A beginners guide to lesson planning at the nursery
The first thing that happens when you ask a new volunteer to plan a lesson for the following day or week (if they have little to no experience, that is…) is a look of terror sweeps across their face. How do I know what will help these children learn? How can I make sure they stay engaged? How can I make the lesson fun for them? The answer is simple, take a deep breath and….
Start with a theme, whether that be under the sea, jungle, insects or any other wild and wonderful themes you can think of.
Next, think about the core things you want to cover. For example, the last few weeks at the nursery, we have focussed on shapes and colours.
You then want to work out how the two can be combined. For example, the children could design and make their own fish out of different shapes, for the under the sea theme. These kids can only really hold their attention for about 15 minutes at a time, so be sure to keep it fairly brief!
Bear in mind that they can also work on their motor skills. Including tasks that require cutting, sticking, holding pencils and other such fine motor tasks is a sure-fire way to ensure they are stimulated physically as well as mentally. Such tasks will also keep their attention that little bit longer.
Once you have the basic structure of your lesson, find a story book that you can link to the theme. There’s plenty available at the nursery. The more you can relate it to the core learning topics, the better! (pretty much all of our story books have counting, colour identification and shape identification cues in them) The kids LOVE to read and getting them gathered on the carpet at the beginning of the lesson with a story linked to the theme is great way to get them focussed.
So there you have it, a lesson planning template for all occasions.
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