Apple Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

AppleCraftsWe were able to fill our bulletin board, windows and even send a project home during our Apple theme week in PreK.  My Apple Theme Lesson Plan for PreK included three arts and crafts projects.  One project was switched after an attempt at an idea seen online just was not working well.

AppleMarbles

We started out with marble painting.  I used bits of painter’s tape to attach the outline of an apple to the bin.  Students chose an apple color (or two) and I squeezed some paint near the apple outline.   I then added four or five marbles and students moved the container around to make the marbles move through the paint and all over the apple.  Yes, we did have a few marbles escape.

Another craft we did were sun catchers, inspired by these.  Students chose the color apple they wanted and were allowed to choose from green, yellow, and red tissue paper squares.

Finally, we made some apple cores with paper plates, paint, and black beans.  I had planned to try creating three dimensional apples from parts of egg cartons, but I either did not have enough tape or the example I saw online was made from a very different brand of egg cartons.

Craft supplies you will need for these projects (affiliate links):

AppleFineMotorBesides crafting, students also did some fine motor practice with q-tip painting and cutting practice with apple themes.  The q-tip pages can be found from 1+1+1=1.  I provided apple colors to do this painting.  The cutting practice is found at This Reading Mama.  We saved the cut pieces that students did not want to take home to use during our Scrap Bin Friday when we put out the scrap bin and various supplies for students to create whatever they want.

AppleMagnetsandGameI pulled out the magnetic Apple Orchard set for the easel again this year.  This set is meant to be used with play dough, but I repurposed it for my easel.

Students all played Hi Ho Cherry O, pretending that the cherries were apples.  This was a center that my assistant pulled students in pairs to play on Monday and then it was available for students to play on their own the rest of the week.  This is an older version.  The newer version has apples, cherries, blueberries, or oranges for the trees. You can see that version below.

LiteracyAndNamePracticeNot everything in our room was apple related this week.  Our letter focus was the letter C, so we had various activities during circle time as well as a couple dot marker pages and building words that start with C on one side of the easel.

We also did some name writing practice in the writing center.  Students traced, stamped, and wrote their names.  We do this activity periodically throughout the year to assess growth.

AppleSTEMandSensory

The science table for Apple theme in PreK involved some easy materials to gather.  Students took the materials to create apple trees.  The goal was to put as many apples on the tree as possible.  I found inspiration for this center on this blog.

For the sensory bin for our Apple theme in PreK my director got me several bags of split peas.  I added a couple cinnamon sticks, some apples, magnets, and some apples created from pipe cleaners.  During the week I suggested that the students rub the sticks together and then smell them so they could figure out what they were.

AppleOrchardDramaticPlay

This year’s Apple Orchard was fairly simple to set up since I had created the tree tops last year and had put them in storage.  The tree tops are painted cardboard with velcro spots on them.  The apples are ball pit balls with the other side of the velcro on them.  I recommend the soft side of the velcro on the balls so they don’t stick to other things.  The tree tops stick to a long strip of velcro that I placed on the bottom edge of my bulletin board.

The Apple Orchard cards can be found in my shop.  For students who start thinking of the apples as balls, the cards a great way to re-direct students to the intent of the pretend play as well as get in some color recognition and counting skills.  Students enjoyed filling my apple order when I gave them a card.

During our circle and story times we read several apple and fall related books.  Below you can see some affiliated links to get more information about them.

Click the link below to access my complete lesson plan for this apple week:

Apples Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

Pet Theme Lesson Plan in PreK

PetThemeCenters

Since pets are often part of our family we went from our family theme to a pet theme in our PreK classroom.

Many of our centers activities can be found in my Pet Bundle.  You can see the count and clip, roll and graph, and the measurement activities above.  I used small clothespins for the count and clip, choosing to use the cards that have fingers to count.  For the roll and graph I used the pet counters with a laminated graph, but you could also use dot markers, stickers, or coloring to complete individual graphs.  I pulled out snap cubes for the measuring.  Be sure to print these pages actual size so that the cubes will be sure to match up in size.

My assistant played the roll and graph game with pairs at the beginning of the week so that everyone knew how to use this center, especially since we will have various roll and graph games throughout the year.

