Elvis and Letter P


We got our rock and roll on by celebrating Elvis’s birthday this week in our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. Our Language Group looked at words that start with letter P.

Sensory Group—Elvis

We started by reading Cara’s book about Elvis. Its a great book this week, with lots of fun facts about the King of Rock and Roll! Our students loved looking at the pictures and helping “turn” the pages.

IMG_4676Our first box was filled with all things Elvis! Lots of really cool things to look at and explore.

We included items such as a crown—he is the King , a Las Vegas magnet, a car and airplane (for some of his movie rolls), toy soldiers to remind us of his stint in the army,

and a globe because he is known all over the world!  Also included was a real 45 record…..we figured our students probably had never seen one! The cutest little Elvis beanie baby found at a charity shop!

And finally, sunglasses…. because Elvis always wore some cool shades.

This box addresses the Language Arts access points of attending to informational materials and using body movement or nonverbal expression to communicate desires or preferences.





IMG_4663Viva Las Vegas! Our Las Vegas box was filled with shiny beads and flashing light toys—some of the things you might see at an Elvis concert. Totally bright and sparkly, what a great box!

The light toys are especially appealing to our students and as they are  moved around, gives them the opportunity to track objects in motion, a science access point.

Pushing the button to activate the lights also addresses fine motor skills.










IMG_4858IMG_4660Teddy Bear and Blue Suede shoes were some of his most popular songs. Our furry fabric feels just like a cuddly teddy bear, sooo soft. Our blue upholstery fabric feels a lot like suede—and would make some pretty cool shoes don’t you think?

As hands are moved across the different fabrics, students use their tactile sense to recognize objects—addressing science access points

Lots of Elvis’ songs were about love and so we HAD to include our Love me Tender box discovery bottle…………  filled with lots of craft foam hearts, pony beads and glitter .

The bottle was very eye catching as it was turned and allowed our students to track falling objects which is a science access point. The science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object is also addressed.






IMG_4910We cut some beautiful stars out of our Blue Hawaiian playdough. The color turned out so pretty!

Recognizing two dimensional shapes, such as a star, is a math access point. Counting them is an opportunity to practice one to one correspondence.

Hand strengthening is also addressed as the cookie cutter is pressed into the playdough.









IMG_4749Elvis loved southern cooking—and there is NOTHING more southern than grits!

We looked for the letter E (and a hidden picture of Elvis) in some instant cheese grits (uncooked).

The grits have an interesting coarse texture and the powdered cheese had a slight odor. This box certainly elicited a variety of reactions from our students!

This box addresses associating a photograph with a person which is a Social Studies access point.

Depending on your point of view, it might also address recognizing differences in food from other cultures 🙂








IMG_4868IMG_4867Our Jailhouse Rock box contained black and white pom poms to compare and contrast. We also recorded part of the song on a voice output device we placed inside the box.  It was so much fun to see our students rocking out when the music played—they are just SO cute!

As students reach for and activate the voice output device they are responding to a technology source, responding to rhythm in songs, and express wants and needs which are all Language access points.

As the pom poms are explored by color the science access point of recognizing two objects that are the same is addressed.  The math access point of recognizing two objects that are the same size and color and the access point of recognizing 3 dimensional objects such as a sphere are also addressed.




IMG_4912We practiced scribbling or writing the letter E in our Blue Christmas oobleck.

And how DO you make Blue Christmas oobleck you may ask—–just add peppermint extract!

As usual, oobleck is such a glorious substance to explore using our senses….. which is a science access point.

Wonderful to smell, touch, AND look at. Have we mentioned how much we love this stuff 🙂








IMG_4697The peppermint aroma of the oobleck was pretty overpowering but we did have two other scents this week.

Birthday cake scented body wash was added to the water we used to rinse the oobleck off our hands….although most of us still ended up leaving the group with hands tinted a slightly smurfy blue!

We found some banana scented lotion at World Market and since one of Elvis’ favorite snacks was a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich we thought banana scent would be a perfect reminder of our group.

