9/20/13

Early Learning Themes

This post contains affiliate links

Last summer I meticulously planned out week-by-week themes for the entire school year.  As it turned out, many times we needed (or wanted) to spend more than a week on a particular unit study.  Other times my kids showed an interest in something I hadn't planned, so we went with that instead.  Obviously, we didn't get to every unit I had planned.  But I did find it very helpful to have my list of ideas to refer back to when needed.  So this year I have compiled an even bigger list of topics to choose from, just to use as a reference throughout the year.





Seasonal Theme Ideas
I have accumulated quite a few learning theme ideas on Pinterest (most of them seasonal).  The majority of the links below are to a corresponding Pinterest board, but a few links will lead you to a specific unit study we have done on a topic.

August:
  • Back to School
  • All About Me / My Body / Five Senses
  • My Family
  • Manners
**I listed the above topics under August since they are common "first week of school" themes.

    September:
    • Community Helpers (Labor Day, Sept. 2nd)
    • Fall, General (the first day of fall is September 22nd or 23rd each year)
    • Apples/Johnny Appleseed (Johnny Appleseed Day is September 26th)
    • Farm/Fall Harvest 
    • Squrirrels and acorns


    October:


    November:
    • Election Day/American Government (Election Day is the Tuesday after the first Monday in November)
    • Veteran's Day (November 11th)
    • Thanksgiving 
    • Turkeys
    • Pilgrims and Indians
    • Family/Ancestry/Traditions


    December:
    • Christmas/December Holidays
    • Winter, general (The first day of winter falls on December 21st or 22nd of each year)

    January:
    • New Year/Calendar
    • Martin Luther King, Jr (third Monday in January)
    • Snow 
    • Arctic Animals / Penguins
    • Literature study of a classic winter book (ex.- The Mitten or The Snowy Day)

    February:
    • Groundhog Day (February 2nd) 
    • Related Groundhog Day ideas:  Underground Animals or Shadows and Light 
    • Valentine's Day (Feb 14th) 
    • President's Day (3rd Monday in February)
    • 100th Day of school

    March:
    • Dr. Seuss/Read Across America (March 2nd)
    • St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) 
    • Related St. Patty's ideas: Rainbows or Ireland
    • Spring, general (the first day of spring is March 20th)
    • In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb (keep track of the weather and put the old saying to the test)

    April:
    • Easter (also in March some years).  Little piece of trivia for ya:  Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring.
    • National Poetry Month 
    • Earth Day (April 22nd)
    • Arbor Day / Trees (last Friday in April)
    • Weather / Water Cycle
    • Kites / Wind

    May:

    June:
    • Father's Day (the third Sunday in June)
    • Pond
    • Summer (the first day of summer is June 20th or 21st)
    • Eric Carle Books (Eric Carle's birthday is June 25th)
    • Sun

    July:
    • Fourth of July 
    • Ocean 
    • Moon (July 20th is Moon Day... the anniversary of man's first walk on the moon)
    • Ice Cream (July is National Ice Cream Month)
    • Watermelon (August 3rd is National Watermelon Day-- not July, but close enough!)
    ** For even more comprehensive lists of seasonal theme ideas, see Living Montessori Now's Themed Activities posts or Apples 4 the Teacher's links of  Holidays and Calendar of Events.


    Other Popular themes (for anytime):
    • Four Seasons
    • Angry Birds (or any popular / high interest character)
    • Rocks
    • Dinosaurs
    • Volcano
    • Animal Habitats:  Desert, Domestic (pets), Farm, Forest, Ocean, Grasslands, Rainforest, Wetlands and/or Pond, Polar 
    • Space
    • Alphabet / Letter of the Week
    • Dogs 
    • Cats
    • Tools / Contruction
    • Robots
    • Zoo
    • Literature Unit from a favorite (or classic) book  (either a Five in a Row unit or just activities you find to go along with a particular book on your own).



    Five in a Row Seasonal Selections
    I am still very new to FIAR and still getting acquaintedwith the curriculum, so I may need to update this list over time.  I would however like to row books that go along with seasonal themes when possible, so I made a list of books that I believe will compliment the seasons.  Please let me know if there are other books from Volumes 1-3 that would fit into a particular season, or if I made any mistakes in the books listed.  I included link carousels (which contain affiliate links) for Fall and Winter book selections and another for Spring/Summer book selections.  


    Fall:
    • How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
    • Cranberry Thanksgiving

    Winter:
    • Owl Moon 
    • Katy and the Big Snow
    • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
    • Warm as Wool
    • Very Last First Time
    • The Rag Coat
    • A New Coat for Anna



    Spring:
    • Peter Rabbit
    • Make Way for Ducklings
    • The Bee Tree
    • The Salamander Room
    • Storm in the Night  (weather)
    • Mr. Grumpy's Motor Car  (weather)
    • Night of the Moonjellies

     Hope you find these lists useful.  Just a little side note, themed printable packs are a super easy way to create a fun themed learning week with your little ones!  Don't know what I would do without them. :)


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    Thanks for stoppin' by!

    8 comments :

    1. What a great resource! Thanks so much, Tanya! I'll definitely be referring to this.

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      Replies
      1. Thank you Anna! I am so glad to hear that you can use this for reference. I'm kinda psyched about using it myself! :)

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    2. I have been looking for a list like this for awhile now. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing.

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      Replies
      1. That is so good to hear Kirstylee! So glad you can use it. :)

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    3. This is SUCH a smart list. For all those people that are planners, this is a must-read resource! Thank you for helping me get organized (and for sharing this at the After School Linky)!

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    4. I put my son in a early learning program in Chicago IL, I want him to have every advantage that he can in today's competitive world.

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