Monday, October 18, 2010

Airplanes and Helicopters Preschool Lesson Plan

Colors, patterns, music, books, a craft, and games all focused on airplanes and helicopters make this preschool lesson plan one your home will remember!

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Begin by playing "Guess What I Am?" Give the kids clues to guess what you are--you are an Airplane. (for example, "Guess what I am...I can fly very high, I can carry people when I fly, etc.) Also, be a helicopter. Let the kids each "be" something. Then play "Airplane Freeze" -- the kids all fly around the room while you play music. When the music stops, they must freeze.

3. Song: If You're Flying On An Airplane. (tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

If you're flying on an airplane clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you're flying on an airplane clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you're flying on an airplane, then a lot of altitude you'll gain,

If you're flying on an airplane, clap your hands (clap, clap).

If you're flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp),

If you're flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp).

If you're flying on a helicopter, your propellers never falter.

If you're flying on a helicopter, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp)!

If you're flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump).

If you're flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump).

If you're flying on a rocket, do not hide in your pocket,

If you're flying on a rocket, jump real high (jump, jump)!

4. Story: Airplane by Caroline Bingham, The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Fred Stillwell, DK Big Book of Airplanes by Caroline Bingham, Budgie at Bendick's Point by Duchess of York.

Read Budgie and act the story out. If the kiddos have the attention span, read one or more of the airplane books as well.

5. Craft: Styrofoam Airplanes. Use styrofoam (from egg cartons, packing material, or cleaned meat trays) to make an airplane! DLTK has a pattern and step-by-step instructions.

6. Learning Activity. Helicopter, Helicopter. Tie one end of a jump rope down, stretch it out, and hold the other side. Have all the kiddos stand on one side of the rope. Shake the rope so it vibrates like a snake (or helicopter propellers).


Helicopter, helicopter over my head,

I choose a color and the color is (red).

All children wearing red must jump over the vibrating rope. Repeat with different colors. Let the kiddos take turns choosing the color.

7. Snack: Graham Cracker Airplanes. Give the kiddos a graham cracker to form the airplane and a triangular piece of cheese for the front propeller. Review the shapes and eat up!

8. Learning Activity. Airplane Light Patterns. Explain to the kiddos that airports have many lights that the airplanes follow to help them land. The lights are arranged in patterns. We are going to make some light patterns. Prepare construction paper circles (lights) in at least three different colors. Make several different patterns on a run-way with the kiddos--only use 2 colors in each pattern. Let them make patterns. Each time you complete a pattern runway, let them fly their styrofoam airplanes down them and safely land.

9. Freeplay outside.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

music (ex. CD and player)

Airplane by Caroline Bingham, The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Fred Stillwell, DK Big Book of Airplanes by Caroline Bingham, Budgie at Bendick's Point by Duchess of York.

styrofoam, scissors, pattern, paint/markers (DLTK has pattern)

jump rope

graham crackers and cheese

construction paper circles in at least 3 different colors

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boats Preschool Lesson Plan

This preschool lesson plan is all about boats.  It includes boat songs, a boat puzzle, a boat story, a boat snack, a boat craft, and more!

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Find a full-page size picture of a boat in a magazine and cut it into an 8-piece puzzle. Help the kiddos assemble the puzzle. Ask them what parts of a boat they see. Point out the anchor, steering wheel, and engine/sail/oars. Ask who has been on a boat before.

3. Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat, A Sailor Went To Sea

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a dream.

A Sailor Went to Sea
A sailor went to sea, sea, sea

To see what he could see, see, see

But all that he could see, see, see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea!

4. Story: The 100-pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling and Rebecca McKilip Thornburg.

5. Craft: Tupperware Boats. Use cleaned tupperware containers (like what butter or cold-cut meat comes in) to make boats. Each child tapes straws to opposite sides of the "boat" and then tapes a "sail" between the two straws. Make your sails from paper or cloth. If you use cloth, you may need to glue it. If you choose, you can paint on tupperware with acrylic paint (or you can paint the tupperware with acrylic white paint in advance and then let the kiddos use normal paint on top of the white). Fill a large container with water and let the kiddos take turns racing their boats or having them travel across the "river" with different cargo.