Happy Birthday Elvis!!!!





Fine Motor Group—Elvis

On Tuesday after learning all about Elvis from Cara’s book, we helped our students channel their inner rock god and proceeded craft some guitars! Prior to the group, the adults covered empty tissue and sterile glove boxes with paper and duct taped a flattened paper towel roll to the back.

IMG_4622Of course we had a variety of colors to choose from, giving the students practice in communicating their choices.

The boxes were counted as they were passed out and we also discussed the rectangular shape of the box addressing the math access point of recognizing dimensional shapes.

Besides practicing writing their names on the back, students got more writing practice by drawing vertical lines along the neck of their guitar. Our students are emergent writers so some needed assistance, but others were able to do this independently making us so excited!

Imitating directional strokes is a prewriting skill.

Look at these vertical lines—–just AWESOME!!!!!!






IMG_4623Then they used markers and stickers to decorate the guitar. Peeling the stickers is great for working on pincer grasp skills.

Spatial relationship skills are also addressed as the stickers are placed on the box.

We used rubber bands for our guitar strings. Holding one end of the rubber band while pulling the other end over the box is a great opportunity to address bilateral skills.








IMG_4648Our guitars are finished and its time to  put on some cool shades….

…..and rock out to the King singing Heartbreak Hotel.

IMG_4804Can you tell how much our students LOVED their guitars 🙂













On Thursday we read Cara’s book again and then proceeded to next art project…… a blue suede shoes wearing hound dog!

IMG_4771First we counted out and identified the rectangular shaped paper addressing math access points.

Then we used brown markers to color our hound dog (drawn by Joy but you could easily use a coloring page picture from the internet).

As we have said before, we usually choose markers over crayons for our coloring project because they glide across the paper more easily and the vivid colors are more attention getting.






IMG_4780Two precut taped shoes were temporarily taped to a piece of cardboard (a cut up soft drink carton). We did  this to make them easier for our students to manage.

We squeezed on some glue…











IMG_4778…….and then added the “suede” (crushed up dollar store blue fruit wheels!)

We demonstrated how to scoop the cereal and sprinkle it over the glue. Then we let our students go to town. They really did a pretty good job…… and there weren’t too many attempts at sampling 🙂

After they finished decorating the shoes, we pulled the shoes off the cardboard backing and directed the students to put them on the dogs feet.








IMG_4795Googlie eyes were added as a finishing touch. Placing a dot of glue on the paper and asking the students to put the eye on top of it addresses eye hand coordination and spatial relations skills.

Ta Da—he may be nothing but a hound dog but he’s still awfully cute!











Language Group—Letter P

IMG_4823First we Played our latest sound game. We used our index fingers to Point to the correct picture.

This addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to common sounds.






IMG_4828Then we Put Pink and Purple Pom Poms into a jar. We had to use Pincer grasps to Pick them up.

We asked the students to put 3 pom poms into the jar. Recognizing quantities up to 3 is a math access point.











IMG_4815Next we Pushed and Pulled our Poppers apart. These toys provide a great upper extremity strengthening activity and they also make a fun sound when pulled apart. Our students really love them!

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point.












IMG_4854For our art Project, we colored a Porcupine with Pink and Purple markers.

Our students with more physical challenges used Joy’s adapted switch toy.

As the students repeatedly press the switch they are indicating a desire for more of the action which is a math access point.

When they stop pressing the switch, indicating a desire for no more of the action that is also a math access point.

These Prickly Pine needles make Positively Perfect Porcupine quills!

Picking up the Pine needles and Putting them onto the glue (along with the mandatory googlie eye) addresses fine motor skills.

As we discuss the fact that we used “a lot” of them or need “more” we are addressing the math access point of associating quantities with language.





IMG_4830The Perfect finish—–some Pomegranate scented lotion.

It smells so Pleasant.












IMG_4849We found Plenty of P words today and here are some of them!







IMG_4750Don’t forget to join us again next week, Group by Group….

you know thats what all the cool kids are doing 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s