Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Books

Suggestions for Christmas books for Kindergarten and Preschool can be found below. Click on the titles of the books to read the reviews on them.

Click on the back button to return to this page if previewing the books.

1. If You Take A Mouse To The Movies by Laura Numeroff
2. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Sueuss
4. The Mouse Before Christmas by Michael Garland
5. The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg
6. Dream Snow by Eric Carle
7. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
8. Mrs. Wishy Washy's Christmas by Joy Cowley and Elizabeth Fuller
9. Christmas Trolls Eve by Jan Brett
10. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Monday, November 12, 2007

Counting and Number Literature Selections

The following books are suggested counting and number books that could be used for each of the themes indicated. Click on the title of the book to read reviews about each book.

Note: You must press the back button to return back to this page after clicking on the name of the book. It does not pop-up into a different window.

Numbers Theme
1. The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
2. One Hungry Monster: A Counting Book in Rhyme by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe

Transportation Theme
1. One Duck by Phyllis Root

1. Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

1. Ten Dogs in the Window: A Countdown Book by Claire Masurel

Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert

1. How Many Bugs in a Box? by David A. Carter
2. Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth

Feast for Ten by Cathryn Falwell

About Me
Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa

In the links below you will find ideas to integrate these books with your lesson plans.

Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson Plans on Numbers and Counting

Printable Math Activities for Kindergarten and Preschool

Suggestions from Subscribers

Below you will find suggestions from subscribers on the site:

One simple matching activity that works well for me is: Collect a selection of plastic bottles in different shapes and sizes with screw on lids, have the children to match the lid to the bottle and attempt to screw on the lid, I remove all the labels and the children guess what had been in the bottle . This activity builds concentration, fine motor skills, socail skills etc....

from Christine Minett

Using abc flashcards put four on the floor and get children to run to the letter u call out once a child knows them let them sit down so that children that don't know don't just follow the crowd. also can be done with numbers or words. from Lisa

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Family and Pets Literature Selections

The books listed below are the suggested literature selections that could be used for the Family and Pets Theme. Click on the titles to obtain more information on each book.

1. The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini
2 Oh,the Pets You Can Get! by Tish Rabe
3. The Best Pet of All by David Larochelle
4. Cats, Cats, Cats by Leslea Newman
5. Dogs, Dogs, Dogs by Leslea Newman
6. The Family Book by Todd Parr
7. The Mommy Book by Todd Parr
8. The Daddy Book by Todd Parr

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities for the Theme

Pumpkin Theme Activities

We just made a pumpkin vine/mobile that turned out super cute. Students cut out a seed on tag, colored a flower (coffee filter), cut a small green pumpkin, and a big orange pumpkin. Then after hole punching each they tied it on to green yarn, as the vine. You can also paint paper plates and staple together to use as a holer for the vine. Ashley Bigelow

More Pumpkin Theme Activities

Math Graphing Activity

For graphing activities, I have a photo of each child (passport size)which they place under the appropriate heading. This is a quick way to see who likes what or what the preferences are. The graphs can be set up in a pocket chart or on a magnetic board. Lee

More Kindergarten and Preschool Math Activities
More Kindergarten and Preschool Math Activities

Friendship Song

Dr. Jean has a song called Twinkle Twinkle Little Star What a Special Friend You Are. Children sit in pairs and sing/do motions to each other. Paula Arrorwood

Movement Activity

Well one movement activity is 'House to Let'. Here the kids make groups of 3, two of them hold hands and the third one stand in the middle of the house.As soon as the teacher says 'House to let' the kid in the middle has to run and search another house and enters it. This activity was very much enjoyed by the kids. by Meera Deebeely

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Theme Literature Books

Recommended Pumpkin Theme Books
The books below are ones we recommend to use with the Pumpkin theme. Click on the title of the book to see reviews on them.

1. Pumpkin Faces by Judith Moffat - this is an excellent book to use in conjunction with the emergent reader "Carving Pumpkins." The reader is found on our sister site in the link below.
2. Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson is an excellent rhyming book about the growth of pumpkins. It has amzing pictures depicting this growth cycle.
3. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Seven Krill
4. Pumpkin Day by Anne Rockwell is a good book to read for both the Fall and Halloween themes.

In the link below you will find ideas to use with these books.

Pumpkin Theme Activities

Halloween and Pumpkin Activity

I just purchased several packs of Halloween related erasers from Dollar Tree. I made several patterns on the printer plate of the printer. The children will match the patterns created or complete the pattern on the mat. by Cheryl

More Halloween and Pumpkin Theme Activities

Circle Time Suggestions

I have incorportated a greeting circle to my classroom schedule, as I said I teacher children with special circumstances. I found that it has brought the children into the idea that we are in school, settles them down for the class, and I can explain what we are going to be learning about that day, and then dismiss them to centres or art. The day progresses smoothly after the greeting circle. by Laura Wright

I was using mini books to teach concepts such as "on", "behind", "over", "under" etc and the kids really enjoyed being given physical tasks eg: X to sit on the red table etc. They then started hiding all around the room when I entered and calling out where they were in terms of concepts. It was really effective. by Christine Partington

