With Our Families - Children will trace around their hands on paper and cut out the shapes. They will dictate ways that they help out at home, such as putting away their toys or raking leaves, for you to write down on their paper hands. Let the children decorate their shapes with crayons or markers. Then use their finished creations to make a Helping Hands display on a wall or a bulletin board.
Read Alouds:The Family Book by Todd Parr; Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff; My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
How Many Members? - Students will draw pictures of their families. Count with each child the number of people in his or her family and write the corresponding numeral on the child's paper. Display the pictures on a wall and discuss them with the class. Help the children to understand that families come in all sizes. Extension: Graph the number of family members each family has.
Family Cooking - Discuss how family members sometimes work together to make a meal. Then plan to make a cooperative dish with your group to serve at snacktime, such as vegetable soup (let each child contribute a veggie) or cookies (have everyone take part in cutting out cookie shapes and helping with the decorating).
Bath Time Sink or Float Experiment - Students will experiment with a variety of objects to determine if they sink or if they float. Results will be record via tally marks and graphed.
Family collage - Cut out magazine and catalog pictures of people of all ages and cultures. Also include pictures of pets. Set out the pictures and invite your children to choose those that resemble their own family members. Then let them glue the pictures onto large pieces of construction paper that have been cut into house shapes.
Include props that encourage family play including babies and accessories; clothing for both female and male role playing
With Our Families song Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb" What does Michael like to do, Like to do, like to do? What does Michael like to do With his family? (Michael responds.) Michael likes to go on rides, Go on rides, go on rides. Michael likes to go on rides With his family. Sing the song for each of your children, substituting the child's name for "Michael" and what the child likes to do for "go on rides
Police Officer puppets: Provide each student a jumbo craft stick for a puppet base. Demonstrate how to draw a face near the top of the stick. Cut a police officer hat shape from dark blue felt for each child and provide matching blue felt strips, about ¾ by 4½ inches. Show how to glue a hat shape above the puppet face and a felt strip below the face for a uniform. For badges, give the children circles punched out of heavy-duty foil to glue onto the police officer hat and uniform “jacket.” Encourage the children to use their puppets when telling stories and singing songs.
I’M A POLICE OFFICER Tune: “I’m a Little Teapot” I’m a police officer Dressed in blue. If you have a problem, I’ll help you. Call me on the phone At 9-1-1, And I’ll be coming On the run!
Read Alouds: Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten Hamilton I Want to be a Police Officer by Donna Baker Keeping You Safe:A Book about Police Officers by Ann Owen
Officer Help Me! Have students sit in a circle. Then try one or both of the variations below of this popular game. Choose one child to be the Police Officer. Pretend to be a Parent and ask the Officer to find your lost child. Silently choose another player to be your lost child and describe the player in detail. Have the Officer use the description to “find” your child. Then let the child become the new Police Officer. For a more challenging game, have one of your children be the Parent and describe his or her missing child for the Officer.
Police Officer visit - Arrange for the school resource officer or local police officer to visit the class as a guest speaker
Observe and Collect Fingerprints: Method One: Rub a pencil point several times on paper. Rub the child's finger in the graphite and stick a piece of transparent tape over it. Then stick the tape onto paper. After doing several of one child's fingers, observe that each print is the same. But everyone's prints are different. Method Two: Have child touch a metal box. Pour a line of powder at the edge of the box and "blow" gently. With a soft brush, very lightly brush over the box. Fingerprints will appear. Allow children to use magnifying glasses to observe their fingerprints.
Traffic Signs: Using appropriate colors of posterboard, make a set of familiar traffic signs: a stop sign, a yield sign, a one-way sign, and so forth. From white posterboard, cut out an identical shape for each sign. Then invite the children to identify each sign and find its matching white shape.
Traffic Lights: Talk with children about traffic lights and what the colors red, yellow, and green mean. For a fun art activity, let them paint rectangular box lids black. When the paint has dried, give them each a red, a yellow, and a green circle to glue in the proper order inside their lids. Display the finished Traffic Lights in your room.