6. Learning Activity. Boat Match Memory. In advance, print two sets of six different kinds of boats on one page (a page will hold 12 pictures, laid out in three columns and four rows). You could use cruise ships, ferries, tug-boats, submarines, sailboats, and canoes. Cut the cards apart. Tell the kiddos that there are many different kinds of boats and see if they know or have ridden on any of the boats you have pictured. Play memory.

7. Snack: Banana Boats. Let the kiddos put a graham cracker "sail" into a banana "boat" and enjoy!

8. Learning Activity. Boat Float Sorting. Fill up a container with water and collect an item or two that float and an item or two that do not float. Prepare two labels: "Float" and "Sink." Boats float--demonstrate in water! Other things float too--demonstrate in water. Some things do not float; they sink. Demonstrate items that sink. Place labels on two separate tables (or in two separate containers) and help the children correctly sort the items you chose. Ask them what other items they think will float or sink. Let them find items, experiment, and sort them.

9. Freeplay outside. Begin with an imaginative adventure on a boat to a volcano island to collect magic flowers. After collecting the flowers, the volcano explodes and you need to ride the boat back home. Then freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

boat puzzle

The 100-pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling and Rebecca McKilip Thornburg

a tupperware container for each child



acrylic paint

paper or cloth flags

container for boat races

boat memory cards

bananas and graham crackers

"float" and "sink" signs

items that float and sink

tub to test items to see if they float or sink

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cars Preschool Lesson Plan

Here is a preschool lesson plan about cars.  It includes an original car song, games, math sorting skills, a car craft, and other activities centered around cars.

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Go outside and look at a car. Let the kiddos climb in, turn on lights, and ask questions. If possible, get a police officer to visit and show the kiddos his car.

3. Song: Traffic Lights (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Can you see the traffic lights, traffic lights, traffic lights,

Can you see the traffic lights and how the colors hop?

When the light is turning red, turning red, turning red,

When the light is turning red we know it's time to stop!

Yellow is a very short light, very short light, very short light,

Yellow is a very short light and means it's time to slow.

Green lights are the very best, very best, very best,

Green lights are the very best because it's time to go!

4. Story: Cool Cars by Tony Mitton. What are your favorite cars? Have you ever been in a police car?

5. Craft: Tire Tracks. Let the kiddos dip different toy cars in a tray with paint, and then "drive" the car on their page. Talk about tire prints. Let them see different prints from different cars. Point out size and shape differences and similarities.

6. Learning Activity. Red Light, Green Light. Use a red circle and a green circle cut from construction paper. If desired, glue the circles onto puppet sticks. Review how red means go and green means stop. Face the kiddos, hold the circles behind your back, and have the kiddos line up in a row at least 10 feet away from you. When you hold the green circle out, say "green," and let them come towards you. When you switch to red, say "red" and have them stop. Continue until they reach you. Repeat, but say "verde" and "rojo" for the colors. Let the children take turns being the stop light. If you like, you can change how they walk: they must elephant walk or hop or crawl.

7. Snack: Car tires. Serve muffins...or car tires!

8. Learning Activity. License Plate Sorting. Every car has a license plate on it. License plates have numbers, letters, a state, and sometimes pictures. Make 10-12 little license plates...these can all be printed on one sheet of paper. Let the kiddos find similarities and differences, then assign them to sort all the license plates with a "2" into one pile or all the plates with two letter "T"'s into another pile.

9. Freeplay outside. Begin by "driving" around the yard and "picking up" the kiddos and taking them to the circus. Imagine all the animals you see! When you're done, drive them all back home. Freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

your car

police car (optional)

Cool Cars by Tony Mitton

various toy cars that can be rolled in paint

paint on a tray

paper for kiddos

red and green circles cut from construction paper


little license plates for sorting

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trucks Preschool Lesson Plan

 Trucks! Trucks! Trucks!  What more could a preschooler ask for?  How about a truck craft with clay, a truck song, a truck graph, a truck snack, a truck story, and a truck race?  It's all about trucks!

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: There are many different kinds of trucks! Use a variety of books to show different types of trucks and talk about them. If you have toy trucks available, see if the kiddos can figure out what kind of trucks they have.

