Your free teaching calendar packed with sensory ideas and inspiration for the month of September!
In September's Edition
8th September: International Literacy Day - Explore phonics through the senses.
9th September: World Teddy Bear Day - Organise a Teddy Bear's Picnic
10th September: World First Aid Day - Explore 1st Aid
11th September: 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Ulisse Aldrovandi - Engage the Senses
12th-17th September: Balance Awareness Week - Promote Vestibular Activities
13th September: Roald Dahl Day - Explore the characters of Charlie & the Chocolate factory through the senses
15th September: International Dot Day - Explore dots!
19th-25th September: Recycle Awareness Week - Ideas to get your students involved
20th-25th September: Fire Door Safety Week - Be Safe!
22nd September: National Fitness Day - Get Moving!
23rd September: Autumn Equinox - Suggested Resource 'Autumn ' A Multisensory Exploration'
20th-27th September: Sukkot - Den Building
25th - 27th September: Rosh Hashanah - Explore the festival through the senses
Sourdough September - Mill flour
Whole Month Organic September - Explore sough dough and role play ideas
Sensory Phonics Bag
Exploring phonics through the senses is a fun and engaging activity.
Here are some ideas using the letter 'S' as an example.
Place a variety of items starting with the letter(s) you wish to teach into a non-see-through bag or a pillowcase.
When choosing items think of engaging all the senses: Add items that stimulate the vision, tactile items, items that make interesting sounds, items to smell and taste.
Offer the bag to the student to select an item. Can they use their senses to guess what the item is? (If the student is unsure then provide plenty of clues.)
Letter S items
(Look through a toybox/cupboard for items: snail, spaceman, spinner, spider etc.)
Build Functional Language skills.
Ask the student to tell you or show you what you might do with the item and where you might find it. (If the student is unsure, model what to do with the item and encourage them to copy your action.)
Keep Language Simple. Focus on phrases such as 'Choose' or 'Take one' when presenting the bag to the student.
Focus on the name of the object; 'starfish', 'sponge', 'snake' and two-word phrases; 'long snake', 'yellow sponge'.
Building Learning - Word Recognition
Place wooden or magnetic letters along with the corresponding item in your sensory bag e.g., the letters c-a-n, can, c-a-p, cap, c-a-r, car,
f-a-n, fan, f-i-g, fig, h-a-t, hat etc.
Can the student sound out the letters as they pick them from the bag?
Can the student put the letters in the correct order to spell the word? e.g., f-a-n
Place two items in the bag along with the letters that spell the word e.g., c-u-p. One item will be the correct item (the cup) and an incorrect item (a hat). Can the student select the correct item to match the word?
Phonics Sensory Bin
A sensory bin is a container filled with themed items that provide a calming activity and the opportunity to learn through exploration whilst engaging the senses and meeting sensory needs.
Layer your tray/bin/box with sand, seeds, straw, sawdust, spaghetti, or soil.
Scatter with items starting with the letter 'S' (see previous list for ideas)
Add fine motor tools: Cups, spoons, forks, measuring jugs, colander, whisk, sieve, funnel, pipette, food tongs, wooden utensils, scoops, paintbrushes, chopsticks.
Add items to encourage scientific investigation: Torch, magnifying glass, magnets, pen/paper, egg carton/ice cube/cake baking tray for sorting items, plastic tweezers, and a mirror.
Model mark making the letter 'S' in the base layer of the sensory bin.
Phonics Listening Game
Listening games teach sound discrimination, promoting the development of language, communication and comprehension skills and increasing attention span.
A quick search on the internet will provide you with access to a library of free audio clips and sound effects that can be played via your phone, iPad, Kindle or recorded on a Dictaphone.
There are also sound effect apps available.
Can the student imitate the sound using their voice?
Can the student correctly identify the sound? (Provide plenty of clues!)
Letter 'S' Sounds
Get Crafty! Stuffed Sensory Sock Snakes
This is an excellent activity for encouraging hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and gives you the opportunity to model language as well as providing a wonderful sensory experience. You will need
Old Socks or Tights
A Filler: Straw/Sponges/Sand/Sawdust/Soil/Spaghetti (dried)
Stuff the socks with items starting with the letter 'S'; Sand, seeds, straw, sawdust, (dried) spaghetti, or soil. Tie a knot in the end of the sock to secure.
