Preschoolers love playing with blocks and creating buildings, so construction is a theme they'll enjoy studying. Use this theme to teach lessons about planning, building and using tools. Bring in books about construction such as "Dazzling Diggers" or "The Night Worker" for children to explore. Stock up on extra blocks and toy construction vehicles so you'll always have enough for each student to play.
Send a letter home with families asking if anyone knows a construction worker who will come speak to the class. Ask fellow teachers for recommendations as well. Once you find a guest, ask him to bring along his hard hat, some common tools he uses and some pictures of buildings he has worked on. The speaker can show the class each tool, explain what he does with each one and pass them around for each child to hold.
Give children paper and crayons. Ask each child to design his own building using his imagination. To encourage teamwork, pair children up or place them into groups to design their building. Set out Legos, plastic construction vehicles and wooden blocks. Children must try to create the building that they designed. If the building won't stand up as it does in the picture, they can figure out what the weak spots are and redesign it. Take a picture of each building and hang them in the classroom, next to each drawing.
Papier Mache Hard Hats
Blow up a balloon for each child. Tear newspaper into strips and put white glue into small bowls. Show children how to run a strip of paper through the glue, and then wipe off any globs using their fingers. Place the strip onto the balloon and repeat until half the balloon is covered. Each child should have at least three layers of strips on his balloon to ensure sturdiness. When the paper is dried and hard, pop the balloons. Provide yellow paint so children can finish off their hard hats.
Sorting and Cutting
Write out a list of steps that are involved in construction. Steps should be simple, such "Mr. Smith decides to build a new house," "The workers measure the wood" and "The painters paint the walls." Arrange the steps so they're out of order and add a picture that demonstrates each one. Give each child a sheet with the steps and ask them to first cut them out, and then glue them onto another piece of paper in correct chronological order.
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