Blue Art - Display pictures of police officers in their blue uniforms. Then invite your children to try one or more of the following activities. Blue Collages: Glue scraps of blue paper, such as construction paper, tissue paper, and crepe paper, onto pieces of blue posterboard. Also include blue pictures torn from magazines Blue Painting: Experiment with various shades of blue paint at the easel. Blue Fingerpainting: Use fingers and hands to make designs on paper with blue fingerpaint.
T” IS FOR TOOTH (Alphabet Letters) Arrange objects whose names begin with “T”, such as a table, a triangle, a truck, and a trike, around the room where your children can easily find them. Also include pictures of things whose names begin with “T”, such as a train, a tiger, a tree, and a turtle. On sticky notes, draw the outline of a tooth with an uppercase and a lowercase “T” printed inside it. Then give the sticky notes to the children. Have them search for “T” items around the room, attach the sticky notes to the items, and then name the items they have found.
Read Alouds: Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer ; Dr. DeSoto by William Steig; All About Teeth by Latsa Company
I LOVE TO BRUSH MY TEETH (Music/Movement) Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell” I love to brush my teeth, I love to brush my teeth. Up, down, and all around, I love to brush my teeth. I love to floss my teeth, I love to floss my teeth. In, out, and all about, I love to floss my teeth. Liz Ryerson Have your children pretend to brush and floss their teeth as you sing the song.
SMILEY TOOTH, FROWNY TOOTH - Cut tooth shapes out of white paper. On half of the shapes, glue a small picture of a food item that promotes good dental health, such as a fruit, a veggie, a glass of milk, and a slice of cheese. On the other half of the shapes, glue sugary food items that can cause cavities, such as a piece of cake, a cookie, a bottle of cola, and a candy bar. Divide a large piece of posterboard in half vertically to form two columns. Draw a smiling tooth at the top of one column and a frowning tooth at the top of the other one. Discuss the pictures on the tooth shapes and how they can affect dental health. Then mix up the shapes and let your children place them in the appropriate columns on the posterboard.
Guest Speaker or Field trip - Arrange for a field trip to a local dentist office or arrange for a dentist or dental hygenist to visit the classroom as a guest speaker
DENTAL HEALTH GAME (Science/Memory) On a tray, place items that promote good dental health, such as a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a container of dental floss, a small bottle of water, and a hand mirror. Also include a fresh fruit and a fresh vegetable, such as an apple and a carrot. Sit with your children around the tray and talk about how each item helps to keep teeth healthy. Then ask the children to close their eyes while you remove one of the items. When they open their eyes, have them try to guess which item is missing. Continue the game, each time rearranging the items on the tray and removing a different one.
Toothbrush Art - Tempera “Toothpaste”: Give your children large tooth shapes cut from white posterboard. Make “mint toothpaste” by mixing white tempera paint with green tempera. Let your children use old toothbrushes to brush their tooth shapes with the green paint “toothpaste.”
Environmental Print - Have students bring in labels from their favorite foods and create an environmental print word wall
Read alouds: Supermarket! by Charlotte Doyle; Grocery Store Field Trip! by Angela Leeper; Max Goes to the Grocery Store by Adria Klein
Grocery Store sizes - GROCERY STORE SIZES Set out small and large clean, empty containers of such items as canned veggies, boxed cereals, milk cartons, and yogurt tubs. (Make sure any sharp edges around the can rims are removed.) Talk about the sizes of the items. Then mix up the items and ask your children to find the small-size yogurt, the large-size can of corn, and so forth. Encourage them to divide the items into two groups: small sizes and large sizes.
GROCERY COUPON FUN Use grocery store advertising circulars or other sources to find coupons for the following activities. Coupon Match: Select five or more matching pairs of coupons. Mix them up and place them in a pile. Invite your children to search through the coupons and find the match-ups. Coupon & Product Match: Set out several coupons for different canned products along with the actual canned items. Let the children match the coupons to the canned goods.
