I had my eye on the alligator for a long time and decided to try and make my own version of the alligator to go along with vowel sorts. My son is in first grade and is working on short and long vowel sounds. I also work with some students who are working on the same thing. I finally decided to figure out a way to make word sorts really fun!
I would love to introduce "Abby the Alligator" and "Jake the Snake"!!!
Here is how I made these creatures:
- Lay the container on the foam and cut out a straight amount of foam.
- Hot glue the foam to the container.
- Hot glue your label to the front (mine are found in my product: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Long-and-Short-Vowel-Sorts-Sorting-Mats-Word-Cards-Flip-Books-and-Printables-1026814, but you can use anything you want)
- For "Abby the Alligator", you just need to cut out two different sized ovals in two different colors. Hot glue the smaller oval on top of the larger oval and glue the googly eye to the top. Make two sets of eyes and hot glue to the back of the container.
- For "Jake the Snake", you can cut out a y shaped tongue and hot glue it to the front of the container. I found that foam works best, I started with construction paper and Jake lost quite a few tongues :)
- I cut out two different sized and colored circles out of foam and hot glued them to the top of the container. Hot glue the googly eyes to the smaller circle.
- Attach the two front ends of the tail to the back of the container. They should be glued flat to the back.
- Do this again toward the end of the tail in the opposite direction. This will make the "S" shape.
- Cut out free form blobs (such a technical term, I know!) of two different colors. Place them strategically (really, wherever they fit) on the snake.
Now you are the proud owner of "Abby the Alligator" and "Jake the Snake"! I can't tell you how many hours of fun that these characters have brought the children in my life :) They loved them so much that we now have "Ethan the Eel".
He has stripes instead of spots.
And, my daughter's favorite, the "Monster"!!!
You can use all these animal and monster friends for counting objects, "eating" beginning sounds, "eating" different letters of the alphabet. The list is endless! I will post some more specific ideas later. Just wanted to get these guys out there, in case anyone wanted to get their "hot glue" on over winter break!
In case you are teaching long and short vowel after the winter break, you might want to check out:
You can use Abby and Jake with these sorts, or print out the mats that are included. Either way, there is a ton of sorting to be done :)