One of the easiest ways to program for kindergarten children is around literature.
I love to start programming the year around fairy tale themes. There are so many spin- off tales on a number of the classics. Many children have some prior knowledge of the classics, consequently, by using them as the foundational springing board for learning, it builds confidence and gives as a group a commonality to stimulate more brainstorming (what would you like to know/learn). In addition, when using these classic tales and the various versions, you can usually get at least one week of learning sometimes up to two. These suggested themes could get you to November possibly December.
Critical: Remember while teaching younger ones, it’s better to be shorter than longer in offering direction and coaching. Revisit many times in smaller time periods. Keep them wanting more. Don’t worry about teasing out every last detail or over thinking the topic or point you want to teach. This will often flip the tone of learning from the child to you and your agenda. Remember this is about the child not your ego of being the great educator.
Hence, you ask how much time should I spend on a topic or sit down discuss? As mentioned, keep it simple and shorter, (kiss), for 3-5 year olds 10 minutes ‘ish’. If they are open to go longer, great, but be mindful, watch and listen for their cues. Don’t get sucked into the vortex of adult agenda!
This post will be organized in point form in a series of charts in attempts to give you as many resources for each theme in an easy to access and read format. When teaching kindergarten, I find I hit the ground running needing strong and simple planning roots that were flexible for me to tweak and follow the inquiry-based learning generated by the children; these incredible high energy and optimistic ‘wonder machines’. The faster you can engage and successfully termite through learning, the happier everyone will be!
A Note on Resources: I personally love to purchase collections of books. Funny enough for the number of times we have moved since retirement I have given away many of my themed collections and I continue to share hard copies of great reads. Since I am a buyer of books, I will be providing a link to Indigo a Canadian store that supports literacy in our Canadian schools with grants and fundraising programs. This link will show a variety of books relating to the classic fairy tale (original versions, adaptations of the originals and fractured fairy tales). You can scroll down and peruse the ones you might find interesting. Even if you choose not to buy the books, it is a great condensed listing of what is available. I will add other links for special books that I haven’t found on Indigo. Of course, a great place for free books is the library and you can find all kinds of books read aloud on YouTube. I also found this great link: https://archive.org/ for an online library!
I have searched the internet for free and safe site links. There are a number of sites that are not secure or are not free as such I will not post them, however, a great resource for activities is Pinterest.
Last, these are just a small sampling of the many ideas out there to tackle a given topic. Google is just a click away. I hope that I might have saved you a touch of time and may have inspired you to tumble into developing new ideas. Please feel free to share with me and I will add them to the list with your name. I hope you enjoy using children’s literature as the foundation of kindergarten learning as much as I do!