Back to School Time!

August is almost here and we are ready to a new fresh start!

To do beforehand:

Send home the new unit note.

Prepare the newsletter for the theme.

Check supplies.

Print the reproducibles for the week.

Make enough copies for your children.

Send the fieldtrip notes and prepare the tags.

Prepare the Family Fun Pack.

Make a beautiful Bulletin Board to decorate your class.

Explain that during the next days they are going to learn about school.

Write on the board or on a sheet of paper:

"Back to school time!"

Invite children to tell you things they already know about the topic.

Keep the list until you have completed the theme.

Look Who Came To School Today!

During circle time build positive self-esteem when greeting children with this song by Barbara.

Look Who Came to School Today

(tune: Mary Had A Little Lamb) Look who came to school today

School today, school today

Look who came to school today,

_____(child's name) did.

The child named gets up and dances as children clap. Repeat with all the children's names, including the teacher's name.

Introducing vocabulary

There are many ways to be creative when introducing new words to the children. Check some ideas here

A new topic: Back to school!

Gather your children in the meeting area.

Explain that during the next days they are going to learn about the school (or kinder)

Write on the board or on a sheet of paper

"Back to school!"

Invite children to tell you things they already know about the topic.

Keep the list until you have completed the theme.

Introducing vocabulary: I go to school

You will need:

· a box or backpack

· school supplies

Gather the children in a circle.

Show the box or backpack to the children. Ask them to elicit what there is inside the bag

Open the bag and show them the items.

Prompt some questions such as:

What’s this? Where can you find a marker? What can you do with this? Is it a book or a notebook?

Have you got glue? What colour is this?

Practising vocabulary:

People at school

You will need:

· photographs

· cards

· contact paper

· art supplies

Take pictures of the people that work at school. Enlarge them with a copy machine.

Paste them on cardboard and laminate.

Prepare cards with pictures of the usual stuff they work with.

Invite children to identify the principal, the cooker, the librarian, the Music teacher.

Then ask them to match people and object cards.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Readthe story The Kissing Hand using a raccoon stuffed animal.

After discussing the story with the children, I put a heart sticker (which comes from previously placed heart stickers in the raccoon's pouch) on each child's hand. This helps preschool children to remember that Mom or Dad loves them. If they have a problem later in the day, I remind them to look at their sticker and put it up to their cheek.

After the story, I have each parent to help their child make a hand print and then make one of theirs on the same paper. It works really well. The children and the parents enjoy it! I post them in the hallway for parents to admire.

Prepare your children to read the books

Show the cover; give the name of the title, the author and illustrator. Tell them that the author is the person who writes the words and the illustrator the person who draws the pictures.

Read the story so all the children can see the pictures in the book. Run your hand under the letters as you read them.

Follow up by showing each page and involving children in discussing characters and settings in the story.

Explain the unfamiliar words.

Call attention to the words and images you are teaching.

Ask comprehensive questions.

Allow each child to talk and participate during the activity.

Individual book

“At school we learn”

You will need:

· a blank book per child

· art supplies

Provide each child with a blank book

Brainstorm things you learn at school.

Invite children to illustrate the pages.

These are some suggestions:
“At school we learn about colours”

“At school we learn about animals”

“At school we learn about shapes”

You can replace school for kindergarten or for the name of your room.

Collaborative book

“My favourite activity at school”

You will need:

· blank sheet per child

· art supplies

Creating class books allows children to work cooperatively with others while completing a task.

Give one page for each child.

Invite children to draw what they like doing at school.

Involve each child in completing his/her page.

If you are working with older children ask them to write their name.

Write with big letters what they say.

More books for Back to school

I Like School by Michael Mantean

Going to School by Anne Civardi

Friends at School by Rochelle Bunnett

School is a fun place to be
Tune:"Sing a Song of Sixpence."

Sing a song of gladness;

Another year's begun!

We'll be busy learning

Till the year is done.

Sing a song of good times,

For all my friends and me!

New discov'ries every day.

Yes, school's the place to be!


