We love Big Shape Tracing activities to transition little learners from scribbles to writing letters and words. After lots of 'big arm' activities like chalking on walls and painting on easels your students can begin more formal 'handwriting' by attempting to trace big clear shapes and then internal pattern lines.
Our latest gum leaf tracing page is a perfect early kindergarten activity for Australian classrooms especially. It features one nice big clear shape to trace and simple 'downstroke' internal pattern lines.
Teaching tip: tell your students the leaves fall down from the top of the tree to the ground and just about all our letters start with the pencil moving top to bottom. As they trace, tell them to say 'down, down, down'.
Using crayon or marker to outline the gum leaf will engage your students. We all like to work with materials that feel nice on the paper and give a clear bright color!
Little hands may have limited control of a writing implement at this stage and a narrow, small pencil can be frustrating as without strong hands it does not achieve a clear bold line.
Option: letter tracking. The page features a title for students to track. Tracking is like tracing but learners stay inside the outline of the letters rather than staying on a dotted line.
Optional extension: after tracing, paint or color the leaves for a classroom display!
You could make a class gum tree, edge a bulletin board or simply clip them to an existing banner or string line like we did here in our play room. They add color and interest to a familiar area. Adding student work to your classroom is very important - it:
builds class community (look what we made together as a group)
connects students to their learning space (my work is important and it matters)
encourages language (some of our learners may have little in their home life to talk about, by displaying something as simple as this leaf, you have instantly given them and opportunity to talk with a peer, a shared experience, a bridge to build connections and communication between students)
You can find this printable page over in our store FREE today!
Gum Leaf and Magpie Finger Play
While you are here, we also wanted to offer you our new free finger play: Gum Leaves Fall.
Finger plays provide a wonderful opportunity to explore oral texts and build many essential skills into your daily routine.
This one has just a few simple actions - again, perfect for the beginning of a kindergarten school year.
to engage your students in the topic of gum leaves or Australian animals
to introduce the concept of leaves falling from a tree and link to our pencil moving top to bottom when writing letters and numbers
for behavior management (as students join in the collaborative language experience they will sit, listen and be ready to learn)
to transition between activities and re-focus learners
as a language and literacy activity - students love oral language activities, saying rhymes and learning new words
We included a blackline version too so you can send a copy home after students color it at their desks. Encourage your emergent readers to point to each word and 'read' it after they have become very familiar with the rhyme.
Find a free printable page in Google Drive: Gum Leaves Fall Finger Play
Thanks so much for visiting our blog, we are so happy to be able to continue to share things with you here. You may also like:
Gumnut Cuties Tracing Pages
Gumnut and Gum Leaf Door Display
Australian Animal Alphabet Posters
Soup-er Star Class Australian Animals
Other finger plays