Mat Man!

29 Sep

One of my favorite ways to teach body awareness and drawing a picture of a person with a body (versus a head with arms and legs 😉 is the Handwriting without Tears Mat Man! If you’ve never heard of Handwriting without Tears (HWT) check it out at: http://www.hwtears.com. HWT is a handwriting curriculum developed by an OT using a hands-on, educationally sound instructional method to teach handwriting. It is composed of several workbooks, teaching manuals, educational materials such as flash cards, CDs, and different types of paper. The curriculum also has an assessment, The Print Tool, used to evaluation and remediate capital letters, lower-case letters, and numbers. HWT has been adopted by the Texas State Board of Education, and meets TEKS standards for Language Arts. The workbooks have even been translated into Spanish, French, and Hebrew! How cool is that? Maybe I should purchase the Hebrew book for myself. I’ve always wanted to learn how to write Hebrew!

Anyways, one of the HWT programs is called, Get Set for School. It’s primarily based for pre-K to K kids for pre-writing, letter recognition, proper letter formation, and other developmentally appropriate activities to allow the child to be ready for Kindergarten. One of the tools used with this program is the wood pieces set (http://shopping.hwtears.com/product/WP/GSS). It has big lines, little lines, big curves, and little curves that are used to teach basic letter formation, recognition, and memory. In the teacher’s manual there is a pattern to create your own wood pieces set. I used this pattern to create a set of wood pieces on poster board. I chose the color yellow so the letters would be bright!

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HWT encourages the wood pieces also be used to make mat man! The Get Set for School even has a nice little song to sing while you build mat man. Sing along with the song, if your voice is good enough and the child doesn’t ask you to be quiet. This happens quite a bit in my treatment sessions. I decided to make some facial features for my version of mat man. I made 2 of each: blue, green, and brown eyes, so the child can pick out the same color eyes he has. I made a mouth, nose, and even some eyebrows. You can even give mat man a belly button! Now all I need to do is make him some hands and a variety of hats to wear and then he will be complete! I may have a few of my kiddos help me with this task. Then they can work on tracing their hand and cutting! Creating a list of hats will also help with higher level thinking processes including imagination and role playing.

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Other fun ways to modify this activity include: making the poster-board pieces even smaller, perhaps using an index card; use puff paint on the pieces in order to trace with index finger and create a tactile feedback for letter formation; Put velcro/magnets on the back of the pieces in order to use on a vertical surface or while swinging. Can you think of any other activities using the wood pieces?

Check out the app too! http://wetdrytry.com/

Now go have some fun and learn your letters! 🙂

~Amy

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2 Responses to “Mat Man!”

  1. shoes September 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    That is a great idea to make the mat man pieces out of poster board! We are borrowing a set from my son’s kindergarten teacher from last year and it has helped him out a lot. We use if for the letters and the making of mat man too. I will have to make our own poster board set for us to keep before we have to return it. Thanks for the idea!

    • Mess 2 Masterpiece September 30, 2012 at 12:30 am #

      So glad the wood pieces are helping him! They are awesome! I made this entire set from one standard size piece of poster board! Good luck and have fun! You can even let your little one help cut them out too. 🙂

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