Creating preschool lesson plans by themes is one of many ways of shaping a preschool learning environment.
If you would like to read more about the other ways of lesson planning and my favorite style, please click here.
If you are following thematic lesson plans, then the following activities need to be addressed:
- fine motor
- gross motor / outdoors
- problem solving
- group time / language / story
- social and emotional
- self help
The idea behind a thematic lesson plan is that all aspects of the children’s holistic early childhood education will be approached through the lens of one theme. A theme might last a few weeks up to an entire quarter.
I have compiled below a list of some of the themes that I covered when this was the style of lesson planning that I used. I now use learning journey lesson plans. You can read more about why here.
- Clowns and Circus
- Recycling and Sustainability
- Seasons: Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall
- Concepts: such as, up/down, full/empty, in/out, high/low, tall/short, over/under
- Nursery Rhymes
This is just a short list to give you an idea of the possibilities, which are truly endless.
When you select a theme, consider the aims for the period and how these aims will be achieved. When you are doing thematic lesson planning, you would usually interrelate all subject areas into this theme.
As with any style of lesson planning, make sure you consider the resources available; for example: excursions, community, songs, stories or people. What concepts are to be developed? What senses? What are the language experiences? You can find more information on what I like to include in the lesson plan development stage here.
Once you have selected a theme, it can be broken down into weekly or daily lesson plans, as usual, retaining flexibility to meet individual needs or allow for spontaneous experiences.
What are your favourite themes to use in lesson planning? I’d love to hear your opinions and will add the best to the list above.