The last 2 weeks have been very busy and of course, as we have many newcomers, we have to help the children settle down into a routine, learn the rules and get used to their environment. I love to read The Little Red Hen at the beginning of preschool each September.
You will find that fairy tales and nursery rhymes carry all the major facets of any early year curriculum. They also help to introduce various topics or themes and in this particular case, this is what we have been learning together through the tale:
1. We learnt about cooperation and work ethics. I extended the learning by showing how to clean hands, dry hands, using the toilets, sweeping the floor, dusting, watering the plants, tidying up etc.. The Little Red Hen tale gets the children talking about how they can help their Mam at home or how they can help each other in the classroom.
2. At circle time, I ask the children whether they live in the countryside like the little red hen or in a village/town? Do they live in a house or on a farm? This fits in with our "All About Me" topic. Children love to get a chance to talk about themselves and it encourages confidence and builds up their sense of belonging.
3- Science: I like to get the children to think about the difference between real hens and "pretend" hens? What can a real do? Can it talk or bake? Does it wear clothes? etc..
4- Pretend play and role play: using salt dough, the children created pizzas, rolls, breads, hot dogs, cookies to be used in our kitchen area. They have become a permanent feature on the kitchen shelves and the children use them a lot when playing and acting in the homecorner. This really tied in with sensorial learning as well as the children had to feel the dough and work it hard to obtain the shape they wanted to create! I have to say our classroom smelt like a baker shop for a few days afterwards!!
5- Art & Craft: the children also created a little ornament with the salt dough and various seeds or them to bring home and hang in their own kitchen!
For more activities based on the Little red Hen tale, please have a look at my post written last September 2013.