Preschool is an important time for children, since it’s the time in their lives when they develop the physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills that they’ll carry with them throughout their lives.
When selecting a preschool curriculum to help provide these fundamentals for lifelong learning, some prefer to use a prewritten series of lesson plans while others prefer to develop their own lesson plans according to what they believe is essential for children to learn.
Selecting a Theme
When developing a preschool curriculum, remember to break the information down into smaller units to help make things easiest for the children to digest. For example, some like to select a new theme every week and focus their lessons, stories, games, crafts and preschool activities on that theme. These themes can be seasonal or pertaining to upcoming celebrations, or things that are generally interesting to children, such as animals, fruits, vegetables, or modes of transportation.
On Mondays, introduce the weekly theme to the children by reading a story that includes the theme. Find a couple of pictures of the theme to help children learn visually. If applicable, sing a song based on the weekly theme. If the classroom has a vocabulary board, print the word on a piece of paper and post it on the board beside a picture of the theme.
On Tuesdays, use the theme to introduce either a shape or a color. Have children go around the classroom looking for everyday objects that fit the shape or color of the week. Another great activity for learning about shapes is to sculpt shapes from play dough. Don’t forget to update the learning poster with a picture of the shape or color!
On Wednesdays, the class will focus on the letter of the week as it pertains to the theme. Give each child a printout of the letter of the week to decorate and color. If some children are more advanced with their alphabets, have them draw the letter themselves and color it in. Post the letter on the learning poster. Now is also a good time to review the theme and shape or color of the week.
Thursdays are the day for introducing the number of the week. With numbers, it’s best to start off the year at one and continue building each week. Try to tie the number into the theme as best as possible. The possibilities for teaching numbers are nearly endless. One of the most common is similar to the teaching of letters- giving each child a printout of the number to color or having them draw the number themselves.
For this preschool curriculum, Friday is the day for reviewing the shape or color, letter, number and theme of the week. Some like to do this by making booklets for the children with a page for each week with pictures of the shape or color, letter, number and theme. This book can also be used periodically to review the previous lessons.