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‘Firefighter Frank’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Monica Wellington Hat, coat and boots ….. Ladders and hoses ….. Lights and sirens …… These are all things that most of us can relate to the brave men and women who fight our fires. Firefighter Frank helps children to understand the work of a firefighter, AND the importance of good fire safety practices. Although October is generally thought of as ‘Fire Safety’ month, learning about fire safety and developing strategies to be safe is something that needs to be addressed all year long. Children are learning through everything they do and experience. Through hands-on activities, children: • Draw a picture of themselves as a firefighter • Create a fire truck from basic shapes • Develop large motor skills and coordination by climbing up and down steps, stairs, and ladders • Plan out a nutritious lunch The Fire Safety Unit of Study, available at http://earlylearningsuccess.net/product/fire-safety-unit-of-study/is a great companion Unit!$12.00Mittens & Hats Unit of Study Highlights Thumbs in the thumb holes ….. Fingers all together ….. That’s how mittens keep our hands warm …… In cold, winter weather! Many of us remember the frustration of trying to get fingers in the right places when putting on gloves – mittens are so much easier! Teaching children how to put on their own mittens and hat helps them become one step closer to being independent – a goal we need to have for our children. This Unit uses hats and mittens as a tool to help children explore their world. Through hands on activities, children: • ‘Build’ a mitten to keep track of books read • Practice putting items in ‘sets of 3’, a great math skill • Use visual acuity to find matching mittens • Strengthen finger muscles through hanging up mittens and hats on a clothesline It is easy to take every day items and use them as teaching tools. Children are learning from everything in their environment – even their hats and mittens!$12.00The Circus Unit of Study Highlights Peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels ….. Lions and tigers and elephants ….. Clowns of all shapes and sizes ….. Acrobats and tightrope walkers ….. The circus has so much for children to watch and marvel at. The ‘circus’ has something for everyone – whether it is eating popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy or doing amazing feats. Children love to imitate and act out what they see. Being a lion at the circus, or an acrobat crossing a tightrope, children are using many of their large muscles while developing balance and coordination. And of course, for those who are very verbal, being the ‘ring master’ is the perfect job for them! Children love to show others what they can do. Through circus activities, children have an opportunity to: • Cuddle up in a ‘circus tent book nook’ with a good book • Discover their silly self as a clown through creating a clown costume • Practice large motor skills as a ‘tightrope walker’, ‘stilt stomper’, and ‘fire jumper’ The circus can bring memories that last a lifetime.$12.00Mud Unit of Study Highlights A bucket of water, a pail of dirt ….. Mix all together for ….. Mud squishing between our toes ….. Who has not done this before? Or at least found a puddle and walked in it to make mud?? Great childhood memories come from simple things like dirt and water! Mud is a very inexpensive (free even!) material that can be found almost anywhere and can be used in a variety of learning activities. Most children absolutely love the feel of mud on their hands and between their toes. It is a very sensory-filled medium in which to play and discover new things. Some children can spend hours making mud, shaping pies, and then serving them at their ‘restaurant’. When doing this Unit of Study, prepare parents for some dirty children. In fact, request that the children wear their oldest clothes, and that they have at least one change of clothing per day! Use mud for learning through these hands-on activities: • Sequencing with the story Mud Walk by Joy Cowley • Practicing counting by cutting a mud pie into pieces, (also fractions) • Building with adobe mud bricks • Creating a ‘Mud Kitchen’ for dramatic play Remember, the dirtier children are at the end of the day, the more their learning was enhanced!$12.00Owls Unit of Study Highlights Whooo whooo in the trees….. Soft swooping across the field….. Lightning fast strike on a mouse or rabbit…… Owls are silent hunters in the night. Owls are fascinating birds of prey or raptors. They are great at keeping rodent populations at bay. They come in a variety of sizes, and live in many different environments. Learning about owls can encourage children to learn about other birds and animals in their world. The more children know, the better able they are to care for the earth. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn about the many owls through non-fiction books • Use ‘owl’ rulers to measure the sizes of different owls • Make a unique handprint owl • Pretend to be an owl to catch a mouse Help children discover the wonderful world of owls. It will be a ‘hoot’!!‘Sneezy the Snowman’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maureen Wright Rolling, rolling, rolling ….. Stacking huge snowballs ….. Adding nose, mouth, eyes and a hat …… Making a snowman is something many of us have done time and time again. In this story, Sneezy the Snowman is cold. In trying to warm up, he makes choices that are not in his best interest! Children will find the humor in this story as they realize that the choices made have a negative consequence. This is a good way to talk about choices with children. The story is also written with rhyming words which can help children develop listening and literacy skills. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that are inspired by this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Develop visual discernment skills in playing snowman matching games • Use higher level thinking and problem-solving skills to describe why their snowman melted when creating their own melted snowman • Discover the ‘life cycle’ of a snowman, and snow or ice • Create a unique, one-of-a-kind snowman with a balloon, paint, and art scraps$12.00The Rainforest Unit of Study Highlights Lush green canopy ….. Brilliant colored parrots ….. Frogs, and bugs, and butterflies abound …… These are memories many adults have of summer outdoor camping. The rainforest is a land of bright colors, exotic animals and lush greenery. The rainforest provides the world with many resources and products. It is also an ecological system that is endangered by the continued development of human beings. The rainforest is a great eco system for children to learn about environmental conservation. Through hands-on activities, children: • Use a ‘rain’ ruler to measure items, comparing them to the amount of rainfall that makes a rainforest • Explore the layers of the rainforest and what lives in each layer • Make a rain stick • Practice fine motor – scissors skills through cutting a spiral jungle vine The rainforest is an important ecological system for our world. Help children learn to love it and protect it!$12.00‘Stone Soup’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Ann McGovern Peeling potatoes, slicing carrots ….. Setting the table ….. Washing dishes in a sudsy sink…… Most of us loved to help with kitchen tasks. The book Stone Soup lends itself to recreating these tasks for the children in care. Providing them opportunities to learn real-life, self-help skills such as cooking will help them develop independence. Children that are confident in taking care of themselves often are more open to caring for others. Sharing resources is one thing we can do to care for others. In this story, children see how everyone gets a lot from sharing just a little. Children that are ‘caring and sharing’ are developing important personal attitudes such as empathy which will help them become caring and contributing citizens in their communities. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Participate in a reenactment of the story, based on the sequence of events • Compare vegetables based on weight, size and color • Make beautiful designs using vegetables • Toss beanbag vegetables into a cardboard pot And of course, make soup!‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maurice Sendak Talking back or sassing ….. Consequences ….. Re-instated with the ones we love …… Most of us have experienced this sequence of events when we were children… misbehaving, having a consequence, and then back in the fold of our family’s love. Children will act out and push their boundaries … this is how they learn about their boundaries, and how to interact in an appropriate what with family members and out in society. There are consequences for all of our behaviors – some are positive consequences, and some are ‘learning experiences’. When positive behavior guidance strategies are used with love, children learn what appropriate expectations are. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write a letter to a loved one • Create their own monster using a variety of art materials • Use ‘monster feet’ and their large muscles when following an obstacle course We all have a ‘wild thing’ inside of us…. we just need to know how to tame it!‘Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Doreen Cronin Cows mooing in the barn ….. Chickens laying eggs ….. Pigs in mud, and wooly sheep ….. This is how most of us remember barn animals. But, this book has the animals acting surprisingly different! The cows in this story are cold and are asking Farmer Brown for electric blankets. When he refuses, the cows must think of a way to change his mind. This story shows children how to use language (via the typewriter) and group actions to get the results they want. Children will see how working together and compromise can help solve problems so that everyone is happy. The learning activities in this book Unit encourage children to: • Participate in math games using barn animals (matching, patterning, and counting); • Re-enacting the story through dramatic play; • Explore the difference between hot and cold • Try some yummy snacks made with ingredients from the farm Children will enjoy seeing the animals decide what they need, and then find a way to get it!$12.00My Restaurant Unit of Study Highlights Burgers and fries….. A creamy milkshake….. Pizza dripping with melted cheese…… What are your childhood memories of ‘eating out’? Eating out at a restaurant is a great learning experience for children. They learn to make decisions based on what they like, they practice appropriate social skills, they start to understand that we have to ‘pay’ for items, and they see all the different roles people have in a restaurant. Children will take this learning and re-visit it when engaging in ‘restaurant’ dramatic play. This is how they make sense of the world in which they live. Through restaurant play and exploration, children: • Develop vocabulary and speaking skills; • Practice counting and sorting food items; • Create food from self-hardening clay; • Develop large and small motors with the Serving Tray Game There are many different types of restaurants, offering a variety of foods. Try having a Pizza Shoppe one week, a Taco Stand the next week, and a Burger & Fries Drive-In the next… this could go on for a long time!$12.00Shapes Unit of Study Highlights Circles, triangles, and squares ….. Sometimes triangles in squares ….. Geometric patterns in fabric and on buildings ….. We can find different common shapes in many things in our daily lives. Learning about shapes is important in many areas of development and school-readiness. Being able to discern and differentiate shapes teaches children to be visually discriminate, a skill that is essential in learning to read and do math – children need to be able to differentiate between a ‘b’ and ‘d’, and ‘3’ and ‘5’. It also helps children develop descriptive vocabulary which assists in communicating, key to success in school and social situations. There are SO many learning activities that can be offered using shapes. In this Unit, some of the hands-on activities include: • Making a Shape Book • Becoming a Shape Detective • Creating Shape Art with puffy paint • Using play dough on Shape Mats Our world is full of shapes, some simple and some more complex. Helping children see these shapes can expand their mental horizons!