archive for the 'Language/Literacy' category

The Colored Hens Circle Time Activity

One of my favorite children’s books is The Little Red Hen. I read it every year to my class. I often pair the story with this interactive circle time activity, which is designed to improve listening skills, and teach colors. It also gives children an opportunity to follow directions and to participate during large group.

Cut out colored hens to match the colors in the poem (the hen pattern is provided here). I happened to have some extra felt, so I just used that. However, construction paper will work just as well. Glue the hens onto paper plates, add some googly eyes, and coordinating craft sticks. I used watercolors to color the sticks.

During circle time, give each child a hen. Some colors may have to be repeated depending upon how many children are in the circle. Instruct the children to hold up their hen when they hear their color, then read the poem below. This is a fantastic attention grabber. My preschoolers, even my “busy” ones, hold their breath with anticipation, just waiting to hear their color words; they get so excited to spring into action!

THE COLORED HENS POEM

This little hen is brown
You’ll never catch her with a frown

This little hen is black
She’s not a duck, so she doesn’t quack

This little hen is yellow
She’s friends with Mr. Rooster – he’s a happy fellow

This little hen is purple
She likes to walk in a circle

This little hen is green
On the farm she can been seen

This little hen is blue,
She likes to follow me and you

This little hen is red
She’s laid all her eggs in her bed

After the poem is read, and all the hens have been held up, talk about the different colors. To build phonemic awareness, the rhyming words should also be repeated and discussed.

MATERIALS USED:

– Colored felt or construction paper
– Our free hen pattern
– Scissors
– Tacky glue
– Paper plates
– Jumbo craft sticks/tongue depressors
Washable liquid watercolors
– Googly eyes


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Easter Peeps Math Activity

This math activity is sure to engage preschoolers while reinforcing size skills. Have the children arrange the Peeps in different ways before adhering them onto the paper. Ask them to arrange the pieces from smallest to biggest and then biggest to smallest. Also have them separate the two bigger from two smaller. Finally, let the kids choose which size order they would like to glue the bunnies in.

In addition, be sure to discuss other words that mean big (huge, large, etc.) and small (tiny, little etc.), and incorporate them into the task.

Download the free Easter Peeps Size Skills Practice sheet.


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The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

It’s safe to say, NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.


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3D Easter Collages

Art is always a hit with the kids in my class this year, but especially 3D collages. They seem to inspire a higher level of creativity, allowing the children to build on, up, and around. In addition, 3D collages look amazing when displayed on bulletin boards, and they help to meet the art materials requirement on the Environmental Childhood Environmental Scale Revised (ECERS-R).

I was ready to present another type of this art form, and Zoey was ready for something Easter. We were deep in the aisles of Hobby Lobby when Zoey spied these little guys.

Chicks, eggs, and buttons..oh, my! That’s all it took – we knew we had to have our preschoolers make 3D Easter collages. To introduce this activity, we will be reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!

MATERIALS USED:

-Egg cartons
-Tacky glue
-Crinkle paper grass
-Plastic eggs
-Small glitter eggs
-Colored buttons
-Chicks
-Ribbon
-Yarn
-Colored macaroni
-Felt pieces
-Construction paper squares
-Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks
-Pom poms


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