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Activity

A fun fall art project - bushy tailed squirrels - I use card stock - squirrel body is painted brown, tail is covered with crushed chex cereal and attached with a brass fastener - it can be tied into so many of our favorite fall stories!
from Rosemary J Aldrich

More Kindergarten and Preschool Fall Activities

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Literacy Activities

I would suggest the morning message, it gets the children ready for what's happening during the day, and its a great way to develop reading and writing skills.
by Michelle

We make a Classmate book designed like the Brown Bear book. We use our kid's names instead of the animals and include a picture of each kid. They love it and we take turns taking it home for the night the first few weeks of school so that families can get to know the kids in our class.
Jane Ayers

I do the Kissing Hand the first day of school. I paint the students' hands white, post on black paper, and put a red heart in the middle. Then I paste a poem about the first day of school underneath. As a parent, Ilike to send something home right away!

More Literacy Activities for Centers

More Literacy Activities for Centers

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Summer Craft

Summer fun mobile: Materials required:
Salt dough,
a wooden stick about 8 cm long,
plastic wire or strong thin thread - 3 pieces of 10-15 cms.
Help or guide the children to mould the salt dough into shapes of the sun, pails, shovels, parasols and other objects related to the summer theme.
Insert a paper clip into the dough at the top of each object.
Bake the objects at 120 degree centigrade for 30 minutes.
Paint them after they have cooled completely.
Allow them to select three shapes from the ones they have made.
Tie the threads to the paper clips on each of the objects and then tie them to the stick - the one in the middle being shorter than the ones at the sides of the stick.
Tie a loop to the stick at the centre so that the mobile can be hung.
by Aparna

More Kindergarten and Preschool Summer Craft Activities

Positional Math Activity

Today durring math centers we worked on positional words (in, on, under, ontop, ect.) I had the kids get into pairs of two and gave each child a pile of blocks and put a piece of construction paper between them. Then child A told child B where to place ther block and vise versa. The kids had a ton of fun telling thier friends where to put the blocks & they made really cool structures too. by Brooke

Name Recogntion Activity

I extended the flower garden idea for my name recognition activity or attendance. I free had drew a larger flower onto construction paper and wrote the child's name. The children colored their flower template and then I attached a picture in the middle oval. Each flower was laminated and a piece of velcro attached. Upon arrival, the children find their flower picture and then go to the board and find their name on a flower. by Heather Osterman

More Kindergarten and Preschool Name Recognition Activities

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reward System

I've actually used the friendship tree in many other areas of the curriculum. I teach a reception class at a special needs school in the UK so some of the concepts in the unit are not yet appropriate but most aspects are very adaptable. I have used the trees as a reward system. The 'learning trees' are on a big diaplay board on the wall, they have branches, each branch belongs to one child. The branches have leaves on them with the child's face. Some leaves have statements on them (targets/goals). They receive a leaf everytime they reach a target or do something special. These leaves get sent home and the parents stick them in our 'learning tree' scrapbook. Most leaves are sent home with a picture of the child engaged in the targeted activity.
by Marjolein

Science Concept

Below you will find a suggestion from Shamiela Leo to intoduce the concept of deep, deeper, deepest, shallow, shallower, and shallowest.

Supplies: Containers for water, sticks or long paintbrushes. Work in groups of three. They pour different levels of water in 3 containers. Arrange the containers with water levels from shallow to shallowest. This exercise is NOT ABOUT how much water there is, but how deep the level is. Show learners how they can measure the depth of water with a stick. Pour more water in the containers so that one is deep, another deeper and the last container the deepest. Measure the water levels and compare them with each other by comparing the watermarks on the sticks. Talk about he depth of birdbath, fishpond, baths, swimming pools,brooks, rivers and the sea. Warn learners that children can drown in a pail of water

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Transition Classroom Ideas

Transition Idea 1
Just a great transition idea. When my class has to move from one part of the center to another, we catch imaginary bubbles in our mouths. If you open your mouth to talk, the bubble floats out. Nobody wants to lose their bubble, so mouths stop immediately talking. It is magic!
from Judi Case

Transition Idea 2
When children are getting antsy and moving around I start to sing and clap, "Everybody, Everybody, Jump Up and Down, Jump Up and Down, Jump Up and Down. Everybody, Everybody, Jump Up and Down. Now Sit Back Down." This gets 'em all the time. Then they're ready to refocus. If needed, I continue with, "If you're wearing orange, jump up and down, etc...can switch it out to include any items they're wearing, boy/girl, hair color, etc.
by Janice Boyles

First Week Activities

Learning Names
My children enjoyed making a spider web with yarn to help learn each other's names. You hand one child a ball of yarn. Have the child hold the end of the yarn while throwing the ball to another child. The child catching the ball says" My name is _____." That child throws the ball across the circle to another, being sure to hold the yarn closest to the ball with his other hand. Continue around the circle. by Helen Parker