Field Trip - Plan a trip to a local grocery store or Farmer's Market
Digestion Simulation: Materials needed: 1/2 banana, 1 graham cracker, 1 small dixie cup of water, plastic ziplock bag (1 qt.), scissors, pantyhose stocking, paper towels. This is a simulation of the digestive system. Talk about what happens to our food after we eat it. Break up graham cracker into the bag (simulates chewing), place 1/2 banana into bag, place water into bag (simulates saliva), seal bag with not much air inside (or that will simulate gas), smash up food and water with your hands (simulating the churning of the stomach). Do that for about 5 minutes. Then, cut small hole in the corner of the bag so food can run out into the stocking. Squeeze the food from the bag into the stocking (over newspaper). Squeeze the food through the stocking (representing the small intestines and the water coming out of the stocking represents the nutrients going to the rest of the body. Then, squeeze the food (waste) into the cup (representing the large intestine). Poke a hole in the cup and push food thru to represent the excess, unused food exiting the body.
GROCERY COLLAGES Collect grocery store advertising circulars and grocery ads from newspapers. Invite your children to cut or tear food pictures out of the ads. Then have them brush glue on pieces of construction paper and arrange the pictures on top of the glue to create collages. Use the collages to make a wall display, if you wish.
Props to include: pretend food, reuseable grocery bags, coupons, list paper and writing utensils, pretend cash registers and money; purses, wallets, food ads from Wed and Sunday papers
OUR OWN STORYBOOKS Give each of your children a blank book made by stapling pieces of white paper together between two colored construction paper covers. Let the children use crayons or markers to draw pictures on their book pages any way they wish. When they have finished, write their names on their book covers and any text they dictate to you at the bottom of their book pages. Then invite them to put their books in your library corner, if they wish.
LIBRARY BOOK FUN Try one or both of the ideas below. Draw a large tree on posterboard at your children’s level. Print the titles of library books that you read to your group on cutout leaf shapes and let the children tape them to the tree branches. Review the titles when the tree is full of leaves. Which are favorites? Have the children answer riddles about familiar library books. For instance: “I’m thinking of a book about an animal that is wearing something funny on its head. What book is it?” (“The Cat in the Hat”)
CONCEPT BOOKS Here are more book ideas for your room library. Make blank books for your children as described in the activity Our Own Storybooks, above. Then try one or all three of the ideas below. When the children have finished, title the cover of each book (“My Color Book,” “My Shape Book,” or “My Number Book”) and add the child’s name. Color Books: In each child’s book, use matching colored markers to write a color word (Red, Yellow, Blue, and so forth) at the top of each page. Then let the children cut or tear matching colored pictures out of magazines and glue them onto the appropriate book pages. Shape Books: Label the pages of each child’s book with a small shape (a circle, a square, a triangle, and so on). Cut various sizes of each shape out of colored construction paper. Have the children choose a shape page and then glue the appropriate shape cutouts onto it. Number Books: Number each child’s book pages from 1 to 5 (or higher). Set out washable inkpads and a variety of rubber stamps. Have the children name the numerals on their book pages and then stamp on matching numbers of prints (one apple print, two leaf prints, three bird prints, and so forth
BOOK GAMES (Sizes/Counting/Sorting) In your library corner, let your children take turns playing the games that follow. On a bookshelf, arrange books from tallest to shortest or shortest to tallest. Count the number of books that have been placed on a bookshelf. Sort picture books about animals and picture books about transportation into two piles and arrange them on two bookshelves. (Or provide two other categories of books for this activity.)
LIBRARY VISIT (Social Studies/Prereading) Arrange a time with the children’s librarian at your local library to bring in your group for a special storytime session. Explain that you are working on a unit about what a librarian does, and ask the librarian to include in the session a few details about the job. Before visiting the library with your group, help the children make a list of questions they would like to ask the librarian about his or her work. When the storytime session is over, let the children choose several books to check out on your library card and take back to your room
I WISH I WERE A LIBRARIAN (Music) Tune: “The Mulberry Bush” I wish I were a librarian, Librarian, librarian. I wish I were a librarian And worked in the library. I’d help kids find their library books, Library books, library books. I’d help kids find their library books To read with their family. Heather McPhail
LIBRARY PLAY CENTER Set up a Library Play Center in your room. Include such things as a desk for the librarian, comfy floor pillows, a bookcase filled with books, a magazine rack for periodicals, and a basket for holding unshelved books. Then let your children take turns being the librarian and doing tasks such as those below. “Reading” books aloud to small groups Helping find books that readers want Giving out precut library cards and checking out books Reshelving any books left in the basket or on the floor