3. Song: My Big Truck (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

My big truck is coming fast, coming fast, coming fast,

My big truck is coming fast,

Oh, hear its horn! (beep! beep!)

Watch out for its big round wheels, big round wheels, big round wheels,

Watch out for its big round wheels,

Oh, hear its horn! (beep! beep!)

other verses: My big truck can carry cars.

My big truck can make cement.

My big truck can drag airplanes.

My big truck has a bed inside.

4. Story: My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis. What is the truck carrying? How did the hole get in the road? What are those groundhogs doing?

5. Craft: Tire Print Art. Give each child a small ball of air-drying clay (DLTK has a recipe if you want to make it at home. Alternatively, Model Magic by Crayola is a great commercial product for this activity.) and a small toy truck. Instruct the kiddos to flatten their clay and then carefully drive the truck in the clay so it makes tire prints. When they are happy with their prints they can paint them or color them with markers.

6. Learning Activity. Truck and Car Graphing. Instruct kiddos on street safety. Prepare a simple graph in advance. Put numbers along the y-axis and label two columns on the x-axis: cars and trucks. Introduce children to the graph and explain how it works to keep track of observations. Go outside and count all the cars and trucks you can see. As each car or truck is noted, have the children sort it as either a car or truck, then let one of the kiddos mark it on the graph. When you come back in, ask which you saw more of (cars or trucks). Alternatively, your graph could be of colors of vehicles.

7. Snack: Trucks! Use a large graham cracker, a square cracker, and 2 round crackers to make a semi-truck. Top with cream cheese or other toppings.

8. Learning Activity. Ramp Action! Set up ramps for the kiddos to race toy trucks down. Hypothesize--which trucks will go fastest? How can a ramp be arranged to make the truck go faster?

9. Freeplay outside. Begin by acting out My Truck is Stuck--use sticks for props! Then, freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

truck books

My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis

Model Magic or other air-drying clay

trucks to drive in clay

paints or markers for clay

car/truck graph

crackers and cream cheese


trucks to race on ramps

Friday, August 13, 2010

Trains Preschool Lesson Plan

This Trains preschool lesson plan is great for imaginative youngsters who love trains!  It introduces a variety of trains and their different "jobs," includes two crafts, a song, action, dramatic play, numbers, counting (in both English and Spanish), a snack, and exercises for both large and small muscles!

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Use a toy train to introduce the topic. Show the engine, cars, and caboose. Ask kiddos to guess the purpose of each part. Show them pictures of trains that carry different things (freight trains, passenger trains, etc.). A library book may be helpful. Make a group train where each child decorates a paper car and then assemble the train on a wall. (To prepare for this, you will need a blank coloring-book-style car for each child to color/decorate/fill, markers, a paper engine and caboose, and tape to put it on the wall.)

3. Song: Little Red Caboose. As you sing the song, line the kiddos up like cars on a train. Give the last person a red sweater...let them take turns being the caboose!
Little Red Caboose
Little red caboose, chug, chug, chug. (repeat)

Little red caboose behind the train, train, train.

Smokestack on my back, back, back, back,

Coming down the track, track, track, track,

Little red caboose behind the train! (clap, clap)

4. Story: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.  This classic story both introduces several different types of trains and teaches the value of believing in yourself.  Who helped the toy train? Why was it hard? What do you do that is hard? Chant, "I think I can, I think I can!"

5. Craft: Construction Paper Shape Trains. Make the following construction paper shapes available to each child: a large circle or square (for front of train), a large rectangle (for train body), a small rectangle (for smokestack), two medium circles (for wheels), and a long skinny rectangle (to connect the wheels). Let the kiddos assemble the train with glue sticks and color it with markers. Review the shapes as you assemble. Also compare the circles and rectangles using words like bigger and smaller.

6. Learning Activity. Numbers Train Ride. Arrange enough chairs for each child like the chairs on a train. Wear an apron and a hat--you are the conductor! On the back of each chair place a tall number. Give each child a "ticket" with pictures of trains on it. Welcome all your passengers and instruct them to find the seat that matches their ticket. If their ticket has two trains, they need to find the #2 seat. If their ticket has 6 trains, they need to find the #6 seat. Pretend to take a train ride to see an elephant. Collect the tickets. Look at the elephant, then play the game again to go home, giving each passenger a new ticket. Play the game again, letting the children take turns being the conductor and deciding where to go.

