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1 — Patterns in words and letters: Capital letters

Sequence focus points

Caterpillar – on a Grevillia branch – with patterns very much like a series of eyes

Above: Caterpillar of a Dryandra Moth, Western Australia, photo by John Tann CC-BY-2.0

Activity 1: Modelled reading and writing

Model the writing of the days of the week on the interactive whiteboard or cards, emphasising the onset and rime of each word, displaying them in sequence and then reading the days of the week out loud to the students. Conduct a modelled reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. As you read, highlight the days of the week and the repetition of ‘… but he was still hungry’ as patterns. Encourage the students to read along with the repetition.

Refer back to the displayed days of the week as you read and emphasise the pattern of the days of the week as a way of predicting which word will come next when reading the text. For example, ‘On Sunday the egg was laid, on Monday it hatched, which day will come next? This day starts with “T”; which day do you think it will be?’  ACELA1438ACELY1649ACELY1650ACELY1651,  ACMMG008

Activity 2: Responding to literature – reading the days of the week

Provide opportunities for the students to respond to the text on a personal level by sharing their thoughts and feelings and examining the events and characters. Ask them to read aloud and point to the days of the week as you display the relevant pages of the book. Display the days of the week on the interactive whiteboard or cards. Use the display to assist in recounting the events of the story, asking the students to supply details they remember from the reading. Relevant pages of the book can be used to assist recall. ACELT1575ACELT1783ACELT1578

Activity 3: Responding to literature – joint construction and independent writing

Jointly construct sentences that tell what the class does on different days of the week. For example, ‘On Monday we go to the library’, ‘On Tuesday we have Mandarin lessons’, ‘On Wednesday we have dancing’. Display these sentences to create a reading wall to be read as part of the daily routine. For example, ‘Today is Monday. On Monday we have library.’

Have the students independently write sentences about what they do on different days of the week. Supply a sentence starter such as, ‘On Saturday I …’ and ask the students to write or draw to complete the sentence. They can then read their sentences to the other students in their table groups. ACELA1435ACELY1651,  ACMMG008

Activity 4: Patterns in handwriting and punctuation – writing capital letters

Display the letters of the alphabet in upper and lower case format on a poster or on the interactive whiteboard. Ask the students to point out the capital letters. Demonstrate the formation of each capital letter as it is located and talk about the patterns that are used to write each letter. For example, ‘For capital A, we start writing it at the top and go down in a slope, start at the top again and go down, then straight across the middle. Capital A is written with straight lines’. Students ‘air write’ the letters following your directions.

Write the names of the students on the interactive whiteboard or on cards. Display these for the class to see and ask each student to locate their name and copy it onto a piece of paper or individual whiteboards. Draw each student’s attention to the capital letter at the beginning of his or her name. Draw their attention to the names of the days of the week and the way they also start with capital letters. Explain that this is a pattern we follow when we write names: the first letter is a capital and the rest are in lower case. Have the students read their names written on individual whiteboards or paper. Ask them to circle the capital letter at the start of their name. ACELA1432ACELA1440ACELY1653

A piece of paper with the name Alex written on it, with the capitalised first letter A circled in red.

Above: Capital ‘A’ circled, photo by Jennifer Asha

Activity 5: Independent reading –  recognising capital and lower case letters

Hand each student a lower case letter of the alphabet and ask them to search the room for previously ‘hidden’ capital letters. Bring the students back together and share the letters they have found. As each student shows their letters, use an interactive whiteboard program to mark off the letters of the alphabet.

Have students write the upper and lower case letters on their whiteboard or paper as each letter is shown, reinforcing correct formation of each letter. Talk about the types of patterns used to create each letter; for example, straight or sloped lines and curves.  ACELA1432ACELA1440

Follow-up activity

Create repeated pattern butterflies by folding a piece of coloured paper in half and applying paint to one side in a variety of colours and shapes. Press the two sides of the paper together to ‘print’ on the blank side of the paper. Open up the paper again and allow it to dry. Once dry, fold in half and cut out the silhouette of a butterfly. Display the butterflies in the classroom with labels showing who made the butterfly to further demonstrate the use of capital letters at the beginning of names.