Preschool children have a capacity to learn quickly while enjoying their lessons. Preschool administrators and teachers match the children's developmental levels to curriculum with themes. These units provide entertaining activities that can engage the children in the themed materials. Children can choose to participate, watch or quietly work or play alone. The themed curriculum threads throughout the day, giving the preschoolers plenty of time to absorb the lessons.
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A basic theme is colours. Curriculum goals involve the children knowing about the spectrum of colours in the rainbow. Some curriculum objectives can be the children's ability to names the colours and identify the colours of various objects in the classroom. Displaying images of rainbows in the classroom provides children with a concept of how the colour shades blend into each other. Young preschool children may enjoy helping their teacher colour a rainbow or cut one out of construction paper. They will feel proud to have their artwork put up on the wall for their family to see. Children can learn to identify the colours of their clothes, toys, books and food.
Animal themes create opportunities for preschoolers to learn about the world and the environment. Group animals according to domestic, farm, wild and exotic classifications. Draw or put up pictures of house animals such as cats, dogs and birds. Invite the children to bring in photos or drawings of their pets to display in the classroom. Use songs such as "Old McDonald" for farm animal themes, along with drawings and photos of chickens, cows and horses. Engage the children's attention with wild animal themes and stories, such as "The Three Bears." Exotic animals from across the globe, such as zebras, lions, tigers and elephants, help children learn about the world. Playing games, identifying animals and making animal noises, such as "mew," "moo" and "roar," make the lessons a memorable experience for the preschoolers.
Curriculum with a numbers theme gives children ways to explore measuring and counting. Give children measuring cups to measure sand. In the sandbox, include plastic buckets and containers, and help the children use the measuring cups to fill the plastic containers. Water is another way to teach children measuring. Using measuring spoons, the children can measure water into small plastic cups and containers. Use the measuring cups, spoons and containers for counting activities. Model counting during these exploratory lessons by noting the number of measuring spoons, cups and containers. Other items for counting include the children's toys. Children can group the stuffed animals and toys. As the grouping is in progress, describe with the child how many toy ducks are in the room. Very young preschool children listen to the teacher describe the number. As children develop, they can begin to count for themselves.
Letters and Words
Preschool children can take part in curriculum with alphabet and word themes. Use songs such as "ABC" for blending music and language arts. Offer children ways to participate in art projects related to the alphabet. Very young children can stack alphabet and picture blocks. Talk with the preschooler about the letter and animal on the block, such as an "H" and a "horse." Offer snack food in alphabet shapes. Older preschoolers can learn common sight words. Place images of furniture, such as "chair" or "table" with the words written underneath. Use complete sentences, such as "This is a chair." Also include multilingual experiences. Learning languages contributes to overall learning achievement. Under the image of a chair, write the word in English and other languages from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Native Americans.
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