More First Week Activities

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friendship Theme Ideas

More Friendship Theme Ideas
I have a frienship/anti-bullying activity that I use for students who are a bit older and can understand the symbolism - but I think it's a good one some teachers out there might like or pass on to their friends. Basically, you have the students stand in a circle on a laminate floor space (gym or something). You pass an apple around the circle of students and after each person takes the apple they have to say something nice to the apple and then gently pass it to the next person (ex: apple you are so beautiful! Pass to next person). Once it comes back to the teacher, teacher will ask the students to describe what the apple looks like based on all the wonderful things "apple" has heard. Explain, this is how we feel when all we hear about ourselves is NICE stuff. We are beautiful and intact emotionally etc. Next, apple will go around the circle again but this time it's a bit different. Teacher will tell the students to now say something bad to the apple and proceed to GENTLY drop it on the floor each time(ex: apple I hate you - drop the apple on the floor then pick it up and pass to next person). The apple will go around the circle and by the time it comes back to the teacher it's either a messy exploded pulp or at least very bruised and beat up (not so beautiful anymore). Teacher will explain that this is what happens to us as people when all we hear is negative stuff. Ask the students what they would prefer to be? Ask students how we can work to make sure we are all kept safe and made to feel that way? And if teacher later sees students hurting each other, s/he can easily refer back to the apple analogy. It makes for a very powerful visual image of how words can hurt and destroy other's sense of self. Michelle Bechthold

More Friendship Theme Activities

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Alphabet and Literacy Suggestions

Below you will find more suggestions from newsletter subscribers as to activities they do to help children learn the alphabet.

1. A wonderful activity that I use in the preschool classroom to teach alphabet recognition is a game we play called little mouse. I made 26 little houses out of felt to use on a felt board. Each house has a letter of the alphabet on the door. I also made a mouse out of felt. Some of the houses are placed on the felt board with the mouse hiding under one of them. The children take turns guessing which house the mouse is under, chanting, "Little mouse,little mouse, are you in the (the child picks a letter)house?" The children want to play it again and again!
Barbara Angulo
2. I used to make a grid and write the letters of each child's name in one square of the grid until the entire grid was filled up. Then I would let the children color all the (example) J's the same color, all the O's, etc. the end product would have an intersting pattern if the grid was made to contain more squares than the number of letters in the name. Karen DeHerrera

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Friendship Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Listed below are ideas that newsletter subscribers have submitted of activities they use in relation to the Friendship theme unit.

1. For the friendship unit, you could include a game called Musical Hugs (or musical high fives). It's like musical chairs except when the music stops, you have to give someone a hug (or a high five). No one gets "out" in this game. Nicole Wassil

2. We have staggered entry in kindergarten, so once the whole class is together we read The Kissing Hand. After the reading, we help the students trace their hand on different color construction paper. They cut them out & then choose a foam heart to glue in the middle. I then display them on the wall together in the shape of a heart and leave them up for the year. When the students get them back at the end of school we reflect on student growth and friendships since we made them. Stephanie Moss

3. In the beginning of the year I give each child a puzzle shaped piece that has a specific design on it. They are asked to find their match in the group and sit beside their new friend. We then play a couple of games that require a buddy. Kathy Griffith

4. create a buddy system with a higher grade in your school for things like reading, art and field trips. The older kids get the experience of peer teaching your class and your class get the experience of building a new friendship. Sherri Fisk

More Kindergarten and Preschool Friendship and First Day Activities

Friday, July 13, 2007

Kindergarten and Preschool Science Activity

Below you will find a Science related activity that was submitted by one of the newsletter subscribers:
I like to do the "wet coin" activity when I can apply it to the particular unit I'm teaching. It's a great science activity which can be corelated to math. I'm sure that other teachers in their creativity can devise fantastic lessons. On the last day of this unit I get the students to write about it. With my kinder classes it can be even more fun when on that last day I get my kids to draw what has happened with the penny or the dime. Each student has a penny, an eye dropper and a small container with water. Slowly each student drops one drop at a time and keeps a log so late on they can fill out their graph. We get to talk about the properties of a drop of water adhering on to the other. We talk about the morning dew and how the drops start sticking together in every blade of grass by the playground and on the rose petals.
Alberto Meza

2. When we were studying the river theme, very important as we live near these, we used old socks without matches that were donated my parents, had the children fill them from the sand that we had in sensory table, and the teacher used rubber bands to tie them closed. The children used markers to decorate them as they liked. We put 3 hula hoops on the big blue rug and this was the water. The socks became flying fish and landed in the circles of water as the children tossed them from the far end of the rug. We later used them in the science area to learn about weights and length measurements and which size flies the farthest and fastest. Hope you can use this idea. Silk

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Preschool and Kindergarten Math

Listed below are math ideas subscribers have sent me:

1. Just the ladybug craft and turning it into a math activity where the kids are using black spots on each wing and creating sentences such as 2 and 3 make 5 or 6 and 4 make 10. It could be done just as an adding activity as well. Liz

2. To teach time I make a clock on the floor and use dots for the minutes and numbers for the hour and then I have the children walk the clock and after that we have the time and then they make it with the hands on the floor. The kids love it! Michelle Armstrong

3. fishing game to help with numbers. Use a pretzel and some fish crackers. Dip the pretzel in some cheese whiz to help pick up the fish and have the children fish for a certain number of fish...they can eat what they catch. Karen

More Math Center Ideas

More Math Center Ideas

Friday, July 6, 2007

Alphabet and Literacy Activities

Alphabet Activities
Suggestions below are activities that were submitted my website from subscribers.
Thank you for your great ideas.

