Pre-K Glimpse

Enjoy a gallery of videos showcasing this curriculum unit

Curriculum Unit: Exploring Living Things

Sitting cross-legged in a circle in English class, a girl eagerly waves her hand to ask “why do ladybugs have spots?” Her teacher writes her question on chart paper, where they are collecting a list of what the class knows, wonders and eventually will learn about ladybugs, the focus topic chosen based on student interests. Last week, the students held hands as partners while walking three blocks to Koshland Park on a field trip to explore the question “how do you know something is living?” One student was particularly curious about whether a pile of branches was living or nonliving. He enthusiastically shared that it once grew, but no longer needs food, water or air. Back in the classroom, students select from a range of play-based activities. One child is drawing a picture while observing live ladybugs eating aphids. Next to him, two children are working with clay and buttons, squishing it between their fingers and shaping it into ladybugs. The teachers is sitting at a table with a small group of children who are working on book making. One student is talking with her about the alphabet book she created while another is drawing an imaginative story about a dentist in outer space.

Farm Model Collaboratively Built by Pre-K StudentsMeanwhile, in Chinese class, the study of living things is focusing around farm animals. A second year student leads a call and response song about dogs in Chinese, singing I love my dog and and her classmates respond by barking, moving their bodies like dogs, and calling out a dog’s favorite foods. During their self-directed play time, a group of students are playing in a three-dimensional farm scene constructed by the children that has been growing daily. One child glues a lamb and a barn to the large piece of butcher paper while another child engages in imaginative play with wooden blocks and plastic farm animals. The teacher leans in to talk with the student, reinforcing the vocabulary learned in circle time and discussing animals’ basic needs. Across the room another student is sorting leaves, rocks, branches and other objects found on the field trip into two piles, living and nonliving. In other areas of the room, students are busily choosing to work on puzzles, artwork, counting activities and booklets about animals.

 

Examples of Enduring Understandings

Examples of Essential Questions

Focus of Integration

Chinese

All living things have basic needs.

Living things grow and change.

All living things have a life cycle.

How do you know something is living?

How do living things change?

Environments, Change and Continuity

English

All living things have basic needs.

Living things grow and change.

All living things have a life cycle.

How do you know something is living?

How do living things change?

Environments, Change and Continuity