You can find affiliate links for the products I used to complete these centers below:

PetThemeCenters2

I was also fortunate to have some great center ideas that I have found from other sites for my easel, science center, and fine motor center.

Sparklebox has a matching game to match pets to their homes that I used on a table top pocket chart.  I find that my students are much more likely to play matching games like this if they are on a pocket chart instead of just flat in a pile.

The play dough mats are also from Sparklebox.  Most days we put out at least two spots for play dough work.

For the easel I put up clear sticky paper over the pattern block sheets.  I used foam pattern blocks for the students to create their pets.  Students have less frustration over moving pieces while trying to put together their pets than if they try this on the table top without the sticky paper.  I found some pet themed pattern blocks here, here, and here.

Below are some more affiliate links to help you find supplies for your centers:

PetWritingCenter

I used the Pet word wall printed two pages to a page to make smaller word cards for my writing center.  This is also included in my Pet Bundle.  I have just added the Pet themed writing paper to this product after testing it out in my classroom.  I printed the paper on various colored paper, which adds interest for students.  We somehow managed to misplace the cat word card, so off to figure out what happened to it before I put all of the pet items away and forget about it.

CreationCenters

We also continued to work on our Creation Bible lessons this week with a sensory bin, Creation puzzle and completing our personal Creation books to take home.

For the Creation puzzle I did not cut the puzzle into twenty pieces; instead I made it into eight pieces and provided the gray scale puzzle to glue the pieces onto.  One of my students completed this center three times during the week.

For the sensory bin I added things that went with each day of creation a day at a time.  Putting the bin away at the end of the week involved remembering where everything gets put away and lots of dividing up the day and night beans.

Day one of our Creation book

Day three of our Creation book

Day six of our Creation book

For the rest of our week, please check out my Pets theme lesson plan for PreK.  It has links to all of the supplies I used during the week.  Make sure you have the most up to date Adobe Reader and CTRL-click to follow links:

Pet Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

Some of the books we used this week (affiliate links):

 

 

Family Theme and Letter P in Prek

HouseinBlockArea

Family theme week in PreK seemed like a great week to get out the play house I purchased at Lidl, along with the furniture and people.  This was out in the block area all week long with a variety of students playing with it.

During our family theme we also found time to work on our letter focus of letter P as well as our Bible lesson of Creation.  You will see how we managed this with both my lesson plan that I will include at the end of the post, along with some photos of my centers and sharing our crafts, books, poems, and songs.

FamilyLiteracyFIneMotor

Our math and fine motor center also had some literacy activities on it this week.  We used the jumbo cubes again this week to review the letter sounds we have been working on as well as adding this week’s letter.  I cut out and laminated the letters and pictures and then taped them to the cubes with clear packing tape.  For this time I made the game self checking with the same color being for the same letter.  Later in the year I may switch it up and mix up the colors.  You can find this alphabet letter sound activity to use with jumbo cubes in my TPT shop.

We also used the family counters along with some houses to play a math game with my assistant on Monday and then made it available to play as an independent center for the rest of the week.  Students picked a house, rolled the die, and put that many matching color family members in the correct house.  I just printed a gray scale house clip art that I liked on colored paper to match the colors of the family counters.

Below are affiliate links to items needed to set up these centers:

PizzaFeltBoard

To go along with letter P, we had a pizza felt board.  The students made some awesome and creative pizzas.  We also read Pete’s a Pizza (which I will link to below with the other books) and sang the Silly Pizza song during circle time.

LetterStampingPlaydoughFaces

This is the first time we have gotten out the letter stamps, so I spent some time showing students how to find the letter they needed by singing the alphabet song while pointing to each letter.  Some students also needed to be shown how to put the letter stamp into the ink to use it.  As teachers we sometimes forget that this may be the first time students are using these tools.  Some students also avoid new centers because they have not used the tools before, so we try to make sure there is time in each day to invite a few children to new centers to show them how they work.

The Alphabet Stamping pages can be found in my TPT shop.  They are also part of my alphabet bundle.