1. My students enjoy playing hangman. One of our language centres is using our word wall words to play a magnetic funny face hangman. All the pieces are made for the funny face and the students simply use the magnetic pieces on a cookie sheet or magnetic board. The magnetic letters are displayed as well and the children choose letters to guess what the unknown word wall word is. If they guess a correct letter the magnetic letter is moved into the word. If they guess an incorrect letter, the letter is moved into another column and a piece of the face is put on. If the face is finished before guessing the word, then the person goes again. If the word is guessed before the face is completed then the other player has a turn. Rosemary Lamanna

2. Literacy Center Idea: Letter Recognition Activity---Cut a round circle from cardstock paper and write the letters of the alphabet on the circle. Write the alphabet letters on clothes pins. The student will clip the correct letter to the circle in the on the letter. pamela poole

3. Something I enjoy doing with my JK students is to call out colours, shapes, letters, and numbers, and they can go anywhere in the room to find these things. It's a very quick, yet interactive "game" that they love. Start out with everyone at the carpet (or in the same part of the room), then call out one of the above listed items, and just watch them go! I also change the sound level of my voice to make sure they're paying attention. It's a little bit of exercise and it gets their brains working. Tina Carr

5. I teach young children and I know that they like to dig. They also like any learning that is hands on. So on dinosaur days we dig for letters in sand. Colleen

6. make sand paper alphabets in the class with the children as a classroom activity. print out large sized alphabets in bold fonts and let the children spread glue and let the children put sand on it.leave to dry and you have your very own sandpaper letters ready for alphabet recognition. little older children can also do this activity with the spelliing of their names. samreen

More Alphabet and Literacy Center Ideas
More Alphabet and Literacy Center Ideas

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Craft Activities

Craft Activities from Newsletter Subscribers

Below you will find craft ideas submitted by newsletter subscribers.

1. A simple sunshape, either painted, coloured or covered in magazine/paper cuttings of your choice. Put a photo in the middle and get the children to make a hat to go with it. Teach the children the song "The sun has got it's hat on" Zosia Sinclair

2. A great, fun and easy to do art project that can be adapted to just about any theme is the Crayon Resist Technique. You colour with wax crayons, pressing as hard as you can, and then paint over your picture, and watch the paint bead off the wax, but stay on the white parts of the paper. For an extra neat effect, crumple the pages (alot) right after you have done the wax crayon picture. Straighten the paper out and paint over with watery paint. Rinse under water and your piece of art looks aniqued - wrinkly with paint darker in the cracks. A really nice effect
Lili Szakony

3. For our beach theme, we are making sea shell critter as a craft project. we are painting shell with washable paint mixed with liquid glue. Let them dry and then glue on eyes, feathers, pom-poms etc. to make a creature. Rhonda Schneider

More Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Phonemic Awareness

For younger children, one of the first indications of future reading success is their ability to hear sounds and discriminate between them, this is called phonemic awareness. I know some kindergarten classes now have little mirrors to work on this skill. The children say certain words or letter sounds and notice how the position of their mouth and tongue change with each sound. The children are becoming more phonemically aware by doing this activity.
For example, the children would say the word b-a-t. The letter sounds would be segmented and the children would notice the position of their mouth and tongue would change with each segmented sound. Phonemic awareness is totally an oral activity. The children are not involved at this point in visually looking at letters that make these sounds. In the last few years the importance of phonemic awareness and its correlation to reading has been significant. If you teach kindergarten and preschool, phonemic awareness activities should be incorporated each day. The website below is an excellent resource for gaining a greater understanding of this.

The link below has great video clips of a child who experiences difficulty with phonemic awareness and one that has a good foundation:

Click on the link below for more ideas that can be incorporated into Kindergarten and Preschool Activities:

Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Plant Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Recommended Book
The book that I would recommend to be the most valuable to use in conjunction with the Plant Theme would be "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle. His books have a remarkable way of telling a story that children love to hear and his ability to integrate learning concepts is outstanding. This story tells how a tiny seed traveled and escaped landing in an area where it couldn't grow. This book introduces the concept of how a seed requires certain growing conditions before becoming a plant and it does this in a fun and entertaining manner. Click on the title to read reviews.

Follow-up Craft Activity
Children can trace their foot on brown construction paper and cut it out. Facial features can be added to represent the tiny seed. The story could be acted out.

For more activity suggestions click on the link below:
Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Plant Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Informational Content Book
The book "From Seed to Plant" by Gail Gibbons is a very good book to use to introduce information on different seed types, parts of plants, how new plants are produced, how seeds travel, what a seed needs to grow and how to raise bean plants. Young children may find some of the concepts introduced somewhat difficult to understand but the pictures provide a very good explanation. This book could be broken down into sections depending on what concept you want the children to understand. Click on the title of the book for reviews on it.