Allow supervised free exploration of the sensory snakes, they will differ in weight, length, smell and texture.
Tip! Adding a few drops of essential oil to the fillers will enrich the experience.
Use a range of Letter Resources.
I like to teach using tactile items. It makes learning fun and allows the student to manipulate and explore the letters and make words without having to write them down.
Here are a few ideas:
Wooden letter tiles
Scrabble Board and tiles
Magnetic Letters on a baking tray.
Paint pebbles and write letters on them.
Use letter stickers
Write in chalks on the patio/fence.
Write letters on recycled plastic milk bottle tops.
Mould letters using clay/plasticine or Play-Doh
Sept 10th World First Aid Day
Explore the contents of a First Aid Bag/Box This activity will raise awareness of the contents of a first aid box and reduce any anxiety some students may have around first aid.
Explore the contents of the classroom first aid box to the students.
Practice applying dressings and bandages.
Teach the students how to raise the alarm should there be an accident in the classroom or playground (tell an adult)
Teach students how to ring 999 for an ambulance. Engage in role play practicing making a 999 telephone, call using a toy or old mobile phone (battery removed)
First Aid Box Contents*
Burns gel dressings
Adhesive tape to secure dressings
An updated first aid guidance leaflet.
Sterile plasters of assorted sizes
Large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
Sterile eye pads
Sterile wound wipes
*The contents of your first aid boxes may differ to the items in the list.
Practice simple first aid. Discuss how to raise the alarm in an emergency.
500th Anniversary of the birth of Ulisse Aldrovandi
Modern history founder Ulisse Aldrovandi was known for his studies of animals, plants, and minerals.
Present a range of animals, plants and minerals for students to explore through the senses.
Animals: (Fake) fur, suede, chamois leather/leather, wool
Herbs: Basil, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
Minerals: Calcite, crystals, rocks, stones or gold, silver and copper-coloured items (Coins, dress jewellery, foil, stainless steel items.)
Can the students group the items according whether they are animal derived, plant or mineral?
Roald Dahl Day
Explore the Main Characters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory through the Senses
Augustus Gloop – Gloop. Mix cornflour and water to the ratio of 2:1, (Option to add food colouring and essences/flavourings)
Charlie Bucket – Bucket
Grandpa Joe – Slippers
Mike Teavee – Large square glasses, cardboard box TV, or old TV remote control (batteries removed)
Mr Bucket (Charlie’s Dad) – Toothpaste or fresh mint (this is a reference to the job he held screwing the tops onto toothpaste tubes)
Oompa-Loompas – Orange/satsuma or orange face paint
Veruca Salt: Salt Dough. Mix 1 cup plain flour, ½ cup table salt, ½ cup water. (Option to add food colouring and essences/flavourings to enhance the sensory experience)
Violet Beauregarde – Parma violets, violet essential oil, violet flowers
Violet flowers are edible. Ensure the flowers are freshly picked, washed, are disease and pest free and have not been treated with pesticides.
Willy Wonka - Walking Stick
Describe the characters in the story. Can the students match the props to the characters?
Sept 20th - 27th Sukkot
Sukkot is a Jewish festival. The word ‘Sukkot’ translates to a ‘temporary shelter’
Build a Sukkot Hut
Den building provides an excellent opportunity to explore design and technology through building and construction, the opportunity to explore, experiment, make mistakes and problem solve in a safe environment, promotes physical development and co-operation, turn-taking, listening to others' ideas and communication skills through teamwork. Dens can be built using everyday items found around the home and garden. Here are some examples:
Use items found in nature: straw, hay, dried grasses, twigs, and sticks.
Work around existing features such as a play equipment, trees, a gazebo, or a washing line.
If indoors, drape a sheet or blanket over two chairs, a table, or underneath open stairs.
Families eat and spend free time in their Sukkot shelters. Accessorise your Sukkot
Add cushions, beanbags, books, activities, soft toys, and a blanket.
Add crayons/pencils/felts and paper/whiteboard and marker pen.
String fairy lights, add glow in the dark stickers, glitter lamps and light up toys.
Add items to encourage scientific investigation: a torch, mirror, magnifying glass.