7. Snack: Train Crackers. Use crackers (one square or rectangle and one circle) to make a train. Spread peanut butter on them! Use banana slices (or more round crackers) for the wheels. Eat up!

8. Learning Activity. Train Tracks. Use a low profile ladder (or rope, or brooms, or sticks, or markers lined up, etc.) to make a train track. Set up a destination (an imaginary park, waterfall, party, etc.) at the end of the track. The kiddos are each a train and must travel along the track by walking over each rung. As they pass each rung, they must count it. For the return trip, count each rung in Spanish. If you repeat the game, have the kiddos jump over each rung (or walk backwards, or elephant-walk, etc.).

9. Freeplay outside. Begin with Hiding Train Cars. All the "cars" hide and the "conductor" finds them all. Take turns being the conductor.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

toy train

train pictures--perhaps a library book

red sweater or scarf

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

construction paper shapes (a large circle or square, a large rectangle, a small rectangle, two medium circles, and a long skinny rectangle for each child)

glue sticks




train tickets (with different numbers of trains on each ticket)

numbers for train seats (corresponding to train tickets)

crackers (round and square/rectangle), peanut butter, bananas

ladders or other props for train tracks

props for destination at end of train tracks

blank coloring-book-style paper car for each child

paper caboose and engine



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Insects and Bugs Theme Loaded

Yay!  I've finished loading the preschool lesson plans in the Insects and Bugs theme.  They are designed to be used in the following order:  Introduction to Insects and Bugs, Ants, Bees and Wasps, Butterflies, and Spiders; however, each lesson can also stand alone. 

Spiders Preschool Lesson Plan

This Spiders preschool lesson plan introduces Anansi stories and the Ashanti culture.  It allows preschoolers to practice counting and numbers, includes a story, writing, craft, snack, and even a little geography!

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group: Show several large pictures of spiders (a library book may help) and discuss observations.  Some spiders hunt for their food, some jump, some spin webs, and some dig trap holes!  Are spiders insects?  Why not?  Let kiddos tell stories about spiders they've seen.

3.  Song: The Spiders Go Crawling–follow the melody and format of The  Ants Go Marching.  For example, “The spiders go crawling one by one.   Hurrah, Hurrah!…”  Stand and act out the words.

4.  Story: Anansi does the  impossible! : an Ashanti tale retold by Verna Aardema.  Before reading the story tell the kiddos that the story is about a very smart spider named Anansi.  The story was first told by the Ashanti people.  The Ashanti people love to tell stories about Anansi the spider.  The Ashanti people live far away in Africa.  (Show how far with a globe.)  You would need to fly on an airplane all day to get to Africa.  Let's pretend to visit the Ashanti people for this story.

Move chairs, or use pillows  or anything else to represent an airplane, and fly to Africa.  Give everyone brightly colored fabric, scarves, or clothes because the Ashanti wear bright clothes that the men weave.

Once everyone is "dressed" and situated, read the story.  Ask the children what difficult things Anansi did.  What difficult things have the children done?  Act out the story.

5.  Craft: Anansi Spiders!  What color do you want your Anansi spider to be?  Help the kiddos glue two small styrofoam balls together to make a spider.  Spiders have eight legs. Thread four pieces of yarn through the body with a needle to form eight legs.  Children can color the spider with paint or markers.

No foam balls?  An alternative is to make the spider webs!  Give each child a black plastic plate (or piece of construction paper) with slits cut around the edge.  Let each child string a white piece of yarn through the slits in whatever pattern/arrangement they would like their spider web.  You can even glue little spiders on if you like!

6.  Learning Activity.  Anansi Stories! Explain that the Ashanti tell many stories where Anansi does something smart or hard.  Today we will write our own Anansi stories!  This will be the children's first prompted writing project, so they may need a lot of help.  Each child will need an empty "book."  (Preparing the book:  use a word processor to make a table with two columns and three rows that fills an 8 1/2" x 11" page.  In the top right hand square, print: "My Anansi Story."  Below that, print: "By ______.") Help each child cut out their book, layer the three rows on top of each other, fold them in half, and place two staples right next to the fold.