More Plant Follow-up Activities

Plant Theme Activities and Lesson Plan Ideas

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Plant Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Focus on Trees
No Plant theme would be complete without discussing the importance of trees. Two books that I would recommend that nicely introduce the concept of the value of trees are:

1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

2. The Growing Up Tree by Rosenberry

Both books lend themselves to discussion on the importance of trees. Click on the titles to read the book reviews.

This could be followed-up by doing leaf rubbings or making a friendship tree found in the link

Friendship Tree

In the link below you will find "catch the seed game". The children must move the bucket to catch the seeds.

Computer Game

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Plant Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

When teaching children about the different parts of a plant and how we use these for a food source, the book "Tops and Bottoms" by Janet Stevens would be a good book to read in conjunction with introducing this concept. The children will not only enjoy the story but the pictures offer a wonderful opportunity to look at a variety of vegetables and what parts of the plant we eat. Click on the title of the story for more information about the book.

For more related Plant theme activities click on the link below:

Plants theme activities and lesson plans

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bugs, Insects Activities and Lesson Plans

When it comes to books to use in conjunction with your Insect theme unit the Eric Carle books are an excellent choice. They all have facts about insects presented in a manner that delight young children. Not only do they present interesting facts but also incorporate other learning opportunities such as days of the week or counting. The books listed below are all excellent choices. Click on the titles to read the reviews about them. Press the back button to return back to this page.

1. The Very Quiet Cricket

2. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

3. The Very Lonely Firefly

4. The well known and loved book The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Click on the link below for more activity suggestions to incorporate with the Bugs/Insects theme:

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bugs, Insects Activities and Lesson Plans

Another good book to use in conjunction with the Bugs theme is The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. This is a delightful book with a repetitive story line that offers many learning opportunities. It teaches children about positve character virtures, manners, time, size, shapes and how animals defend themselves. Click on the title of the book to read the reviews on it.
Follow-up Activities
1. Discuss how each of the animals in the story tried to protect themselves.
2. Discuss how the size of the animals increased throughout the story.
3. Act out the story. Have a teaching clock displayed and have it change as the characters within the story change.
4. Gather more information about ladybugs.
5. Ladybug craft and math idea can be found in the link below:

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bugs, Insects Activities and Lesson Plans

For the Bugs or Insects theme one recommendation to read is the book Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges. This is a delightful counting and rhyming book. The book can also be used to introduce adding or subtracting and kindness to bugs. Click on the title link to read reviews of the book.
Follow-up Activities:
1. Have ten flashlights available and act out the story. This could introduce counting, adding or subtracting.
2. Take a closer look at the rhyming words within the book. Have children change the initial consonant letter sound creating a new rhyming word. Discuss if this word is a real or nonsense word.
3. Discuss the ending of the story and how the children demonstrated appreciation for the bugs by releasing them.

Craft Suggestion - Firefly Craft
Paint wooden ice cream spoons with glow in the dark neon paint for the body. Cut wax or tissue paper for wings and glue these onto the body. Add finishing touches.

You will find more information in the links below. Press the back button to return back to this page.

Firefly and Lightning Beetle Facts

Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weather Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

I have listed the books that relate to the Weather theme below. Click on the titles of each book to read a review. Remember to press the back button to return back to this page.

1. Caps, Hats, Socks and Mittens: A Book About the Four Seasons by Louise Borden. A great book to use for introducing or reviewing the four seasons. It is done in a manner that will be enjoyed by young learners.

2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

3. Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

4. Rain by Robert Kalan and Donald Crews

5. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

6. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Click here for more Preschool and Kindergarten activities related to the Weather theme.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weather Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

One book I would highly recommend for the Weather Theme is Little Cloud by Eric Carle. In the book little cloud moves across the sky changing into shapes like sheep, airplane, shark, trees, rabbit, hat and a clown. At the end he joined all the other clouds and turned into one big cloud and rained.
This book offers some wonderful follow-up activities:

1. Discussion on what a cloud is and how rain is formed. Check the link below for more information:
Information on Clouds

2. Craft - children can make their own shape clouds. Some of the images in the book are simplistic enough for children to even copy them. This could later be made into a big book.

The link below gives you more ideas:
Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

Friday, March 30, 2007

Space and Robots Lesson Plans and Activities

I highly recommend the book , Hello Robots” by Bob Staake. In the book robots do different chores. Each robot has a different name with a chore to do. This is a delightful and funny rhyming book. Children will enjoy the pictures and the funny rhymes. Click on the title link to get more information on the book

Follow-up Activities
Since this is a rhyming book it offers a good opportuntiy to strengthen children's phonemic awareness. The book can be read several times and each time leave out the rhyming word; the children must complete the sentence with the word.

