bottom, making sure to match the case of the letters on your pegs. Ask children to find each letter peg in order (A-Z) and attach it to the corresponding letter on the card. Once they've completed the alphabet, ask them to start back at A and place each peg in turn back into the box, saying the letters as they do.
2. Learn to spell their name
Write a child's first name on a piece of card and ask them to use the pegs to practice spelling their name. When they've mastered their first name you can add their surname to the card.
3. Fill in the blank
Write a partial word on a card leaving out one or two letters. For example, if you want children to spell chicken, you may write C _ I C K _ N. The child's task is to peg the letters on the card and consider what the missing letters may be. For less established spellers, you may like to include a small picture of a chicken next to the word.
4. Learning vowels
Similar to the activity above but this time you would leave out the vowels. For the chicken example, you'd leave out the I and the E - C H _ C K _ N.
Like a traditional game of Hangman, children work in pairs or small groups to guess words. Unlike the traditional game, the literacy pegs would replace the written letters.
Once again using a piece of card, children would draw the number of blank lines required for their word in the top right corner, leaving space to draw the Hangman below and incorrect letter guesses can be pegged on the left.
6. #pegitforward - Kindness pegs
Because we are so obsessed with kindness, we naturally had to include an activity to help promote it in your school or the community.
This one is for older children and includes some writing and the use of pegs!
You're going to need around 3-4 pegs per child and some markers. The idea is for children to write positive messages on the pegs and carefully pin them to people's clothing without being caught while they're out in the playground or the hallway at school. If you're making them at home with your children, you might like to take them along when you go shopping. They can be pegged on a stranger's coat, on a magazine at the supermarket or on a book at the library.
You can even write "Peg it Forward" on the reverse side of the peg to encourage sharing of positive messages.
A school in Melbourne, Victoria do this regularly while on excursions in the city back and use the hashtag #pegitforward on twitter to track their project.
Does your school have a creative way of using pegs? Please let us know here.
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AUTHOR: Lisa Currie - Ripple Kindness Project
Lisa is the founder of Ripple Kindness Project, a community and outreach program, and primary/elementary school curriculum. Passionate about improving well-being and reducing bullying, RIpple developed a whole school, evidence-based SEL, kindness and mindfulness curriculum to build character and emotional intelligence to nurture positive, happy and safe school communities.