My preschool unit for the last two weeks has focused on the letter N. We focused on neighborhood helpers and choices with this unit. It’s been a fun two weeks, and I’m so excited to share N is for neighborhood – an N themed preschool unit part 1 today.
Activity One: Naughty or Nice
Do you remember the game “Chutes and Ladders”? We have one of the original versions (I think) and we play it every now and then. For this activity, we got the old game board out, and turned each the ladder climbing and slide following into a question about good and bad choices.
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Objective: To help children understand the consequences of good and bad choices.
One “Chutes and Ladders” game*
Set up the game board as the game directs. As a player lands on a chute or ladder square, ask questions about the choices the character on the square is making. End by asking if the player would make those same choices. If the player chooses to be “Nice”, then the player is rewarded positively in the game. If the player chooses to be “Naughty”, then the player is rewarded negatively in the game. Continue until one player (or all players) have reached the end of the game board.
For example, there’s a slide square on the old game board that shows a girl eating an entire box of chocolates. When one of my children landed on that square, instead of automatically sending the child down the slide, the child got the chance to answer a few questions about the square. For this square I asked:
How do you think the girl will feel after she’s eaten all the chocolates?
Should she eat all the chocolates all at once?
What is a better way for her to enjoy the chocolates?
Once the child finishes answering the questions, I ask if the child would do the same thing as in the square. Then, depending on the answer, the child either stays on the square or goes down the slide. The same can be done for the ladder squares, with the difference being if the child goes up the ladder (with the socially correct answer) or stays on the square.
We had a lot of fun with the game this way. The game also played much more quickly than the original version. Even after we’d finished, my big kids wanted to take a turn playing this game this way and we spent a good while laughing together.
Activity Two: Making Letters with Craft Sticks
This is a letter formation review activity for children who have spent some time working on letters already. This is a simple activity, that requires minimum set up, yet is very effective as a fun way to review. We’ve made it up to letter N prior to this activity in our preschool, so it’s a good time to review the other half of the alphabet.
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Objective: To help children review the letter formations of the letters they are already familiar with, and to introduce them to the letter shape of the letter N.
Begin by cutting out the alphabet cards and placing them in a bowl.
Hand each child a pile of craft sticks and a sheet of paper. Explain that they are going to practice making the letters of the alphabet with the craft sticks. They will build the letters on the paper with the craft sticks. If you want to add more of a challenge, have the children race against the teacher— to see who can make the letter first. If you need to make this activity easier, show the children the letter card so they can see an idea of how to build it.
Be sure to pause and praise each child’s effort at creating the letters.
Then have the children dump the sticks back into their pile and get ready for the next letter. When the letter N is pulled, or any letter the children are unfamiliar with, pause and go through the steps of forming the letter. Then put letter card back in the bowl to be pulled for a review later.
We had a lot of fun with this activity. After we’d finished with the alphabet, we wrote the letters in our names. My children enjoyed dumping the sticks off of the paper between each letter. It was fun to watch each child help the other to get the letter built before I built the letter. (I took my time of course, because the cooperative teaching and learning going on between the children was so amazing.)
This is only part one of this preschool unit. Part two will include a discussion of people in the neighborhood (and I don’t mean gossip), as well as a scavenger hunt, and a writing practice printable. I hope you enjoy this unit was much as we did.