We used play dough mats from Sparklebox this week to build faces.  I like that this set has a wide variety of faces to choose from.  I put different ones out each day, with the entire set available to switch choices if students want to do so.

CreationActivities

Our Bible focus this week was God Created Our World from Cross Connections for Early Learners.  We also had our sensory bin be a creation bin that will continue into next week.  I added black and white beans for the first day for Day and Night.  On the second day I added some blue streamers and cotton balls.  For the third day I added some plants and ground.  For the fourth day I added some stars.  Next week we will add things God created on the fifth and sixth days.

Our main craft for the week was working on a Creation Book that each child will take home at the end of next week.  I found the words on this blog.  Next week I will share all the pages of the finished books with you.

GroomerPretendPlay

Since pets are part of our family and we will be studying pets the next week, I decided to make our dramatic play area a Groomer.  Sometimes I do a combined Vet and Groomer or Groomer and Pet Store, but I decided to go simple this time since it is still the first month of school and it will make for easier clean up for my students.  I do not want to overwhelm them with too many pieces and parts and then get frustrated when they have messes that are too overwhelming for them to handle cleaning up.

The printables for the Groomer come from Pocket of Preschool’s Vet Clinic set.  If I were going to keep the center for more than two weeks, I would definitely keep adding to it each week for interest.  I may add in some pretend cages and a feeding area next week.

We used many books this week that related to families as well as the letter P.  With a new student being added this week we also read our class books both before and after adding our new student’s pages to help the student learn classmates names as well as classmates learning the new name.

Below are affiliate links to the books we used:

We also learned another song from Signing Time! called “Mom has a Mom.”

For more information about my lesson plans for Family week, please download my complete lesson plan below.  Be sure that you have the most recent Adobe Acrobat Reader installed and use CTRL-click to follow links to where all activities and books can be found:

Family Theme in PreK

You can also find the editable lesson plan form in my TPT shop.

Lesson Plan Form for PreK and Preschool

 

About Me Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

ClassBooksFirstPostPhoto

For our About Me week in PreK lesson plans I started out over planning the number of books we would read.  I forgot to think about the amount of time it would take to share our About Me bags and to read our two class books.  My lesson plans at the end of this post are updated to mostly cover only what we actually had time for in class this week.

I found the template pages for the School Shoes book from rubber boots and elf shoes.  We created our school shoes last week for our bulletin board and I took the students’ shoe photos for the lift a flap book as well.  I waited to share it until this week, partly due to the time to get it put together and partly to get a student back to school who had been out for a few days.

We read both the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom class book and the School Shoes book at circle time and then put them in the library for students to read again and again.

CuttingPracticeCenter

To assess the cutting skills of my students at the beginning of the year, my assistant had each student try out this cutting center.  Students chose scissors and the cutting strip they preferred.  Strips were either letter F related or About Me related.   After cutting they could choose to paste the pieces onto a construction paper strip to take home or just put their cutting into the bin provided.  Students also counted how many strips they had cut.

PotatoHeadSpinandBuild

A popular center this week was the Mr. Potato Head spin and build activity.  This is great fine motor practice and when students are remembering to use the spinner they practice taking turns and following directions.  We also talked this week about having each of these body parts ourselves.

EaselActivities

Our Potato Head felt activity on the easel was nearly always busy this week.  Students created some very interesting creatures with the pieces, including what looked like a rabbit with very large ears (made from the two hat choices.)

On the other side of the easel I put out the family magnets.  I think the photo above was the least amount of magnets ever on the board.  Students generally covered the entire board.  Towards the end of the week a few started to sort the pieces, so these may get some more time next week for further exploration.  The family magnets came from this set on TPT; I think the store offered them at one point to try out before purchasing the whole set.

DotMarkerLetterTiles

PreK students tend to love dot markers.  In PreK we start to learn to dot with a purpose instead of just dotting every spot.  The dot marker sheet above required my students to only dot the letter F as well as anything that starts with the F sound.  Since this is the first time we did this type of dot marker activity I put out picture cards that matched the pictures that they should dot.  You can find the Alphabet Letter and Sound Search dot marker set in my TPT shop.

