Kindergarten Lessons

Theme 1: Eggs Hold Life from An Egg Is Quiet and supplementary texts

Theme 2: Humans are ordered uniquely and naturally higher than animals from Blueberries For Sal, and supplementary texts

Theme 1: Eggs Hold Life

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

BUILD A BIRD'S NEST

SUMMARY: In this activity we went on a walk around the neighborhood (called it a nature hunt for emphasis), and collected twigs and little shells. At home we twisted the twigs into a nest shape and painted the shells with robin egg blue (made from mixing blue and white kids paint). The kids gently placed the eggs in the nest when they were dry.

 

REFLECTION: The nest (like the womb) takes time and care to make 'ready' for eggs. The eggs, too, are delicate, small, and not at all insignificant in the completion of the project. They remind us that bird eggs, like human eggs have value from the start. They are delicate and must be handled with care, as we know the value of what lies within.

TRY IT AT HOME: Create a birds nest out of 3D materials (twigs, raffia) OR by coloring. Discuss how fragile the eggs that go inside are and how they are full of life, even from the tiny egg stage. Time range to complete activity: 10-60 minutes. Works for preschool - upper elementary. 

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

WATCH LIVE CAM OF ROBINS HATCHING

SUMMARY: When I first ordered the curriculum from Ruah Woods Press, I signed up to receive their newsletters. This spring, a newsletter arrived in my inbox with a link to a live cam of robin eggs hatching! My kids and I tuned in every day and watched the chicks hatch and grow. I simply left this site up on my computer and checked it as I remembered. So easy. They loved it! 

 

REFLECTION: It was fascinating to watch mama bird "just sit there" (i.e. dedicate her entire life to the safety and protection of her teeny babies) for weeks (and without an iPad to boot, you go Mama Robin!) Of equal importance was Papa Robin, who would bring home worms, showing that his differentness made him complimentary and integral to the survival of the babes. 

TRY IT AT HOME: Tune into any bird nest live cam next spring. Time range to complete activity: 15-30 minutes. Time range to complete activity: Works for preschool - high school.

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

MATCH EGGS TO ANIMALS

SUMMARY: The inside covers of An Egg Is Quiet have extensive illustrations of eggs and their corresponding animals. I photocopied these illustrations and my 6 year old cut them out, matched them, and then glued them on the paper. Besides TOB, this also taught biology, literacy, logic, and fine motor skills. 

 

REFLECTION: A great activity for a child to see that each egg has a specific design and purpose to be able to house its corresponding animal. The lesson reinforces that life begins in the egg. 

TRY IT AT HOME: Copy the inside cover. Set out scissors, glue stick, paper. Have child cut and match eggs and animals: Time range to complete activity: 20-45 minutes. Works for pre-k - upper elementary.

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

WRITE & ILLUSTRATE A SENTENCE

SUMMARY: Sentence writing and illustrating is a can't-go-wrong supplementary activity for kindergarteners when it comes to reinforcing literacy skills. My son needed extra reinforcement in this area, so we did a number of writing sheets based on what he learned  in different TOB books. For this activity, he chose his favorite egg and wrote about a unique feature of its design.

REFLECTION: The tendrils of a dogfish egg help it cling onto the side of sea cliffs. Who can argue that the egg-stage of life doesn't matter after seeing this!?  

TRY IT AT HOME: Print a free sentence-writing page from the internet, or draw lines on any paper. Have your child write and illustrate a sentence about their favorite egg in the book. Time range to complete activity: 10-30 minutes. Works for kindergarten - upper elementary.  

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

CREATE MAMA & PAPA ROBIN PICTURE

SUMMARY: Using a printable worksheet from the Ruah Woods Kindergarten Curriculum Guide for An Egg Is Quiet, my kids each colored, cut out, and glued a Mama and Papa robin and egg to their nest. 

REFLECTION: The breasts of the two robins are differently colored, distinguishing their biological gender. The roles that each naturally fulfill define their familial responsibility in nurturing a robin egg and baby. The kids picked up on their anatomical and behavioral differences right away and noted these in their summaries.  

TRY IT AT HOME: If you don't have the curriculum guides, you can easily draw the basic outline of a robin and have your kids color them according to gender. Also have them color a blue robin egg, cut all shapes out, and glue onto a nest scene. Time range to complete activity: 20-45 minutes. Works for preschool - lower elementary.

Kindergarten, Lesson on A Very Hungry Caterpillar

WRITE & ILLUSTRATE A SENTENCE

SUMMARY: The Very Hungry Caterpillar gives us the great opportunity to watch the beloved butterfly morph from its earliest stages of caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. The cocoon is like a womb, and so knowing the delicate and beloved caterpillar is entering it to then finish developing, can help us identify stage 1 of life as integral to stage 4.

