Showing posts with label English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English. Show all posts

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Who Says Read-a-Thons are Just for School?

When I was in sixth grade we had a read-a-thon at the school.  If you read all the way to midnight without stopping - except to take a bathroom break during the allotted times - you got to have PIZZA.  (Have I mentioned that I love pizza?  Only a hundred times?  Alright then, let's continue.)

I remember trucking my beanbag chair to school, finding the ideal spot, pulling out the snacks my mom packed for me, and reading, reading, reading.  Did I make it to midnight?  I should say so!  Not only am I a pizza-holic, but I'm a bookworm to boot.  It was almost too easy!

Princess is the exact same way.  She may only be five, but she LOVES reading.  I didn't want to make her wait clear until she starts school to have a read-a-thon.  Why not have one right now?!

I told the kids I had a surprise for them and to grab a blanket, pillow, and a stuffed animal if they wished.  Then, I told them to find an area in the living room and get comfy.

Princess grabbed her favorite fuzzy, pink blanket, a flower pillow, and her giraffe.

Once they were situated, I sent them into the toy room to grab some books.  When I explained what we were doing Princess was beside herself!

I kicked off the night by reading a story of the kids' choosing.  I just love listening to a story, don't you?

With books nearby, my kids got ready to read.

Princess' current favorite books are Junie B. Jones.  Yes, she reads them all by herself.  It astounds me too!

Goofy did take a moment to pretend to be asleep, but she decided it was more fun to be awake.

I wasn't sure how Bud would do, but to my surprise he looked at his board books the whole half hour.

Goofy can't read yet.  However, she loves looking at the illustrations.

Princess had lots of fun reading out loud to her giraffe.

Even mom got in a little Anne of Green Gables reading time on her kindle.  Win-win!

When the half hour was up the kids begged for a few more minutes.  They have been begging to have another read-a-thon ever since.  This was such a fun, free activity that can be done anytime, anywhere.  What better way to spend a night?!

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Child Artwork Display
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Littlest Pumpkin Lesson

With Halloween just around the corner, it is time to get into the spirit with the preschoolers.  This lesson is full of great math concepts such as counting, reading dice, and size comparisons.  

Things you'll need for this lesson:
-The Littlest Pumpkin book by R.A. Herman and Betina Ogden
-Foam pumpkins
-Build your own jack 'o lantern game board and pieces

I read The Littlest Pumpkin to the preschool kids.  You could use this book to teach size comparison.  As you read you could ask which pumpkin is the tallest, skinniest, roundest, etc.  There are so many possibilities!

Art/Fine Motor Skills:
After reading the book I gave each child their own "Littlest Pumpkin" to decorate with stickers.  The kids had lots of fun showing me their finished pumpkins.  Using stickers is a great way to help kids with their fine motor skills.

Math Game:
We played a game called Build Your Own Jack 'o Lantern.  I gave each kid a board.  On the board it said you had to roll a 1 to get your pumpkin's body.  Then you roll a 2 for eyes, 3 for nose, and so on.  Whoever created their pumpkin first won.  It gave the kids a great opportunity to practice counting, reading dice,and good sportsmanship.

You Might Also Like:
Candy Corn Bar Graphing
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Bug Preschool Lesson

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Princess and the Pizza Preschool Lesson

This is a fun lesson with a built in snack!

Lesson Focuses:
  • Math - Similarities and differences; Counting
  • English - Mixed-up fairy tales
  • Practical - Cooking in the kitchen; Following directions
Materials Needed:
  • The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
  • English muffins
  • A cookie sheet
  • Cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Olives
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Any other pizza toppings you like

In a previous lesson I read The Princess and the Pea to the kids.  I asked them to tell me what they remembered about that story.  Then, I read the The Princess and the Pizza.  I explained the The Princess and the Pizza is a mixed-up fairy tale.  It has a lot of the same themes, but the authors change parts of the story to make it different (and usually silly).  

We then went into the kitchen.  I gave each child half of an English muffin.  I told them to create a pizza however they would like.  

While they worked on their pizzas I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. 

Once their pizzas were complete, we put them onto a cookie sheet.  We talked about the similarities between the pizzas (e.g. They all were made from English muffins; They all had cheese; Etc.).  We discussed the differences.  We did some counting (e.g. How many pizzas are there?  How many have pepperoni?  How many olives are on this pizza?).  

I popped them into the oven for 10-15 minutes while the kids had free play time.  

After cleaning up, the kids ran back to the kitchen to enjoy their pizza snack.  

You Might Also Like:
Bug Preschool Lesson 
Color Preschool Lesson

Ugly Duckling Preschool Lesson

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Five Little Speckled Frogs Lesson

Focus Areas of this Lesson: Letter F, Position Words "in" and "out," Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes Discussion and Song:
This year I was in charge of teaching the preschoolers the nursery rhymes and fairy tales unit.  I incorporated those two things into everything I taught for 2 months.  (I probably could have taught them for a whole year.  There is so much you can do with them!)  

The very first thing I asked the kids was, "What are nursery rhymes?"  I explained they are traditional poems for young children.  Naturally, the next question was, "What is a poem?"  I could have gone into great detail about poems, but I told them they were stories that create pictures in our minds.  They usually rhyme, and some have rhythm to them.

I taught them the Five Little Speckled Frogs nursery rhyme:

Five little speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs.  Yum!  Yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were four green, speckled frogs.  Croak!  Croak!
Etc. down to no green, speckled frogs.  Glub!  Glub!