Before I created some letter tile sets of my own, I discovered a set of body part words to use during the About Me theme.  I keep my letter tiles in a container I purchased at a craft store that I think is meant to be used for jewelry findings.  I added little stickers with the letter in each section since sometimes the letters get turned upside down, making it difficult to find what you are looking for.  We use the alphabet song as a tool to help students find the tiles in this container.  I sing the song and have them point to each letter until we stop at the letter they are searching for.  We also do this with our letter stamps container as well.

You will noticed that many of the letter activities shown have the letter F, while activities like the letter tiles involve many letters.  I choose to have a letter that we focus upon each week, but we also have many activities that involve all the letters.  I also spiral back after we get through a handful of letters to review those we have already done.

PokePinandFingerprintScienceThe poke pin activity above utilizes a q-tip painting page since this is the first time we have gotten this type of activity out.  The q-tip page has fewer times to poke to be successful in finishing than some of the pages we will get out later in the year when they have more stamina.  You can find the set of q tip painting at 1+1+1=1.

For our About Me science center we studied our fingerprints.  I somehow managed to miss getting the magnifying glass on the table when I took my photo.  You can find the printable at Making Learning Fun.  The site used to have a printable that said “God Made Me Special”, but they now have this one.  This was another very popular center during the week, with some students making several pages of fingerprints.  It helped to have a sample sheet on the table so students knew to just use fingertips and where to put the fingerprints.

WritingCenterActivities

My PreK students already started creating things for each other in our writing center.  I put out a bunch of writing paper in various colors, along with our family words and body part words.  Just a few students were ready to use the words, but most students who chose this center were able to at least write their own name when finished.  We also ask that students write the name of the person they are giving a paper to as well.

The name cards are also at the writing center for practice with dry erase or to be used to figure out how to spell a friend’s name.  I also put out letters T and F cards in both capital and lowercase.  I will add the letter cards each week so that students can continue to practice the letters we have already worked on during the year.

LetterFSensoryBin

The sensory bin this week was relatively mess free.  I simply picked a bunch of items from our supplies that start with F.  I also had some matching cards with pictures of items that started with F in the bin.  I added the plastic farm, a farmer, a frog, a fox, flowers, feathers, fence pieces, and some alphabet letter Fs.  Putting everything back in the correct bin is probably what will take the most time with this bin.

During circle times we focused upon the Bible theme of God Made Me, using the Cross Connection for Early Learners lesson.  Books  and other items we used this week are shown below with Amazon affiliate links if you are interested in getting them for yourself.


My students also enjoyed several songs during circle time, including “Proud to be Me” by Signing Time!

My About Me lesson plan for PreK, which includes links for everything I did, can be found here:

About Me Theme

A blank lesson plan form that you can use for yourself, along with two more plans, is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.

School Theme in PreK with Lesson Plan

SchoolThemeInPreKOur School theme in PreK was full but not overwhelming.  I am still getting used to having twelve instead of sixteen students, so I have been thinking that some activities will take longer than they actually do.  Because of this I was actually able to get pretty much everything on my lesson plan completed this week.  You can find the link to my School theme lesson plan at the end of this post.

I used some of my Summer Fun Questions in my Question of the Day Bundle.  They are great for the beginning and ending of the year.  I knew most of my kids would pick house for the question above since we had a hot day the day before and everyone was in houses.  We also had not gotten the bubbles out yet.

One of the books we read this week with our School theme was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, so we had a sensory bin with a coconut tree.  I got the idea for the tree from Pre-K Pages.  I found the contact paper and the plastic greenery at the local dollar store.  I will probably have to do some work on the greenery before I use it again since my friends had quite a bit of fun with it and loosened the hot glue I used to help keep it in place.

We also used the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom themed playdough mats from Practically Pre-K.  We have the Lakeshore Alphabet Dough Stampers that we used with these mats, although we also let the students just explore the dough any way they liked as well.  There are other letter stampers for playdough also available on Amazon, which I have not tried yet (Amazon affiliate link below.)