The picture of the robots in this book offer a good opportunity to review shapes and colors. The robots come in a variety of shapes and colors. The children can make robots of different shapes and colors using pattern blocks.
Pattern Blocks

You will find more suggestions on our sister site in the link below:
Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Space and Robots Lesson Plans and Activities

A good book to read with young children related to the Space Theme is "There's No Place Like Space" which is from the Cat and the Hat Learning Library. It is written by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz. Click on the title of the story for more information. The book introduces the children to the planets and gives simple and interesting information about each one. The book also introduces the children to the concept of constellations, stars, sun and moon. Use of rhyme is scattered throughout the book, which allows for phonemic awareness activities. Below is a suggestion list of possible follow-up activities.

Children paint and decorate a paper towel roll. These can be used as telescopes. The children pretend to be viewing some the sights mentioned in the story. See if they can give
you some information on their findings.

Math - Capacity
In the book it mentions that it takes a million Earths to fit inside the sun, that is how big it is. In the link below you will find a sun and smaller pictures of the Earth. Have children predict how many Earths will fit in this sun. See how closely you can fit the Earths together to find the answer.

Earth and Sun Templates

More Suggestions in the link below:

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Transportation Theme Activities and Lesson Plans

Another book that is good to read with the Transportation theme is "School Bus" by Donald Crews. It is another easy read book. It takes children through the day of a school bus. Click on the title link for a more detailed description (press the back button to return back to this blog).

Follow-up Craft Activity
Click on the link below for a craft suggestion.
Transportation Activities and Lesson Plans

Follow-up Songs
In the link below you will find related songs.
Transportation Songs

Follow-up Transportation Games
In the link below you will find follow-up transportation games
Transportation Games

More Transportation Books
  1. Airport by Byron Barton
  2. All Aboard ABC by Doug Magee and Robert Newman
  3. Cars by Anne Rockwell
  4. Ferryboat Ride by Anne Rockwell
  5. Planes by Anne Rockwell
  6. Trains by Anne Rockwell
  7. Truck by Donald Crews
  8. The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
  9. Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown
  10. Round Trip by Ann Jonas
  11. I Love Trains by Philemon Sturges
  12. School Buses by Dee Ready

Transportation Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

One book I would recommend to read for the Transportation theme activities is "Freight Train" by Donald Crews. It is a simple read book where the pictures portray the train moving. It is a good book to read to review colors. It is also a good introduction to the the different type of train cars and what they are used for. Click on the link on the title to read a more detailed description (press the back button to return back to this blog).

Follow-up Activities
A predictable chart with sentence strips to fit in a pocket chart would be a great follow-up activity. The text could read:

I see a red train car.
I see a blue train car.
I see a purple train.
Continue using the various color words you would like to use.

NOTE: If you are a member of my sister site, you will find pictures that can be used to accompany the text.

Information on predictable charts can be found in the link below:
Predictable Charts

Craft Follow-up
A craft follow-up activity is posted on my sister website Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

Another Literature Link
The book "The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper" would also be a good choice of books to use in conjuntion with this theme. Click on the title of the book to read a review. The could also
be accompanied with a predictable chart for the children to complete.
I can_______________.
I can_______________.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ocean Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Ocean Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

One of my favorite books to read is "Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister. It is one of the most worthwhile books to read to young children. The value of sharing and friendship is is clearly conveyed in this book. Click on the book title to read more reviews about the book. Not only is this a valuable book to read in conjunction with personal development but it certainly offers extended learning opportunities. After reading and discussing the wonderful pictures and message in the book, a predictable chart story could be used for shared reading.
Rainbow Fish learns to share.
He shares his scale with a blue fish.
He shares his scale with a red fish.
He shares his scale with a green fish.
He shares his scale with an orange fish.
He shares his scale with purple fish.
He shares his scale with yellow fish.
Sharing makes him feel happy!

In the members' area of my sister site you will find the pictures to accompany the print and a follow-up craft activity using bingo markers. Click on this link for more information Kindergarten and Preschool Activities.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ocean Theme Lesson Plans and Activities

Kindergarten and Preschool Ocean Theme and Activities

One book I would recommend is Swimmy by Leo Lionni to use in conjunction with the Ocean theme. This is a delightful book that not only introduces different sea creatures but effectively relays the importance working together (co-operation). Click on the book name to read reviews about it.
A follow-up to reading this book would be to discuss the importance of team work. In gym time co-operation games could be played as a means to focus on this. The game called Killer Sharks and Fish under the Ocean Theme heading in the link below would be a good game to develop this concept:
Preschool and Kindergarten Activities and Lesson Plans

Further research on the sea creatures that Swimmy sees would be a good follow-up activity. In the links below you will find photographs of these sea animals that could be used to initiate the discussion.

Sea Anemones

Visual Discrimination
Each of the pictures in the photographs have their names indicated on them. Make word cards and the children try to match the word to the one on the photograph.

Related Crafts
Make a large template of a large fish. Have children sponge smaller shape fish within it to represent how Swimmy formed a team to scare off enemies.

Children guess how many fish can be made within the big fish. Count them.