Begin writing by demonstrating the process.  Make up a short Anansi Story.  For example, One morning, Anansi wanted to play with his friend, Turtle.  Turtle needed to water his flowers, but it took a long time because the flowers were down the path from the pond.  Anansi wanted to help Turtle water faster.  Anansi had an idea!  Anansi and Turtle dug a path for the water to flow from the pond to the flowers.  Turtle was done watering his flowers and could play with Anansi now!  As you tell the story draw a simple picture on each page.  Then show how you can go back and write in the words.  Let the children take turns telling stories and drawing pictures.  You can write in the words for them one at a time.

7.  Snack:  Spider Toast.  Give each child a piece of toast with butter, 8 pretzels, and two raisins.  Let them make and eat their own Spider Toast!

8.  Learning Activity.  Spider Bowls. Prepare small spider cards by printing a sheet of paper with 20-30 spiders and cutting them out in small squares or rectangles.  Also print out number cards with numbers 1-10.  Place three bowls on the table with a number card by each bowl (ie. 1, 3, and 5).  Let the children work together to put the correct number of spiders in each bowl (ie. three spiders in the bowl with 3 by it).  When the correct number is reached, cover the bowl (with a lid or paper or book).  When all three bowls are filled correctly, empty them, change the numbers, and repeat the activity.

9.  Freeplay outside. Send your "little spiders" out for some sunshine!

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

spider pictures

chairs for "airplane"

bright colored cloth

Anansi does the  impossible! : an Ashanti tale retold by Verna Aardema

styrofoam balls



yarn needles

paint or markers

If doing the alternative craft, replace italicized supplies with black plastic plates (or construction paper), white yarn, and scissors.  Little spiders and glue are optional.


book pages for each child


crayons or colored pencils





little spider cards

number cards 1-10

3 bowls

Butterfly Preschool Lesson Plan

This butterfly preschool lesson plan teaches the metamorphosis caterpillars experience as they grow into butterflies.  It reviews colors, and includes a song, craft, and story.

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Bring children to school table full of books and pictures about butterflies. Ask them to figure out what the lesson is about. Ask them what they know about butterflies. Are they insects? How can you tell?

3. Song: The Butterflies Go Flying. Follow the melody and format of The Ants Go Marching. For example, “The butterflies go flying one by one. Hurrah, Hurrah!…” Stand and act out the words.

4. Story: Adios, Oscar!: A Butterfly Fable by Peter Elwell. What did Oscar want to do when he got older? How did he do it? What do you want to do when you get older? Act out the story.

5. Craft: Butterflies. Each child needs a piece of coffee filter paper. Let them paint lightly with water-soluble paint on the filter paper (drops or lines!). (Or let them draw using watercolor markers.) Gently mist the filter paper with water from a spray bottle. While it dries, children can use markers to decorate a popsicle stick like a butterfly body and head. Be sure to include antennae! (Alternatively, while it dries you could make pom-pom caterpillars.) When the filter paper is dry gather it across the middle to make butterfly wings and glue or tape it to the popsicle stick. (You could also twist it in a wooden clothespin or a pipe-cleaner, but be aware that they have sharp ends.) Voila! A beautiful butterfly!

6. Learning Activity. A Butterfly Garden. (You can purchase the kit from The kit comes with a certificate that you mail in to receive your caterpillars. Toys R Us also carries these kits. Take care of getting these supplies in advance!)

Guide the kiddos in telling the process of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. You can use Oscar or another book for pictures of the steps. Tell them that we get to watch real caterpillars grow into butterflies! Assemble the habitat as a group and discuss the food that the caterpillars will be eating. Ask the kiddos to guess how many days it will be a caterpillar and record the guesses on an observation page. (note: The entire process from caterpillar to butterfly usually takes about three weeks.) Prepare an observation page in advance. (The observation page should include a space at the top for guesses, a column to record the day {ie. Day 1}, and a column to record the stage the butterfly is in {ie. Each day that it is a caterpillar, draw a simple caterpillar. When it is a butterfly, draw a simple butterfly.} Make the Day 1 entry and tell the kiddos that each day they will be checking on the butterflies and feeding them right after Weather (after their naps).

