Monday, January 7, 2008

Let's Go to the Circus! A Great theme for January Preschool Lesson plans

This time of year it seems like every teacher I now is basing their preschool lesson plans around snow, winter and the like. I don't totally understand that, especially in the deep south where I live. It doesn't get cold enough to flurry, and forget about snow! So this kind of theme isn't really developmentally appropriate. Not to mention, after 3 or four years, it gets boring and redundant.

But every January the Circus comes to town. This is a great idea for the cold months because there is so much expansion potential. And you can do it all INSIDE. Which, even in the south, is nice in January.

Some of the things I have done for my preschool lesson plans are-
-Hang a colorful parachute (most preschools have them) in your classroom from the ceiling. Be sure to have the center a bit higher than the rest so it resembles a circus tent.
-Have a circus parade. Have all the kids dress in clown costumes and paint animal faces on them. Give them some musical instruments and you now have a parade. March around your classroom or through the halls of your center.
-Make a matching game out of clown hat shapes cut out of poster board. Color them differently so they have to match them. If you want to reuse them next year be sure to laminate them.
-I love the book,
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (Dr Seuss Green Back Book)
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (Dr Seuss Green Back Book) To use for this topic. it isn't exactly about the circus but it works. It's a lot of fun. I have done author of the month in the past, and if your circus comes in February or march it could turn into a great study of Dr. Seuss. His birthday is March 2.

You could even add some ecology or ethics to the discussion by talking about being kind to the animals, or how some animals are endangered.

There are lots of theme resources out there for a circus theme. Just go to your local library or teaching store and you will find a lot.
This is a good start. I have it and use it a lot. some of the activities will have to be adjusted for preschool kids, but is a good resource.

What is the best thing about a circus theme this time of year(at least where I live)? It is relevant to most of the class because their parents will be taking them. And if its relevant to their experiences, its developmentally and individually appropriate curriculum.

Have fun at the circus!

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