Monday, January 13, 2014

The Theme: 'Night and Day" and ideas based on a picture book

Since I am talking about ‘Night and Day,’ on my face book page, I thought I would review a book about ‘Night and Day,’ and provide some activities that you can use in your classroom.  The book is called “Tonight and Tomorrow”, by Robin Ballard. The little boy in the book talks about what he does in the daytime and what happens in his home at night. The author describes the book as a great book to help students understand the landmarks that make a day, such as going to school and the safety of home.

Talking to your students about this theme will give them a sense of patterns and what happens next. Begin your theme by talking with your students about all the things that they can do in the daytime, for example they may start their day with breakfast; discuss what they might have for breakfast. Then ask them what comes next, depending on the day, they might say “I get ready for school or watch cartoons.” Continue your discussion based on their responses. Do the same for night time.

A great way to introduce the letters D and N is to show your students the letter in print. For example, when you read the title of a book that has ‘Night and Day’ in it, you can ask your students what the first letter in the word Night or Day is. Although this may seem like an abstract way to introduce letters, it will help your students understand that letters make words and what letters are used for.

To further reiterate the theme, turn your dramatic play area into two separate portions, one side for night and the other side for day. Make the night-time portion of the center dark, hang a moon and stars from the ceiling. Provide a bed, pajamas for dress-up, teddy bears, a lamp and books for a bedtime story. On the daytime portion of the center, provide a place for breakfast, or a sitting area, balls for students to roll and adult dress-up clothing for boys and girls. Accent the area with a large sun, flowers and trees.

Use the example of the bowl I provided below as an art project, the students can crumple of tissue paper for cereal which is great for small motor development. They can also use spaghetti or noodles, be sure to explain to your students that food shouldn't be wasted, so you will only use a little to complete the project.

You can also make a night and day feely box; make the nighttime box black with stars and a moon and the daytime box blue with the sun and birds. Put items that students might see in the daytime in one box and things that might be seen at night in the other box. Daytime items can include; fuzzy suns, a bag with dry cereal in it, and a bag with toothpaste. The nighttime box could include a small pillow, a soft book, a bag of pasta, and a bag of toothpaste. Use the bag of toothpaste for both day and night to remind the students the importance of brushing at least twice a day.

You can also make a large activity box. Paint one side black, with stars and a moon and the other side blue with a sun and birds. Implement community helpers in your theme, by adding tractors, dirt, street lights and night workers. Explain to your students that not everyone sleeps at night, some people work, like construction workers, doctors and nurses. On the daytime portion of your box, add buildings, streets with cars and trucks and people, provide foam that can be use to plant flowers and trees in.

For the shape, introduce and review the circle, talk about how the moon and sun both appear round, when you look in the sky.

Introduce and review the number 1, Explaining that there is only 1- moon and 1- sun, you can also have the students count stars as a rote counting assignment.

Since you are working with the colors blue and black, use this opportunity to introduce and review those colors.

Learning using themes and books can be a great learning experience for you and your students. Create your lesson plan around their interest and favorite books, and you’ll find that they are learning and having fun.

Darla the Teacher*

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