7. Snack: Caterpillar Carrots and Crackers. Cut carrots into "pennies" and cook very briefly in the microwave to remove some crunchiness. Give each child several carrots, several round crackers, a large drop of ranch dressing, and a spoon to create their caterpillars. They can "draw" features with the dressing and spoon, then eat their caterpillars!

8. Learning Activity. Butterfly Camouflage. Tell the kiddos that butterfly colors often match the places they visit. This is called camouflage. It makes it hard for animals to see (and eat!) the butterflies. Camouflage. It is a lot like hiding. Today we are making camouflage butterflies. Give each child a cut out butterfly. (Prepare these in advance by cutting out coloring-book style butterflies for each child--you can print 4-9 on a sheet of copy paper.) Tell them to pick somewhere to hide their butterfly and color it to help it hide. Demonstrate by coloring and "hiding" a butterfly on a table, wall, or object. Give kiddos crayons or colored pencils and time to color. When they finish, let everyone "hide" their butterflies and then look for each child's butterfly.

9. Freeplay outside. Begin by playing Hide-n-Seek. Camouflage is like Hide-n-Seek. Let each child take a turn finding the hiding "butterflies," then freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

butterfly books

Adios, Oscar!: A Butterfly Fable by Peter Elwell

coffee filter paper

paint or watercolor markers

popsicle stick

glue or tape

water in a spray bottle


optional: pompoms

Butterfly Garden Kit

Caterpillar to Butterfly Observation Page



Ranch dressing


Butterfly cutouts

crayons, colored pencils, or markers

Bees and Wasps Preschool Lesson Plan

The Bees and Wasps preschool lesson plan uses bees to practice patterns and sorting.  It also includes a craft, song, snack, and story.

1. Freeplay

2. Circle/Whole Group: Show the kiddos a bee or wasp you have caught in a mason jar or other large glass jar. Discuss the body parts you can see and review why it is an insect. Ask if anyone has seen bees or wasps before and share stories. Explain how bees collect nectar from flowers to make honey. Answer any questions kiddos have about bees and wasps. Release the bee when done.

3. Song: The Bees Go Buzzing--follow the melody and format of The Ants Go Marching. For example, "The bees go buzzing one by one. Hurrah, Hurrah!..." Stand and act out the words.

4. Story: "Buzz, buzz, buzz," Went Bumblebee by Colin West. Discuss how to be a good friend. Act out story.

5. Craft: Bees on a Flower. Paint thumbprint bees around a shape flower. Kiddos can glue pre-cut shapes to form the flower. A flower may, for example, have a square center and triangle petals. Paint their thumbs yellow and let them make thumb prints around the flower for bee bodies. Heads can be made from a painted finger-tip. After the yellow dries, they can add bee stripes, antennae, and faces with black paint, markers, or pens.

6. Learning Activity. Patterns and Colors. Match the patterns on the bees to the patterns on the flowers. Use the Beautiful Bees patterns at

7. Snack: Smiling Bee Faces! Place small squares of cheddar cheese on whole-grain crackers to make a bee head. Draw a thin smile with cake-decorating icing. Let children add raisins for eyes.

8. Learning Activity. Sorting Honey Pots. Remind kiddos that bees make honey. Give each child a honey pot card. (Prepare cards in advance by drawing or printing honey pots on cardstock. Each pot should be either tall or short AND either red or yellow. Prepare a small variety. Also prepare 4 signs that read "tall," "short," "red," and "yellow." Each sign should be illustrated.) Place tall and shot signs in different sides of the room and have kiddos move to the sign that matches their card. Switch cards and repeat 2-3 times. Change signs and have kiddos match their card's color to the sign. Switch cards and repeat 2-3 times.

9. Freeplay outside. Begin with Follow The Bee. Explain how bees sometimes show or tell other bees where to find flowers. Pretend everyone is a bee and play Follow The Bee (just like Follow The Leader). Give everyone a turn. End with freeplay.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

caught bee or wasp

"Buzz, buzz, buzz," Went Bumblebee by Colin West

shapes for flower

glue sticks

yellow paint

paint brushes

black markers or pens


bees and flowers with matching striped patterns

whole grain crackers

cheddar cheese

cake-decorating icing


honeypot cards (red or yellow AND short or tall)

illustrated signs: "tall," "short," "red," "yellow"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ants Preschool Lesson Plan

This lesson preschool lesson plan about ants reviews parts of an insect and includes shape practice, a song, a story that teaches about friendship, using a chart, large and small muscle activities, a craft, and a snack.