We sang the song together complete with actions.

Position Words IN and OUT:
I gave each child a frog with tape on the back.  On the positions words board I had a picture of a pond. The kids put their frog anywhere they wanted on the board.  We then discussed the position words "in" and "out."  I asked them, "How many frogs are IN the pond?"  They counted.  Then we counted how many were OUT of the pond.

Speckled Frog "In" and "Out" Game:
You will need a designated area to be your "pond."  I used the rug in my living room.  I had all of the kids sit on the couches around the rug.  When I shouted the word, "IN!" the kids jumped like frogs into the pond.  When I said, "OUT!" they jumped out.  We did this until the kids got tired.  You'll be surprised how many kids don't want to stop playing.

Letter F Study and Writing Practice:
We gathered back up to talk about the letter F.  I used my letter of the day board to show them what it looks like.  We talked about the sound it makes.  I asked the kids to locate all of the "F's" in the Five Little Speckled Frogs nursery rhyme.

I used the F is For Fire Truck Tracing Page from this site.  (It has all sorts of super cute and easy preschool writing and cutting pages.)  

Letter F Art Project:
I gave each child a paper with the outline of a letter F on the page.  I invited them to change the letter F outline into a picture of something that starts with the letter F.  I showed them my example (pictured above).  We had foxes, firetrucks, and more flags.  The kids seemed to really enjoy this activity.

Happy teaching!

More preschool ideas:
If You Take a Mouse to School Lesson
Humpty Dumpty Lesson

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring Lesson

Lesson Focus: "Ing" words, rhyming words, scissor practice

To start the lesson I taught the kids the poem It's Raining, It's Pouring.  The kids particularly liked the part where the old man is snoring.  They had lots of fun showing me their best snores.

After we went over the poem a couple of times, we talked about "ing" words.  We briefly discussed that putting "ing" at the end of a word puts it in present tense (e.g. snore - snoring).  I had the kids identify the "ing" words in the poem.

We then found all of the rhyming words in the poem.  We had already discussed rhyming words, so the kids were pretty quick to find them.

Rain Stick Craft

Materials Needed:
  • A roll of toilet paper (one per child)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rice (or something to make noise in the stick)
  • Scissors (one per child)
  • Rubber bands
  • Elmer's glue
  • Pencils
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons, markers, glitter glue, etc.  

How to Make the Rain Sticks:
  • Have each child bring over their toilet paper roll or give them one if you didn't assign them to bring one.  
  • Let the kids pick out the color of paper they would like for their rain stick.
  • Have the kids trace around the end of the toilet paper roll.  They need to do this twice.
  • Then have them draw a larger circle (about 1/2" bigger) around the circle they traced.  
  • Give them scissors and have them cut out the big circles.
  • Then, have the kids cut from the edge of the outside circle to the edge of the inside circle multiple times so it looks a little bit like a sun.  (Make sure they don't cut into the middle of the small circle.)
  • Glue along the bottom edge of the toilet paper roll.  Place the paper over the end of the toilet paper roll and fold the cut edged up onto the glued part.  Then place multiple rubber bands around the glued area to hold it in place.  (Hopefully you can see what I mean from the picture above.)  
  • Get a piece of aluminum foil about 1 ft. long and 2" thick.  Crumple it up into a large snake.  Then fold it in half and twist the two ends like a rope.  (See the picture above.)  Put the aluminum foil inside the toilet paper roll.  
  • Pour in the rice.  
  • Then glue around the top end of the toilet paper roll, fold the paper around the glue and place a couple of rubber bands around that end as well.  
  • Let the kids decorate their rain sticks.  
  • Tip and shake the sticks and make some rain! 
This craft was a big hit in our preschool.  Give it a try and leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!

You Might also Like:
The Frog Prince Lesson 
The Farmer in the Dell Lesson

Humpty Dumpty Lesson

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If You Take a Mouse to School Lesson

Lesson Focus: Parts of a Story - Setting

What you'll need for this lesson:

  • If You Take a Mouse to School
  • A shoe or tissue box (I asked each kid to bring a shoe/tissue box to preschool that day) 
  • Paint/Paint brushes/Paint shirts or aprons
  • Stickers
  • Clip art pictures of all sorts of things you'd find in different settings (e.g. - forest: trees, bears, pine cones, dessert: cacti, snakes, sand, space: stars, planets, aliens) 
  • Glue/Glue sticks 

Using the book If You Take a Mouse to School I taught the kids about the setting of a story.  First, we read the story.  After we finished reading I asked the kids, "Do you know what the setting of a story is?"

I explained that the setting of the story is where the story takes place.  I asked them what the setting of If You Take a Mouse to School took place.

I then told the kids to pretend they had a mouse in their hand.  We talked about what our mouse would see if we took it to different places (e.g.: a restaurant, a farm, a castle).

We went over to the kitchen table where the boxes were set out.  I told the kids that we were going to make a setting box for our pretend mouse.  The kids decided what their setting would be.  Then, they painted and decorated the boxes.

They threw on their paint shirts/aprons and got to work.  Some of the kids really liked painting...

Others preferred using stickers.

Painting, gluing, and putting on stickers are great fine motor activities for toddlers/preschoolers.

Princess worked very hard on her setting box and was very proud of it.

The kids really loved this activity and it really cemented the idea of the setting of a story.

More preschool fun:
Color Lesson
Little Red Hen Lesson