A few years ago, a parent gave me a set of jungle animals with a mat.  There are twenty-six animals, each with a different letter on them.  The mat has all the letters and you can probably figure out how you might use these in a kindergarten classroom.

Well today during center time, I wandered over to listen to some boys identifying the letters and sounds.  They select an animal, identify it, the letter, the sound, and then place it on the mat.  Some are a little difficult… many kindergartners don’t know what a yak or vulture are, but then there was one even I couldn’t figure out…

“What do you think it is?” I asked the boys.

“Bird, B, /b/,” Scott offered.

Makes sense to me… problem is, the letter is N.

“Hmmmm, this letter is N,” I said pointing to the N on the bird.

To be honest, I’m not sure what bird starts with an N… after a minute of the boys trying to offer bird names that start with N (none of which were actual types of birds), I saw that next to the N on the mat were musical notes… that jogged my brain.

“Maybe it’s a Nightingale?” I wondered out loud.

Now I have no clue what a Nightingale looks like… neither did Mrs. D.  I ran over to my computer and found this on Wikipedia:

Now, the two birds don’t really look much alike to me, but what do I know?  I suppose the colors are similar, so a Nightingale it is!

This is how my brain works… random thoughts, random ideas, random tangents.  Teaching kindergarten is a perfect job for me!