Monday, May 7, 2012

Fairy Tale Preschool

I realized last week, that the preschool curriculum I was using was ok, but I didn't feel passionate about it.  So I decided to make up my own.  I really want my learning interactions with my kids to be about more than just the ABC's and 123's.  I feel like with reading and talking to them (and a healthy dose of letter factory) kids will catch on to those things in their own time, without it being pushed.  I wanted to give my kids more of a literary foundation than just the basics.  Thus, my fairy tale preschool curriculum.

Fairy tales, folk tales, myths, fables, and legends are an important basis to understand future literary works.  Especially more complex works that will draw on them for allusions and metaphors.  They also teach a child about how a story works, the build up, the foreshadowing, the climax, the end.  Children love fairy tales!  Adults may find some of them in their purest form gruesome, but children don't think like that.  They just enjoy the story, and when good wins out over evil, they feel safe in their world.

The way I am doing it, is that every week we focus on a different fairy tale.  Last week it was "The Gingerbread Man".  This week it is Rapunzel.  I choose a word from the fairy tale and make it's first letter, the letter of the week.  Then I write the letter really big on our window, with a small illustration of the word.  Sometimes I add a picture from the story.  This week, H is for hair, and there is a picture of Rapunzel's hair flowing out of her tower to the witch down below, while the prince hides and watches.

Every day of the week you tell the story.  I highly recommend telling the story aloud without a book.  Children love storytelling, and imagining what is happening.  Get into it.  Add some details, give your characters different voices, change your volume.  If storytelling isn't your forte, practice a few times to make sure you have the story right.  Try and keep the story as similar as possible with every retelling.  Repetition is key.  Don't be surprised when your little one asks you to tell the story again, and again, and again!

Every day of the week has a different theme/activity to go along with the story.
Monday - tell it
Tuesday - Puppet Show
Wednesday - Act it out
Thursday - Arts/craft it
Friday - Eat it

So last week I told "The Gingerbread Man" story on Monday, went over F is for Fox and printed off a picture of a fox to show the kids.  Then Tuesday, I printed off these coloring pages of the different characters in the story, we colored them and taped them onto popsicle sticks and told the story using the puppets.  Wednesday, we acted out the story together.  Miss J couldn't decide who she wanted to be and tried out several different characters.  Thursday, we decorated felt gingerbread men and turned them into hand puppets.  Friday we baked, decorated and ate gingerbread men cookies.

I will post what we are doing every week and you can follow along or use past stories if you want.  Or you can make it up for yourself and just follow the flexible guidelines for each day.  The most important part is telling the story every day.  I have already had so many fun moments with my kids, and the thoroughly enjoy this part of our days.   I can't wait to share more with you!

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