Fairy Tale Lane Revisited: A walk through the alphabet

Sigh. I have had a really hard time getting my groove on this year blogging-wise. What I really need to do is to make a blogging schedule, but for some reason I have been dragging my feet on that. Maybe that can be today’s hard thing.

Our fairy tale mural is, sadly, a thing of the past. It kept falling down and no matter what we tried—tape, sticky tack, foam tape, those wax clippie thingies—I just couldn’t get it to stay on the wall. And because it was on a wall by a staircase, it got trampled when it fell and…. well, you know how it goes.

There were actually a lot more pictures on it before it fell down, but for some reason I can’t find any photos. Boo!

We are still continuing our walk through the alphabet as we travel down fairy tale lane. In the past I’ve shared some alphabet ideas:
Alphabetical Order
Ideas for Learning D, E, F, and G
Ideas for Learning A, B, and C

Obviously, we’ve learned more letters than these. I just am not very good at remembering I have a blog, it seems.

The easiest thing seems to be to just pick up where we are now—the letter V. Despite my avowal that I wouldn’t be teaching the alphabet in order (see link above), somehow the end all got left until last. We just have V, W, W, Y and Z and then we are going to introduce the five vowels. I am so excited to introduce the vowels because those, my friends, are the magical fairy dust that lead to words.

So… V.

Typically, Grimm’s The Water of Life is told and V is represented as a valley. The Discontented Rock is an Iroquois story that also features a valley. And The Boy Who Discovered Spring is particularly lovely for this time of year and is the one we will be using this time around,

V valley

If you’re looking for a longer read-aloud, you could try Donkey John of Toy Valley.

A very simple, gentle geography lesson on valleys may be found here. This could be especially useful if you find yourself trying to integrate kindergarten or first grade with second or third.

Picture Books
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
Growing Vegetable Soup (Lois Ehlert)
The Velveteen Rabbit (Marjorie Williams)—this one is definitely more suitable for older children

Phonemic Awareness
If you’re doing this in kindergarten, as I am, your only goal might be to recognize the letter V. I don’t even do any writing in kindy. But if you’re in first, you will probably introducing the sounds of V as well. Here are some tongue twisters, poems, and rhymes to foster phonemic awareness.

V and F are easily confused, which is one more reason to introduce them far apart from each other. V is a voiced sound. It’s an F with a buzz in the lips and the voice box.

Tongue Twister: Valeria valued Victor’s victory.

The Vulture (Hilaire Belloc)

The vulture eats between his meals
And that’s the reason why
He very, very rarely feels
As well as you and I.

His eye is dull, his head is bald,
His neck is growing thinner,
Oh! What a lesson for us all
To only eat at dinner.

Violets in my Garden
One purple violet in my garden grew.
Up popped another and then there were two.
Two purple violets were all I could see.
Up popped another and then there were three.
Three purple violets! If I could find one more
I’d put them in a tiny vase—four violets by the door.

Arts and Crafts and Handwork
All of these stories of valleys lend themselves particularly well to wet-on-wet watercolor paintings. Paint a beautiful green valley between two tall mountains.

This is also a fun “finish the picture” letter. Draw a vase and have your child add flowers. Draw a van and have them add the wheels. Draw a volcano and have them add lava.

You can make a beautiful vase by taking any recycled glass jar or bottle and covering the outside with watered-down glue and tissue paper squares. This would also be a good “crafting for others” project—make a vase and then add some flowers. Maybe some violets?

For modeling this week we will probably skip the beeswax and instead use playdough to create a volcano. If I’m feeling really punchy, maybe we’ll throw in some baking soda and vinegar to make it explode! Another idea would be to create a pinch pot vase.

I will probably stick with the volcano theme for coloring as well.

For handwork, I love this painting with wool pattern on Etsy. What a beautiful valley!

Photo Source: Painting with Wool PDF by

Music and Movement
“Letters can also be introduced through gestures that express their sound. A W can be derived from the undulating movement of a wave, or an S from the rushing movement of the wind.” (quote from Rhythms of Learning.)

Be volcanos erupting. Put on Mars from Holst’s The Planets. Use silks for lava if you wish. When you “erupt” you can spread out your arms to make a V. This is a lot like the volcano pose in yoga. You can also add a volcano breath.

You could also listen to violin music.

For smaller motor movement, spread your fingers and look for the letter V hidden in your hand.

1 Comment

  1. //

    Annette, you are great at remembering that you have a blog, LOL! You’ve been showing up here for a long time and sharing so much goodness- thank you. :)

Comments are closed.