Give the children pom poms to dance with. Play a variety of music and ask the children to dance to the music using the pom poms.

Back to school poem

Here's a picture of me,

So you can see,

I'm a (insert grade level),

As happy as can be!

Final product may look like this:

Here's a picture of me,

So you can see,

I'm a kindergartner,

As happy as can be!

Happy at school:

Have children make happy faces from circles and/or paper plates--label a bulletin board "Happy Faces and Happy Places" using the plate and circle faces. Welcome mats with happy faces can also be made to share with families.

“How do you go to school?"

You will need:
· paper
· markers
· pictures of transportation
· glue

Collect pictures of buses, cars, bicycles and people walking. Ask each child pick out the mode of transportation he or she uses to get to school and paste in the right table. Count the number in each category.

"How do you travel to school?"

By Bus / By Car / On foot

How many walked? How many rode the bus? How many rode in a car, van or taxi?

More ideas:

Which colour crayon to you like the best? red, yellow, blue,

How many boys are in our class? How many girls?

How many letters in your first name?

How many letters in your last name?

Do you like your name? yes no

Do you like school? yes no sometimes

Are you left handed or right handed?

School supplies

You will need:

· school items

Use school items to see which sink and which float in water.

Before hand prepare a graph.

Write “Sinking elements / Floating elements”

Gather some school items from the classroom.

Fill a tub with water.

Invite children to try the items.

Record the results.

Sensory experience

Add sand, shredded paper, or other sensory filler to table, put in small school items, crayons, books, fake scissors, etc.

Let children find the objects.

One for all…

You will need:

· a big shape of a bus

Before hand prepare a big school bus.

Cut up the shape into pieces like a puzzle.

Give one piece per child and invite them to decorate the puzzle piece anyway they want.

When all the puzzle pieces are ready, sit the children in a circle and reassemble it with your children.

Use the game to talk about the importance of working together as a team.

And also you can talk how their differences make that puzzle unique.

Display the puzzle on the wall.

Bus cookies

You will need:

1 cup of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 spoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/8 teaspoon salt

2 ½ cups chocolate chips

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter with both sugars until well blended.

Stir in the vanilla and egg.

Fold in the flour, baking soda and salt, then, lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.

Knead and cut the cookies with a bus cookie cutter

Bake until just light brown around the edges, about 14 to 16 minutes.

Cool on racks.

Let children decorate the “buses” with sprinkles, gummies, M&Ms

I used them with my EFL Young Learners during writing time. Let your kids identify the words and use them in sentences.

This is the time you “wrap up” the work.

Let children reflect about what they learned.

Discuss about things they liked and didn’t like.

Use this time to assess the teaching strategies

Gather the children in a group at the conclusion of the study of the theme.

Write on the board or on a poster

“Things we learned about School”

Invite children to tell you something about they have learned.

Prompt questions such as “What have we done during this week?” “What were we talking about?”

Make a list of all the things children say.

Read the first list you made with the group at the beginning of the unit.

Say “These are the things we write at the beginning. Do you remember?” “Now, this is what we have learned

At the beginning of the theme send home a note to parents stating for the theme the children will be learning about for the next few days,.

Suggest some ways families can be involved in the topic of study, for example:

Include the titles and authors of some of the children’s books about the theme.

Invite parents to look for these books in the library, check them out and read them with their child.

Send home some of the finger plays, rhymes, songs, poems that you have used with the children. Print them on colorful cards and record the children singing or chanting. Invite families to sing and rhyme with their children.

Ask families to send pictures or books or stuff related to the topic.

Family Fun Pack : I go to school

Prepare a folder to use during this theme.

Prepare some play dough for children to play at home and cookie cutters with school supplies shapes

Prepare bingo cards with pictures of school items for families to play at home.

Add some books for families to read and tapes with music.

Invite families to talk with their children about when they went to school.

Print the bus cookies recipe and send home

This is a Print & Go Vocabulary Pack to use along with your School or Back to school Unit. It includes 20 worksheets to review and consolidate the new vocabulary words. It can be used at school or home.

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