Gone Fishing…For Vowels

gone fishing for vowelsSome wild and crazy vowels are on the loose, and you must grab your magnetic fishing rod and catch AEIOU…and sometimes…that mysteriously elusive Y.

We read Sue MacDonald Had a Book, written by Jim Tobin, and illustrated by Dave Coverly (Henry Holt, 2009). Sue MacDonald had a book, but AEIOU made a break for it. So Sue must hop a train, ride a hot air balloon, delve into a sewer system, wield a fishing rod, and more to catch those rascally vowels. Honestly, this book should be in every early education classroom. Fantastic writing, great illustrations, and best of all…you SING the book to the tune of Old MacDonald!

You’ll need:

  • 1 vowel template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ white card stock
  • A long piece of (ours was 32″)
  • A selection of color masking tape
  • 7 jumbo paper clips (mine were 1.75″ long)
  • 1 magnet
  • A piece of string (approximately 55″ long)
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

The fishing poles are just about identical to the ones we constructed at our ice fishing story time. First, tie a jumbo paper clip to a piece string, then lower the paper clip into a piece of PVC pipe. Keep lowering the paperclip until it’s hanging well below the pole and there’s just a few inches of string sticking out of the top. Next, turn your pole so it looks like this:

polePush the unattached end of the string against the pole, and cover it with color masking tape. Continue wrapping the pole until you’ve created a 3″ handle. If you’d like, use the color masking tape to decorate the rest of the pole.

wrapped handleFinally, tape a magnet to the paper clip. We used little ceramic block magnets. Since these were potential choking hazards for younger siblings, we checked, double checked, and triple checked to make sure everyone’s magnet was firmly taped in place.

vowel magnet hookNext up, the VOWELS! Cut the vowels out of the 2-page template. You can use just markers to decorate them, or you can do what we did and bring out the Bling Bin and eye stickers.

wild and crazy vowels When you’re done decorating, tape a jumbo paperclip to the back of each letter. Spread the vowels on the floor, take a few steps back, and try “hooking” them with your rod.

catching the letter ACheck out Mr. Expert Fisherman…3 on 1 hook! Nice!

3 in 1The letter Y is on the template, but at our story time, we decided to do something a little special with it. We traced the Ys onto gold mirror board:

golden letter Y Then, as kids were fishing, we quietly dropped the golden Ys into their pile of vowels. If they caught the Y, they got to take it home (and of course, everyone caught the Y)!

Did you notice that some our our fishermen and women in the photos are wearing backpacks fashioned from manilla office folders? If you’d like to make one for your vowels to ride home in, the instructions are right here in this camping post.