A recent article in Scholastic’s Instructor magazine reports what many primary teachers already know. There’s not enough time for children in kindergarten and other grades to play. So since we’re aware of it, we better do something to address the play deficit. Certainly time is an issue so I thought I’d use this blog entry to brainstorm a list of independent work time/workshop activities that teachers can assign which involve play yet are tied to our units. Please add to this list by commenting.
Dress up Activities
Allow students to dress up as the people who work in a school for Kindergarten School Unit or Neighborhood Workers for First Grade Neighborhood Unit. By providing just a hat, a mask, a prop you can have students play act and use the vocabulary of the people you’re studying.
Virtual Field Trips
For the First Grade animals Unit, how about a virtual safari? Post pictures or stuffed animals in a corner of the room and have students go animal watching, possibly taking a few notes on what they see or drawing pictures of their observations. This works as well for Journeys Unit or By the Sea which with some quick and easy set building provide for an underwater submarine adventure center.
Let your kids play with a light source as scientific Shadow finders or meteorologists at a Weather or Wind center.
Have students use that flashlight and perhaps a makeshift tent to tell stories around a paper made campfire for the Sharing Stories unit.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, please add your own ideas.
A podcast of this episode is available.