1. Freeplay

2. Whole Group: Go outside and find ants. Scoop some ants and a little dirt into a glass container for observation. If you have a large group, scoop a few ants into several glass containers (like jam or baby food jars). Bring the ants inside. Discuss characteristics. Remind kids how insects have three body parts, and try to find them on the ants you brought inside. Encourage kids to ask questions about the ants. You can answer them or you can direct kids to find the answers. Release ants when done.

3. Song: The Ants Go Marching--stand and act out words (words can be adjusted and rhyme can continue to ten)

The ants go marching one by one. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)

The ants go marching one by one; the little one stops to roll in the sun. And they all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.

The ants go marching two by two. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)

The ants go marching two by two; the little one stops to tie his shoe. And they all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.

The ants go marching three by three. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)

The ants go marching three by three; the little one stops to clean his knee. And the all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.

4. Story: The Ant and the Elephant. Discuss how elephant helped and how the ant returned the favor. Ask what the other animals should have done. Apply to kids' lives. Act out story.

5. Craft: Egg Carton Ants. Use egg-carton bumps as the three body parts on an ant. Decorate with markers, paint, or other embellishments.

6. Shape Matching with Ants. Draw or print ant pictures on shapes cut out of cardstock. Use two circles, two squares, two rectangles, two triangles, two ovals, two hearts, and two stars (some can be eliminated if needed). Pass a shape out to each child and have them find the person with the matching shape. Review shapes and repeat as long as kids are interested.

7. Snack: Ant Sandwiches. Use cookie cutters to cut circles out of bread or toast. Spread with peanut butter. Let children decorate with raisins and black licorice.

8. What do ants like to eat? Have children agree on 2-3 baits for ants. Put them out on the sidewalk and check the status regularly. Create an observation sheet to record how successful the baits were.

9. Freeplay outside.

10. Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

jars for collecting ants

The Ant and the Elephant

egg cartons


markers and other embellishments

ants on shapes

round cookie cutter, raisins, peanut butter, black licorice

Observation Chart for ant foods

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Afternoon Preschool Schedule

My afternoon preschool schedule consists of repeating lesson plans:  all Mondays have similar lesson plans, all Tuesdays have similar lesson plans, and so on.

Afternoon schedule:

1. Lunch

2. Naps

3. Weather Week and Poster. As a group, children identify the weather for the day. One child gets to place the correct weather piece on the Weather Poster. All children mark the weather on their individual weekly weather charts. On Friday, weekly weather will be analyzed and summarized on a visual graph.

4. Daily Activities: Monday is Play Doe day; Tuesday is Cooking day; Wednesday is Parachute Day; Thursday is Dress Up Day; Friday is Splash Day.

5. Snack

6. Active Alphabet and letter tracing/writing. The Active Alphabet is a great program from Australia that combines gross motor skills and activities with learning the alphabet. Each letter represents an animal and an action that can be used together for fun and learning. After the activities, we will practice using a pencil and (for children who are ready) writing letters.

7. Free play with toys--may use large foam letters.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Preschool Lesson Plan Template

Here is a basic template for my preschool lesson plans.  These lessons are meant to fill the morning.  In the afternoon I have other activities and lessons, including weather, recurring activities, and alphabet lessons.  As I use the template to plan my preschool lessons, it helps to see a whole week's worth of lessons (or a whole unit) at once.  That lets me make sure I have lessons in English, Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies each week.

Preschool Lesson Plan Template

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group:

3.  Song:

4.  Story:

5.  Craft:

6.  Learning Activity.

7.  Snack:

8.  Learning Activity.

9.  Freeplay outside. This time may begin with an outside group activity.

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:

Insects and Bugs--Introduction--Preschool Lesson Plan

This lesson plan introduces preschoolers to insects and other bugs, reviews colors, includes sorting and grouping, an insect craft, music, a story, and exercise for both large and small muscle groups. 

