Despite being a pretty difficult letter, my "qu" drawer has nine items in it, and only one is a boring old photograph (quail). We have: queen, quarter, quartz, quilt, quail, quiver, quadrilaterals, question mark, and quill. Almost all of the objects are homemade.
I don't know whether or not this would be considered unusual, but I DO NOT use our single sandpaper letter for "q". It is permanently put away in storage. I use the double sandpaper letter "qu" exclusively for this sound. I have altered all of our supporting materials accordingly.
The quiver is made from rolled brown construction paper, feathers and toothpicks.
The quill was made from a feather and some brown construction paper.
These "objects" could have just been photographs. I find it is a little more "object-like" and a little more compelling if I cut things from foam. If I can, I just put the foam object in loose. Some things need to go together and I glue or stick the foam to cardstock. I did this here so the question mark wouldn't lose it's dot and to create a collection of quadrilaterals. Quadrilaterals might not seem useful, but it is if your child has gotten pretty far with the geometric cabinet and is familiar with the quadrilaterals drawer.
My mom stitched up this "quilt" for us. On top of it (so it would be visible) is a piece of quartz.
A lot of great "qu" words are adjectives,verbs, adverbs or nouns that are difficult to represent with an object. It helps to reinforce the letter to do some playacting with the objects using those words. We would take out a little rubber duck and act out a little play with the objects something like this:
The queen was feeling queasy. The queen was tucked under the quilt so she could be quite cozy. It was nice and quiet until a duck woke her up with all the quacking. Quick! Quit quacking duck! The queen and the duck had quite a quarrel. Soldiers were called in to quell the quarrel. The duck quaked when a large piece of quartz was thrown at her. The soldiers began to take an arrow from their quiver. Not one to quibble, the duck took her five babies (quintuplets) quickly back to the quarry.I, of course, have to teach any unfamiliar vocabulary as we go. I try not to "dumb down" the vocabulary in these things. Also, thanks to one of my favorite books,The Read-Aloud Handbook, I have been intentionally been reading books above the boys' vocabulary level for years. You can read about "working vocabulary" in this post at Somewhat in the Air. There is even a fun video.
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