Click on the link for more More Preschool and Kinderplans Ocean Lesson Plans and Activities

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bike Safety Lesson Plans and Activities

Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson Plans and Activities on Bike Safety

The book I Can Ride a Bike by Edana Eckart could be used to introduce bike safety. Although it doesn't specifically introduce bike safety, it could be incorporated with reading the book. The book discusses different parts of a bike.

Reading Follow-up Activity
A predictable text could be printed on sentence strips or chart paper with things the children can do. Example:
I can sing.
I can count.
I can play soccer.

Math Follow-up Activity
Children pretend to be pedaling their bike (moving their legs in circles. Count the number of pedals they can do).

The most effective way to have introduce bicycle safety is to have a Bike Rodeo. The link below is a wonderful resource in helping you organize a bicycle rodeo.

All About Bike Rodeos

More follow-up activities can be found in my sister website Kindergarten and Preschool Lesson Plans and Activities.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Safety Lesson Plans and Activities

Fire Safety Lesson Plans and Activities
The book Stop, Drop and Roll by Margery Cuyler is a wonderful book to introduce the concept of fire safety. Click on the link to get a more detailed description of the book. The book introduces good safety practices in an entertaining manner that children would enjoy.

Follow-up Activity
Tape the flame in the link below to the back of children. Have them stop, drop and roll until the flame comes off (out).

Follow-up Reading Activity
Brainstorm for ideas of what causes fires and what can be done to prevent these fires. The book gives the children good ideas. Examples:
Matches start fires.
Fireplaces start fires.

How many rolls did it take to cause the fire to go out? (taped on their back).
All related follow-up activities are found on my sister website preschool and kindergarten fire safety lesson plans and activities

Good Links for more fire safety activities:
Fire Safety Songs
More Safety Activities
Sparky the Fire Dog

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Valentine's Day Lesson Plans and Activities

Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Lesson Plans
Literature Connection
Franklin is another favorite must reads for young children. The book Franklin's Valentines by Paulette Bourgeois/Brenda Clark is a delightful book to read to children. It really captivates the value of friendship and giving. Click on the link for a description of the book.

Follow-up Literacy Activity
A predictable chart could be made outlining Franklin's friends.
Franklin's friend is bear.
Franklin's friend is rabbit.
Franklin's friend is snail.
Franklin's friend is beaver.
Franklin's friend is goose.
Franklin's friend is beaver.
Franklin's friend is goose.

If you are a Kinderplans member, you will find the pictures to accompany the print.

Follow-up Craft Activity
In the link below you will find a picture of Franklin. The children can color him and design cards for him to hold that he would be giving his friends.

My sister website offers more Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson Plans and Activities that offers more follow-up ideas.

Feel free of offer more suggestions and make comments.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Valentine's Day Lesson Plans and Activiites

Kindergarten and Preschool Valentine's Day Lesson Plans and Activities
Links to Literature
The book Little Mouse's Big Valentine by Thacher Hurd is a good book to use in conjunction with Valentine's Day theme activities. Click on the link for reviews and a description of the book. Little mouse makes a huge valentine (bigger than himself). He tries to give it to squirrel, mole, woodchuck, owl, fish and hawk. All of them were not interested in receiving his big valentine. At the end of the story he meets another mouse (female) and they become friends Together they cut his huge valentine into smaller hearts to give away to everyone. This book offers many learning opportunities as outlined below:

Literacy and Drama
The children can act out the story. The characters are in the files below. These can be used for the children to act out the story. A valentine heart can be made for the mouse to hold.
Coloring Page for the Story


  • The children could be taught how to make symmetical hearts by folding a paper in half and drawing half the outline
  • This book offers the opportunity to introduce size differences. The Math heart activity outlined on my sister website would be a good follow-up activity Kindergarten and Preschool Activities and Lesson Plans


  • Read more information or watch a video about mice or the other animals listed in the story.


Character Education

This story offers a wonderful opportunity to discuss friendship. Friends can work together to solve problems.


Valentine Songs

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Five Senses Activities and Lesson Plans

Fives Senses
In the last week I have been researching books that would be good to recommend to use in conjunction with the five senses theme for Preschool and Kindergarten aged children. To be honest, I just haven't come across any that I feel strongly about recommending. The book Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young is a great book to introduce the sense of sight. Click on the title for more information. Seven blind mice find something strange by their pond. It is quite interesting how each of them had a different perception of what it could be. This concept can be further expanded by viewing optical illusion pictures. Another the book I felt worthwhile is called You Can't Smell a Flower With Your Ear - by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Mavis Smith. Click on the title to learn more about the book. The book explains in scientific terms (but simplified) about why we hear, taste, see, smell and taste. The book also gives you ideas for experiments to help expand on the concepts introduced. To be honest, I felt the emergent readers presented as a shared reader experience and the follow-up activities found on my sister website offered more of an opportunity for the children to be more actively involved in learning the concepts (just my opinion though). Young children learn best from hands on activities. Click on the following link to visit my sister website for ideas Kindergarten and Preschool Activities and Lesson Plans.

