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!