Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kindergarten Unit: All About Me!

Last week's thematic unit in Homeschool Kindergarten was "All About Me!"  It was a lot of fun for the girls to learn more about both their physical bodies and their personalities.  As usual, I had so many ideas that we didn't get to, but the activities we fit in were a lot of fun and I know that we have many years of homeschooling to come for revisiting the subject!  Here are the highlights of our week:

I traced outlines of each girl onto butcher paper and invited them to decorate them.  It was really interesting watching them figure out how to draw clothes on their models.

Even drawing realistic faces is not as easy as it seems.  The kids had a great time decorating their models and ended up carrying them around the house and playing with them for quite some time.  We added a bit of math.  We used their paper models as a nonstandard unit to measure how many of each kid would fit from one end of the room to the other.

On a different day, I traced each child's hand and foot and asked them to use blocks to measure their length and width.  There were so many other fun math activities I was planning on doing involving measuring different body parts, but we just didn't have time to fit them in.

The kids had daily opportunities to write about themselves.  One day L will look back at her "All About Me" book and laugh about how when she was 4, her favorite food was bacon and her favorite place to visit was the mall.

We had plenty of discussions about how important it is to love yourself (although we have no lack of self esteem around here).  I love how E wrote that her best external feature was her pretty smile and internal traits were being smart and nice to dogs.  It actually took a while for me to convince them that when people talk about how they are on the "inside" they don't want a description of their internal organs.  L started giving me a description of her digestive system (too much Magic School Bus!).  The girls also filled out some worksheets on feelings when they are having a good day and a bad day which was fun for us to discuss.

A handwriting project that the girls worked on over a couple days was to make mini-dictionaries with body-part words..

I wrote the words in pencil and let the kids trace them with marker.  As they were working on the letters I encouraged them to trace the letters the "correct" way instead of the most convenient way by using the techniques we've learned in Handwriting Without Tears.  After tracing the words, the girls pasted the correct pictures in place.  They also cut out the pages by themselves and helped me use the hole puncher and string to put their books together.

The kids absolutely loved reading their dictionaries when they were done.

One craft I set up for the girls was to paste together body parts into a portrait:

Next time we revisit this unit I'd like to include a lesson on how to draw faces, which I think the girls would really enjoy.

Some of the book that the girls read as part of our "All About Me" unit included:

Quick As a Cricket
I Believe in Me
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
The Adventures of Lulu (a short chapter book probably at 2nd grade level which I helped with)
Peaceful Piggy Meditation
I Am an Artist

The girls also learned how to introduce themselves and say how they are feeling in Latin (from Song School Latin).

I had great activities planned to learn about the human body, the five senses, and more but we'll just have to save them for next time.

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