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group:  A Bug Field-trip. Take the kiddos outside and find bugs.  As they find bugs, draw a picture or brief sketch of each bug type on a sketchbook page.  When you are finished bring the page full of drawings inside and talk about them.  Do you know what any are called–if so, label them.  What do they have in common?  What is similar?  What is different?

Use a second sketchbook page to make a small Insect Poster.  Diagram an insect as you discuss the identifying characteristics of insects–be sure to discuss three body parts, antennae, and wings.  Did you know that insects have compound eyes and see dozens, hundreds, or even more copies of everything?!  Cut up the first sketch page so each bug is separate from the others.  Distribute the bugs to the kiddos and ask them which are insects and which are not.  Make two piles–insects and other bugs.  The insects could be placed on the Insect Poster.

3.  Song:  Insect Hokey Pokey. Set up a Hokey Pokey circle and “Do the Hokey Pokey!”  Take turns making an insect by having kids group together in groups of three to form an insect (3 body parts, 6 legs…the front child can make two antennae with their arms!) and have the “insect” do the Hokey Pokey!

Hokey Pokey
You put your right arm in, you put your right arm out.
You put your right arm in, and you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
(Repeat using left arm, right leg, left leg, head, and whole self instead of right arm.)

4.  Story: Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries.  Have you ever seen a dragonfly?  How are dragonflies like you?  How are they different?  What other animals are like a dragonfly?  Why?

5.  Craft:   Make A Bug.  Give each child a paper plate and access to craft supplies like popsicle sticks, googly eyes, pom-poms, yarn scraps, cloth scraps, paper scraps, markers, tape, and glue.  Encourage them to create their own bug.  Make up a name for it.  Where does it live?  What does it eat?

6.  Learning Activity.  Insects and Bugs. Create a board game by gluing pictures of insects and bugs (for example, lady bug, grasshopper, mosquito, cicada, fly, butterfly, ant, wasp, bee, spider, worm, potato bug, snail, slug, etc.) to a manilla folder and drawing a path connecting the pictures.  Put at least one blank square between each bug.  Have the path end at a log where bugs live.   My path travels along a river, crosses a bridge, and has a slide for the bugs to go down. Show the children the game and let them choose their markers (each child will need a different colored paper to represent themselves…alternatively, you could purchase cheap plastic bugs and let each child choose a bug!). Let the children take turns rolling a dice to see who can roll the highest number and start.  For each turn, the child rolls the dice and moves forward the appropriate number of squares.  If the child lands on a picture, he/she needs to decide if it is an insect or not.  If they answer correctly, they can move forward one more square.  The game ends when all children arrive “in the log.”

7.  Snack:  Bugs on a Boat.  Put peanut butter on a celery stick to make a boat.  Let the kiddos place raisins (bugs) on their own boats and eat them!

8.  Learning Activity.  Bug Obstacle Course.  Place different colors of paper (food) at one end of the room.  Set up an obstacle course where the children have to climb over things like chairs, under tunnels (you can use nap mats), and jump over things like a broomstick.  At the other end of the room place whole sheets of paper that match the colors of food.  Tell the kiddos that they are bugs gathering food for the winter.  To safely save the food, each child needs to pick up a piece of food, identify the color, travel the obstacle course, and put the food on the corresponding paper (in their home).  Watch out for birds that want to eat you or steal your food!  (Use a bird puppet to chase the kids occasionally!)

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin by chanting/singing, “Who Eats Bugs?” and acting out each verse.

Who Eats Bugs

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the bird!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the lizard!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the fish!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the spider!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the bear!
Do you eat bugs?  Do you eat bugs?

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:
 2 sketchbook pages (perhaps a clipboard) and a pencil
Hokey Pokey Circle
Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries
paper plate for each child
glue and tape
googly eyes
other craft supplies for bugs
Insects and Bugs game board, individual markers, and a die
peanut butter
obstacle course objects (chairs, mats, brooms, etc)
colored paper–matching torn pieces and whole pieces

Next Theme: Oceans

I have completed lesson plans for a Transportation unit and a Bugs and Insects unit.  I am in the process of posting those and will soon begin an Oceans unit.  All lesson plans are designed for a homeschool preschool, since I am homeschooling my preschool-aged daughter and a few friends this year.