We have been having literacy themed studies in our early learning center lately, including a study of nursery rhymes. Above you can see one of the science based activities that went along with Humpty Dumpty. My students were given some blocks, a Humpty Dumpty Easter egg with some washers inside to make him magnetic, and a magnet. They built walls, put Humpty Dumpty on the wall, and then tried to make him walk along the wall with the magnet without falling.
As you can see, different students had different ideas about how to build a wall for Humpty Dumpty. I also sent home a bag with instructions to fill it with something that would keep Humpty Dumpty safe. We then recited the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, tossing the bag with the raw egg and whatever they brought to keep him safe off the wall (preschool shelving.) The kids loved waiting to see whether each egg made it or not. This year we had some break and some not, which is great. One year none of them broke so I let the kids put an egg in the bag with nothing so they could see one break.
When I looked at my past lesson plans I could not immediately remember what I had done for a sensory bin with Nursery Rhymes. Then I saw the sheep and the cards in my box of Nursery Rhyme stuff and realized what an easy bin this is. I just poured in our art supply box of pom poms (Amazon referral link) in, along with some cards and sheep from Making Learning Fun and a few tools for fine motor practice and I was set. We did not play shear the sheep as suggested. Instead they filled their sheep with wool based upon how many pom poms the sheep suggested. Of course, the students also made up their own games all week as well, including lots of different types of sorting.
To go along with our literacy theme the dramatic play area was turned into a library. One of my coworkers created much of this last year, with help from Play to Learn Preschool’s set. This was a great way to get students to remember our library shelf by moving it into dramatic play and adding opportunities to share stories with one another with big books and felt pieces for retelling.
Felt pieces were placed in the blue bin below the easel. I switched them out based upon books and rhymes we had been doing during circle time.
Students were very excited to check out library books and take them home. Most students were good about bringing books back quickly, but we did have a few who needed some reminding. This is good practice for when they go to elementary school and need to keep track of school library books.
After the first week of Nursery Rhymes I added the puppet show to the library. Our pastor was kind enough to build this for our school. I placed puppets in the center that went along with our nursery rhymes and Bible stories so that they could retell them with the puppets. It also helped give them ideas and reduced the temptation to turn the puppets into boxing gloves.
We have been using our Nursery Rhyme Calendar during our literacy weeks. I chose to use the Hey Diddle Diddle version with an ABCD pattern.
We also used many questions from the Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, and Favorite Books set, including the one above.