JumboBlocks

One of our activities on the math and fine motor table were our jumbo linking cubes.  I had put the letters to spell each child’s name on the cubes.  Since it is the beginning of the year I made a list of students and color coded the letters.  Each color cube had about three students’ letters so that it would not be overwhelming for the students to find their own letters to build names.  My assistant worked on this with each child individually.  I hope to have the printable I made for this activity, along with another idea for using the jumbo linking cubes ready for my shop soon; I just want to test out the other activity as well with real students before sharing.  The link to the cubes below is an affiliate link.

LetterBuilding

At our math and fine motor table we also had our pattern blocks and cubes out to build letter T.  The pattern blocks printables come from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  You can find the cubes and triangles Lowercase Letter Building in my shop.  The letter t is a good one to start with since it does not have triangles.  Pattern blocks and cubes and triangles are affiliate linked below.

WordBuilding

We have a letter focus each week in my class, with plenty of activities that involve all the letters of the alphabet as well.  In addition, we build in a review week to spiral back and review a handful of letters that we have covered.  Our letter focus this week was T, so we built words that start with T on our easel.  These word cards come from This Reading Mama.  I cut them apart to work on my easel.  Magnetic Alphabet link is below.  The lowercase t is not my favorite, so if you have another suggestion, please let me know.

ScienceWriting

I switched placement of my science and writing centers this week.  Since science was an activity for one student, it moved to the small table.  I put out a flashlight, a mirror and a few black circles of construction paper.  Students shined the flashlight on the circles as well as figuring out what happens when you shine the light into the mirror.  We did have a mishap at some point with the flashlight, so we need to purchase a new one.  My assistant commented that we now have a maraca instead of a flashlight.

The writing center had dry erase markers, name cards, and word cards.  The name cards have the student’s photo, the student’s name, and boxes to practice writing each letter of the student’s name.  The word cards can be found in my Alphabet Words Letter Tile Cards set.  The cards with blanks can be used in your writing center with dry erase, letter stamps, or writing utensils.  The word building cards with the lowercase or capital letters can be used with letter tiles.

ChickaTree

We used green rice as our base for our sensory bin.  The magnetic alphabet letters are from a long ago order to Oriental Trading.  I tried to spell a student’s name on the tree each morning for them to discover.

ChickaSnackForSchoolWeekTo complete our week we made a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack with pretzel rods, green apples slices, and alphabet cookies.  I almost struck out getting something alphabet shaped for this snack since the store had replaced the Cheez-it Scrabble crackers with Spiderman themed ones and there was no Alpha-bits cereal.  I found the alphabet cookies in the aisle with the individually packaged snacks.

My book basket was completely full this week.  I made it through many of them.  Below are some affiliate links to some of the published books I used.  I also used some teacher created books that you can find linked in the lesson plan file.

My lesson plan for this week has been added to the free lesson plan form file in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.  It includes links to all the books I used as well as songs, crafts, and our Bible story for the week.   Links are included for many activities as well.  Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat to be able to CTRL-click the links.

 

 

Bear Theme in PreK

Our first week of school only contained a couple days, so we decided to go with a Teddy Bear theme in PreK.  Even though it was only two days, I still created a full week’s worth of centers activities to fill my room with Rainbow Bears.  I am including a link to my plans in this post so that you can plan your own bear filled week, no matter how many days you may have.

RainbowBearRollAndGraph

In my math center I set up two different bear games.  I chose to use dot markers with the Roll and Graph game, although I could have also used bear counters and laminated the graph sheets.  The dot markers and dice cube I used can be found below through these Amazon Affiliate links:

RainbowBearPathGame

My PreK students also played this Rainbow Bear path game in the math center.  We used large rainbow bears for game pieces and a foam die to decide how many places to move.  This is a good way to get an idea of what your students’ one to one correspondence skills are to begin the year.  You can find the rainbow bears and die below in Amazon Affiliate links:

RainbowBearPuzzles

The bear puzzles on the easel were popular this week.  It was easy for students at the beginning of the year to match up the puzzles by color.  I also placed capital and lowercase letters that each color started with on the puzzles.  You can see the easel is in the window where we get plenty of sunlight from the bottom photo.

Someone had just donated some adhesive magnet sheets to me so it was quick work to print, cut, laminate, cut and add the magnets.  I suggest cutting the puzzles into two pieces after laminating so they will match up nicely for students.

