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Thematic Units


Thematic Units engage children in the learning process by offering a variety of lessons and activities surrounding a common theme that is integrated into all content areas.
Question is..

What are the best themes to work with your kids?

As teachers (and moms) we already know that our kids learn best when they are interested in what they are learning. So.. invite them to make a list of possible themes to work with during this year.


I did it, and this is the result of the top 10
  1. The Ocean
  2. Plants
  3. Healthy food
  4. Pets
  5. Royalty
  6. Home and Family
  7. Nocturnal Animals
  8. Farm 
  9. Circus
  10. Dragons

So I planned around these themes trying to include literacy, grammar, math, science, music, poems, stories, social skills, cooking, pretend play, and art activities around the main theme as much as I could.


I have gathered a lot of wonderful ideas for my thematic unit ideas on my Pinterest! Pop on over and see if you find something useful for you..

The Thematic Approach


First things first


Let me tell you I am a BIG FAN of Thematic Approach.

I found that it works really well with  young children in my ESL class; it not only allows us to incorporate a variety of concepts and ideas into a theme but also integrate Language skills, Social Studies, Math, Literature, Music and Science. Moreover organizing teaching around a theme allows for curriculum content and learning processes to be addressed within a meaningful context.

This year I organized my syllabus around one theme a week with ideas for teaching five days a week. But you can adjust the schedule to fit your needs.

It has a strong language and literature focus and it offers activities and ideas to develop the essential skills and concepts to acquire a second language in a natural way.

Remember that even when it aims children aged 3 to 8 you can recreate the activities to meet your group needs.




Learning Principles

The learning principles that guide my syllabus are:

1. Children learn as total persons (emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually).

2. Children go through similar stages of development, but at individual rates.

3. Children learn through their senses (hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling).

4. Children learn through active involvement (exploring, playing, manipulating, and problem-solving).

5. Children learn through attitudes as well as through content; therefore, attention should be given to methods, emotional climate, environment, and teacher-child interaction.

6. Children learn through experiences; therefore, sensitivity to the value of play is required, for it is through play that children create their own meaning and learning schemes. Play is the work of the child.


Learning objectives

I want my children:

1. Develop a positive self-concept.

2. Enlarge his/her world of people, experiences, ideas, and things.

3. Increase the skills involved in physical coordination.

4. Achieve intellectual growth.

5. Increase competence and skills in reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking.

6. Develop his/her natural curiosity and his/her creative potential.

7. Develop cooperative trusting relationships.

8. Increase competence in dealing with emotional feelings and social situations.


Activities


Activities aim to the five developmental learning strands:

1- Social /Emotional development

2- Creative development

3- Cognitive development

4- Physical development

5- Language development


It has also a multisensory approach. It includes engaging activities using the kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learning styles to make learning meaningful and fun. It not only allows children to learn through taste, touch, sound, smell and movement but also provides hands-on experiences that promote the active involvement

The goal for this year is to provide kids with activities so they can advance their language skills and conceptual knowledge, while facilitating the development of their communication and literacy skills and promoting positive attitudes towards themselves and learning.


Are you with me?

Vocabulary Mats





There are many ways to be creative when introducing new words to the children. I love finding new ways to introduce, practise and review vocabulary with my little ones. I began using vocabulary mats last year and I found them really useful.

What can you do with vocabulary mats?
These are some suggestions for the little ones
Point to the new words
Listen and point
Point and say
Use bottle caps to show me the words you remember
Show me your favourite word
Use the  new words in sentences
Clap your favourite word
Use playdough to cover the words you remember


If you are working with older kids they can
See patterns and relationship in words.
Find an animal that can fly.
Find 2 items of clothing.
Find 3 veggies.
Find a compound word.
Find a word that has…letters.
Find a word that sounds like ...(specify a word).
Find rhyming words.
Find similar and different pictures.
Find the plural of …(specify a word).
Find these words in a book or text.
Find words that begin/end with (specify a letter).
Find words that end with (specify a letter).
Find a descriptive word.
Find a past tense word.
Sort the words by number of consonants/ vowels.
Sort words by number of syllables.
Sort words by category.
Sort words by stress.
Write the words and check them together with the teacher.
Write the words in alphabetical order by the first letter, second letter, etc.
Use the words to make riddles.
Use the words to write a story or a poem.
Use the words to write sentences.



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