Physical Development and Movement
Preschool Activities and Lesson Plans
- Maintain balance while holding still.
- Distinguish movements that are up and down and to the side of the body.
Chelsea Stuart Ross, a preschool teacher in Sacramento, offers a week-long integrated lesson that includes activities to encourage social-emotional, physical, and oral language development. A former Medic in the US Navy, she has her degree in child development from CSU Sacramento, has worked in Head Start and Women’s Shelters, and is seeking a preschool position. Chelsea uses Only One You by Linda Kranz.
Day 1 – Beauty
Goals: Find beauty in things around you.
Social: Self-Expression: Make choices, be confident in choices.
Literacy: Vocabulary: What is another word for beautiful/beauty? List.
Question for the Class: What do you find beautiful? (Discuss or record their responses on chart paper.) Teachers may add some additional ones, i.e., charming, cute, divine, stunning.
Project: Make your own fish rock and talk about beauty being everywhere. (See “Rock Crafts” by Martha Stewart.). Limit colors to a few and talk about the beauty of their projects. Additional discussion could take place about mixing to make new colors. Adults use felt pens to add outline fish details (fins, eyes) on rocks before giving them to children.
Day 2 – Stand Out
Goals: Social: Self-expression, self-regulation
Emotional: Will and initiative
Question for the Class: When is standing out a good thing? When is it not a good thing? For example when one deserves merit or when one is too loud.
Project: Paper plate mask (See How to Make Paper Masks.).
Day 3 – Listen
Goals: Social: Group cooperation, self-regulation
Emotional: Abides behaviorally
Project: Pick your favorite music and show animal yoga poses (See “This is Wild: Exotic Animals Doing Yoga” and “Let’s Play Yoga“.) and drawings of children in yoga poses (See “Yoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps“.).
1. Practice your poses in an area that’s clear of sharp points and tripping hazards.
2. Always do yoga barefoot on a mat, a rug, or grass to prevent slipping and to soften falls.
3. Make sure adults and children stay within comfort evels during stretches. Rest when you need to, and stop if you feel any pain.
Day 4 – Appreciate
Goals: Literacy: conversation with peers on a topic, vocabulary development
Question for the Class: What do you appreciate? What are you glad is in your life? (example, family, friends, toys, etc.).
Project: Sit by a new friend and make friendship bracelets out of classroom materials. Exchange with your new buddy.
Day 5 – Give Back (as a team!)
Goals: Social: Participation, responsibility
Question for the Class: How can we make our classroom/playground a better place? What can we do to give back to our class?
Project: Pick up trash, plant a tree or flowers, make the classroom more accessible to children with special needs, recycle.
Transitional Kindergarten and Traditional Kindergarten Activities and Lesson Plans
First Grade Lesson Plan
Counting to 100
Children divide into two groups and arrange themselves in two long lines, facing each other about 4-6 feet apart. The person at one end of the line bounces the ball to the person opposite him/her and calls out “1.” The second person bounces the ball back to the next person in line and calls out “2.” Players continue to pass the ball and count out loud with the goal of getting to 100 during the session.
Marching Around the Room
Children form small groups of 4-6 students. Each group marches around the room, chanting “Marching, marching, marching around the room.” When the adult helper or student stops and points to a word, the children (or one child) read the word. The adult keeps track of the words correctly read. They march to the writing center and each child records the words their group read. The words are shared at Circle/Closing Time.