BearActivities

On the table where we do our arts and crafts as well as some literacy activities, I put out Bear Ten Frames for use with play dough, Bear cutting strips, and Bear qtip painting.  The cutting and qtip painting will come back out during our Colors theme week as well.

TeddyBearDoctor

Since we invited students to bring their teddy bears during the first week of school, I decided to start the year with a doctor’s office.  Students doctored a teddy bear, their friends, and even me.

You will notice that I try to have a bin for each item and a label with words and pictures for everything in the dramatic play area.  This really makes clean up much easier and adds additional print awareness to the room.

If you want to do a bear theme in your classroom, you may want to check out my lesson plans.  I have included links to everything I have used.  (None of them are affiliate links.)  There is a list of books, names of songs, and links to find all of my Rainbow bear items.

TropicalBirdCraftsWhen you look at my lesson plans you will notice that I had planned to create a bear mask with my students.  We ended up not having time for this because I forgot to schedule in our chapel time during our first day.  I decided I would rather not feel rushed to complete the bear masks when they would be wet and not be able to be taken home that day anyway.  We ended up finishing up our toucans and macaws for any student who had not attended open house and then put out the bear qtip painting that had not made it out yet.

The macaw craft idea came from this pin.  I adapted the toucan craft from the macaw idea by adding a long beak and taking some ideas from this craft.

BearActivitiesScienceWriting

For our writing center I pulled out a magnetic etch a sketch I got from the local dollar store as well as my ABC Rainbow Bear cards.  Students draw a letter out of the tub and draw that letter on the etch a sketch.

The science center had my scale for exploration, along with bears.  We will use the scale several more times this year, so this week was mostly about free exploration.  The scale I have is found in the affiliate link below.  I got it for about five bucks at a book fair.  We put away the weights that come with it since they are not appropriate for this age group.

 

TeddyBearLessonPlan_Page_1

You can see the first of the two pages of the bears lesson plan above.  The second page includes books used as well as all the centers used for this theme.  To grab my lesson plans for this week, please download my free lesson plan forms.  This week’s lesson plan is also included in this file.  Be sure to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat and you will be able to CTRL-click the links to see where I found the activities that we did.

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Planning in PreK

LessonPlanFormSquareCover

I just finished creating a lesson plan form for myself that I decided to share with you all.  I had a lesson plan form in Open Office that I had modified over time but stopped really using Open Office anymore but I had not made the time to create one in a program I use.  So I added it to my Summer To Do List.

I have struggled with the perfect lesson plan form because I like it to be in chronological order, but I also need a section to put what will be at my centers each week.

The plan I used to use had separate spaces for all the scheduled parts of the day, but I found that some of it was mostly wasting space.  I rarely needed to put anything on my plans about lunch, for example.  So I just left those off of this plan.

LessonPlanForm2

You will notice that there are two sections  with a mention of arts/crafts and/or small group to be listed at those times.  This is when I have centers going on and pull students for arts/crafts and/or small groups.  If I have less than ten students then I am in the classroom by myself, so only one of those will happen during each centers time.  However, if I have an assistant one of us will be working on arts/crafts and the other in small groups each day.

LessonPlanForm3

I am a very visual person so I copy and paste book covers into my plans for Story Time as well as including pictures of the crafts I am planning.  Because of this I decided to figure out how to share a plan that would allow you to add photos to your plan as well in the sections for Arts/Crafts and Small Groups as well as Story Time.

FilledInPlanFormWithPhotos

As you can see above, in order to give maximum text space I overlapped the text and image fields.  This means if you do not want an image you can fill the entire box with text.  If you do want an image I suggest that you add it first so that you can more easily see how much text area you will have and make adjustments to your text size as necessary.

This form opens with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Be sure you have the most up to date version since some of the older versions did not allow for editable images.  The files will be downloaded as a zip file.  If you need instructions on how to extract zip files, this page has instructions for both Windows and Mac based computers.

As the year progresses I plan to share some of my plans with you using this form.  I would love to also hear from you if this planning form helps you.  You can find it by clicking any of the images in this post or by heading to my Freebies page.