REFLECTION: We all love butterflies. AND we all love caterpillars. The caterpillar/butterfly metamorphosis offers us a unique look at the value of life at every stage. Children take delight in caterpillars (stage 1 of life) and butterflies (stage 4 of life) just the same. This gives us the perfect opportunity to admire and discuss the value and potential of life from its earliest stages.    

TRY IT AT HOME: Print a free sentence strip from the internet, or draw lines on paper. Have your kindergartner write a sentence about the transition from caterpillar to butterfly. Time range to complete activity: 15-30 minutes. Works for pre-K - lower elementary. 

Kindergarten, Lesson on An Egg Is Quiet

MATCH PLASTIC EGGS

SUMMARY: (Lesson from Nancy, St. Pius) In this lesson we set out 8 plastic Easter eggs, each filled with an image of a particular egg. On the table we laid out images of the animals that matched each egg (moms and babies). We then opened the eggs and matched them to their moms. 

REFLECTION: Babies, even in their earliest egg stages, are made to belong to a mother. A robin doesn't become a robin just because it is born. An eagle doesn't become an eagle when it reaches a certain gestational age. If you were to place a robin egg with an eagle, and vice versa, the eggs would not belong. Why? Because their identity is defined from the beginning, from conception in the egg. 

TRY IT AT HOME: Google 'mama birds and their eggs' and find pictures of 8 matches (more, or less if you prefer). Print, cut, and place the egg images inside plastic Easter eggs, and the animal images on the table. Let your child open the eggs, and match the babies to their mamas

Theme 2: Humans are Ordered Uniquely and Naturally Higher than Animals

Kindergarten, Lesson on Blueberries for Sal

WRITE & ILLUSTRATE A SENTENCE

SUMMARY: Blueberries for Sal teaches us the stark difference in how humans and animals go about self-preservation very differently. One of my favorite kindergarten reinforcement activities is to write a summary sentence and illustrate a picture to go with it. It strengthens so many core skills, while also allowing reflection on the lesson at hand.  

REFLECTION: My favorite part of this story is when both Little Bear and Sal are shocked to find out they're following the wrong mama while picking blueberries. It highlights how very differently we order our lives. Bears eat blueberries to hibernate for winter. Humans pick them to take them home, clean them, and preserve them in their kitchens. One can never say that animals and humans are equal if they really ponder the difference in these systems of operation.    

TRY IT AT HOME: Print a sentence strip from online, or draw lines on a page. Have your child write about the differences between how animals and humans prepare for winter, and then illustrate their sentence. Time range to complete activity: 10-30 minutes. Works for pre-K - lower elementary.

Kindergarten, Lesson on Blueberries For Sal

COMPARE HUMAN & ANIMAL PRINTS

SUMMARY: Human prints are all similar. Animal prints are all similar in that they are all different from human prints. In this lesson we compare and contrast by making our own human hand and foot prints using a stamp pad, and cutting out animal prints from the Ruah Woods Kindergarten curriculum guide on Blueberries for Sal. 

REFLECTION: Humans and animals leave different marks on the world - literally and figuratively. This lesson shows us how our hand/foot/paw prints differ, and allows us to discuss how humans and animals are ordered differently in how they look, behave, and think.    

TRY IT AT HOME: Use a stamp pad, or color palms and soles of feet with markers or tempera paint, to make hand and foot prints of your kids. Next to those, cut and glue the animal paw prints from the reproducible page in the curriculum guide. Time range to complete activity: 15-45 minutes. Works for preschool - lower elementary. But, even older kids could have fun with this instead of cutting and gluing paw prints, they could research their favorites and learn to sketch them.

Kindergarten, Lesson on The Rooster's Gift 

WRITE & ILLUSTRATE A SENTENCE

SUMMARY: This rooster! He gets too big for his gift and then starts to get full of ego and down on life because of it. My kindergartener used another sentence and illustration to explore the theme of how we can all live up to, and not beyond the gift we were born for. 

REFLECTION: "The sky's the limit" is a phrase that really does a disservice to us. We are all born with a specific gift, a mission to fulfill on Earth. My gift is not your gift, and yours is not mine. It would be a disservice for me to try to fulfill your gift, and vice versa. So really our gift is our limit - we ought to strive to know, love, and serve God via our own unique gift, and not anyone else's.

TRY IT AT HOME: Use a free internet sentence strip or draw lines on paper. Have your kindergartner write what they know about using their unique gift. Have them illustrate their sentence. An impactful thing to do with this lesson would be to write two sentences - one about the rooster,'s gift. and one about the child's gift, then compare the two. Time range to complete activity: 10-30 minutes. Works for pre-k - lower elementary.

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