We love learning with themes. Themes are a fun way to learn (and teach) plus there are many educational benefits. Thematic learning provides an integrated approach to teaching and learning. This method is supported by research about how the brain works and how we learn. Ultimately, thematic learning helps children achieve a higher level of learning. Which we all want, right?
Preschool Learning with Themes
Mother Goose Time themes are month long. It might seem like a month is a long time to focus on one theme, but as you can see on the theme web above, we cover a lot and really get into the theme. Themes have so many sides, and it takes time to explore them. I feel the Mother Goose themes are well planned, expands the mind and most importantly are fun!
Personally, I like that we are covering rooms on this theme – when else would we talk about doors and windows, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms? Yet, each child lives in these space everyday! For this theme, I had to order a doll house. I think it will be great to extend the house theme!
My group is always excited to start a new calendar and theme! I show them the theme web and we check out what we’ll be learning about. This month my group was especially excited to learn about house boats, because they had been playing “house boat” on their own during free play time last month already. Each day, a daily topic poster is included in the kit. I use a binder clip to clip them together and hang them up. They are always available for the children to look back. Each daily topic poster has a question on it.
Mother Goose Time themes themselves are exciting – I’m loving this new one, Alphabet House. It reviews the ABC’s we’ve been working on all year and includes learning about all aspects of homes. The themes keep not only the children’s interest, but mine. If I’m bored as the teacher, the children are going to be bored too! Our first week of Alphabet House looked like this:
Day 1: House
Day 1 of the Alphabet House was all about houses. We made these awesome houses projects and even included our addresses on them. Of course we do more than create art. We talked about what a house looks like. Reviewed letter Aa, Sang a song: Can You Find the House? Talked about who lives in our houses. Built our names with letters/practiced writing our names, Talked about What’s in the House? and looked at the theme poster. Day 2: Apartment
Then came apartments. We do have some children here that live in apartments. Often apartments have elevators so that’s a great way to talk about numbers! We also talked about whether we live in the city or the country and what the difference is. We built a multi-level block building, working on logic, working together with friends and using problem-solving strategies. We also read our new book, Goldilocks. We loved the song on the CD called “City That’s So Pretty.” Worked on alphabet identification and writing. Reviewed letter Bb.
PlanToys Preschool Alphabet Set This Alphabet Apartment activity involved not only literacy but math skills. After choosing a card, the child matched the color of the card to the letter on that floor. Then they traced that letter on their alphabet page. My older three were very into this – I choose the card, helped them graph it out, and they took turns saying what letter it was. Building an apartment building! Day 3: RV/Hotel
- Where can you sleep when you travel?
- Review letter Cc.
- Opening song: The Wheels on my Home go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on my home go round and round, Where should we go?
- We reviewed shapes with a fun RV Night puzzle.
- We talked about why cars or RVs sometimes have to stop. The fun RV trip signs made our “road trip” fun!
- Wrote/colored in My Little Journals.
Everyone wanted to stop for ice cream for sure! Day 4: Houseboat
We did less this day despite my group being interested in houseboats. We had some beautiful weather and spent a lot of time outdoors, which is what summer is for! We did play with boats in water though. Here we have sensory play and learning about things that float.
Day 5: Castles
The much-anticipated castle day! Who lives in castles? We made crowns and castles as well as played with the dragon puppet and in our castle tent. Fun day!
We are loving the Alphabet House theme! I have much more to share with you. Next week we’re on to the rooms of the house!