social studies

  • Eclipse Social Story

    Understanding an Eclipse for Preschoolers

    I’m on vacation – but I had to pop in and share this incredible resource before next week’s big eclipse! This social story is a simple way to explain to the very youngest students what an eclipse is, and what it might be light to experience one. Toddlers and preschoolers are so observant, they notice absolutely everything. This means that they know adults in their lives are talking about something pretty major, but they don’t necessarily understand the words that they’re using, because vocabulary words like “eclipse” and “path of totality” aren’t something that they have a frame of reference for. A social story like this one can open up…

  • diversity for preschool

    Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    I’m re-sharing a post today that is full of amazing ideas for exploring diversity in the classroom – hopefully these will fill in your lesson plans for next week! We’re working on social studies standards, and the timing worked out particularly well because today’s standard lends itself to Martin Luther King Day. Remember, the Standards that I use every day, and am most comfortable with are Ohio’s Early Learning Development Standards – you can review them here, however I’ve found that even if your State’s standards differ, many of these activities can still be aligned similarly. I’ve rounded up some great ideas today! Domain: Social StudiesStrand: GeographyTopic: Human Systems Preschool standards are…

  • units of time preschool

    What is a Year? Units of Time for Preschool

    It’s not a new year if I don’t take a minute to share this incredible resource! Celebrating the New Year is so confusing for preschoolers, because they don’t understand what a year actually is, or why we need a new one. I created this units of time set to help work through this and give children visuals to support otherwise abstract concepts of time. My What is a Year set includes vocabulary cards, a ring book, and dice game. All of these resources support each other and incorporate the repetition of vocabulary and images that children really learn from. These activities give preschoolers something tangible that they can interact with…

  • discussing recent news with preschoolers

    Conversations with Preschoolers about Current Events

    We know that kids are sponges – they’re ALWAYS listening! Because of this, they catch onto things that we don’t always realize they’re hearing, and without context and all of the information their minds make the most interesting connections. It’s fascinating to get their take on the things that are happening in their world because they look at them with such a unique filter! When it comes to discussing current events, it can be a bit of a minefield, we never know what might come up, and we definitely can’t predict what a child will say. There are some ways to navigate these conversations without prompting those comments. Here are…

  • Friday Freebie – Community Helper Puppet

    Happy Friday! I’ve got the perfect freebie to finish out a week about community helpers.  It doesn’t get more traditionally preschool than paper bag puppets.  This Police Officer Puppet would be the perfect addition to your classroom library, and it might even inspire your students to make their own versions of other occupations.  Go download yours from Carrie Lutz and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Community Helpers Preschool Activities

    I promised yesterday that I would share my favorite activity centers for exploring community helpers, here they are: Community Helper Handprint Wreath – A great visual for all of the places in your community that you would find helpers. Community Helper Occupation Booklet – Explore the tasks of each job and the tools and materials that are associated with it. Community Helper Hats and Badges Freebie – Perfect for your dramatic play area! Community Helper Matching – Great for a language center, encourages children to practice letter and word recognition to match the helper to their title. Community Helper Dances – A little music and movement is always appreciated, and…

  • Introducing community helpers

    One of the most common topics in the preschool classroom is community helpers. Whether you do a theme week about them, or regularly rotate community helper costumes through your dramatic play area, you’ve probably covered them at some point throughout the year. There’s good reason for this; we want our children to know who they can turn to when they need help, and we want them to recognize that we all play a role in making our community run successfully. My favorite way to introduce this topic to preschoolers is with a discussion.  I ask them to name adults that help them,  to which they typically reply with family members…

  • Friday Freebie – Family Engagement Calendar

    Happy Friday! I have found the perfect Friday Freebie for Family February – say that five times fast! Check out this Family Engagement calendar from Designed by Miss G.  Now, I know that this calendar is for September, but it is is such a great idea that I just had to share.  She also has freebies for October and November.  Stick them in your files for next year and you’ll be glad that your family engagement activities have already been planned come next fall!

  • Using family photos in the classroom

    The easiest way to start any family engagement effort is to begin collecting photos from each of your families.  There are so many ways that these can be used in the classroom.  Decorate a quiet space with the photos and children can sit there and look at their family’s photo when they are feeling sad or need a little reassurance. Use them to help the children get to know each other Talk about family structures and compare similarities and differences Look at each family member’s physical characteristics Practice naming each family member and write their names Of course the most difficult piece of this work is actually getting families to…

  • Friday Freebie – Random Acts of Kindness Calendar

    Happy Friday! Yesterday I shared some random acts of kindness for the holiday season.  Today I’m sharing a freebie that makes it nearly impossible to NOT do some random acts of kindness this month! This Random Acts of Kindness Calendar is an amazing way to plan for, and keep track of the activities you want to complete.  Go download your copy from Herding Kats in Kindergarten, and have a great weekend!