Five Senses Songs found in the links below:
Song 1
Song 2
Song 3

If you have books that you would recommend please feel free to comment suggestions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities and Lesson Plan

Nutrition Theme
The book Gregory, The Terrible Eater by Michelle Sharmat and Jose Aruego is another good book to read to the children when introducing the Nutrition theme to young learners. Click on the title link to read reviews on the book. The main character (the goat) is unusual because he chooses healthy food over junk food to eat. This book reinforces eating healthy foods opposed to junk food. Kindergarten and preschool activities and lesson plans posted on our sister website are a great follow-up to reading the story.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Preschool and Kindergarten Activities and Lesson Plans

Nutrition Theme
One of the books I highly recommend in introducing activities and lesson plans on the Nutrition theme is "Showdown at the Food Pyramid" by Rex Barron. This book introduces the idea of eating healthy food in a fun way that children will enjoy. Click on the title link to read the description of the book and the best place to purchase it. This book offers many opportunities to do fun and educational follow-up activities.
1. Math sorting - Using pictures or real food have children sort healthy and junk food. Count how many in each group.
2. Reading - Read the printable emergent reader "The Healthy Food Story" on my accompanying website as a shared reading experience. This reader is a good follow-up to the concept of how the healthy foods in the story help us. The reader offers a simpler version with a predictable and repetitive story line, allowing the children to read it on their own. The children are to find the food group that matches each of the foods in the reader (interactive component).
Kindergarten and Preschool Activities
3. Crafts - In both the book and the emergent reader the foods take on human characteristics. Provide the children with different food templates and have them add human characteristics such as eyes, nose, hair and so on. Look at the accompanying website for more ideas for follow-up activities.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Kindergarten and Preschool Activities and Lesson Plan

Winter Theme Related to Penguins.
Many educators like to include a study about penguins in their Winter theme lesson plans. The book called "Plenty of Penguins" by Sonia Black, is a simple book to introduce information about penguins. It contains just the right amount of information for young children to understand and comprehend, along with good illustrations. The best part, it is a rhyming book. Studies indicate that children who are introduced to phonemic awareness activities such as rhyme at an early age show more success at learning to read. The following article gives you more information on phonemic awareness. I like incorporate the use of rhyme as much as possible in the classroom reading experiences. My accompanying website includes a follow-up activity to reading the book
Kindergarten and Preschool Activities and Lesson Plans.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Kindergarten and Preschool Winter Activities and Lesson Plans

Another good literature book that inspires great educational follow-up activities is "Sadie and the Snowman" . Click on the title link to find reader reviews and the best place to purchase the book.
Possible follow-up activities:
1. Science - the concept of melting could be introduced in relation to the story. Place ice-cubes or snow in different places (by a furnace outlet, in the sun, in a closet etc.). This would be done during the first part of the day. Predict which will melt faster and observe predictions.
2. Further research - what do the animals eat that are mentioned in the story?
3. Math - make snowman cards with printed numbers on them. The children must print or add real buttons to the snowman to represent that number.
4. Comprehension and Reading - make a predictable chart of the story and combine a comprehension activity with it. Examples: Who ate the cookies? Answer: Birds
Who ate the apple? Answer: Squirrel

The link below shows photos and more related activities to these follow-up activities:
Kindergarten and Preschool Winter Activities and Lesson Plans
Information on Predictable Charts

6. Look at Sadie in the picture, discuss how to properly dress for the cold weather.
7. Craft - Make a snowman (template and photo shown in the link above)
8. Related Poems and Songs in this link.

Remember, to provide addititional comments. I'm sure you have some more great ideas!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Kindergarten and Preschool Winter Activities and Lesson Plans

Hi Educators and Parents,
One of the most valuable learning opportunities for children are linking activities with books. One of my favorite books to use with my Winter theme is "The Mitten". Click on the title link to get more detailed information about the book and the best place to purchase it. The reason I like this book is because it provides such a range of educational follow-up activities.
1. Each day the book can be read, one animal can be the focus for that day. What is their actual home? What do they eat? What special features do they have to protect themselves?
2. The funny thing about this book is that some of the animals that made the mitten their home are enemies in the real world. The concept of co-operation could be introduced.
3. Reading - after reading the story, a predictable chart or shape book retelling the story in a more simple version could be made. This allows the children to successfully read it on their own (pretend read). Example: First, a mole made a home in the mitten. Second, a rabbit made a home in the mitten. The text line basically repeats itself except for a few changes.
Information on predictable charts
Kindergarten and Preschool winter activities and lesson plans
4. Math - the concept of ordinal numbers could be introduced. Assign each child to be an animal that was mentioned in the story. The children come forward that were the first animals and pretend to crawl in the mitten. This continues through to the eighth animal.
5. Math - the concept of volume could be introduced. How many marbles (or another object) will fit into a mitten. Children will make guesses, count and find out who had the closest estimate. If it gets very full, does it stretch like it did in the story?
6. Crafts - Make a template of a mitten. Children can print and decorate their own mittens.
7. Songs and Poems about mittens can be found in this link.
8. Act out the story. Mask for the story can be found in the following links:

Feel free to post your own ideas! Don't be shy, I'm sure you have great ideas!