I admit it; I LOVE lesson planning, so I wanted to share the preschool lesson plan template I use to lesson plan in my preschool class. Lesson plans are more like suggestions for preschool than concrete step by step guides. I say this not because I am crap at following plans ( which may or may not be true) but because the best way to teach preschool is to be flexible enough to jump on exciting opportunities to learn when you can. What doesn’t change is our routine, a predictable routine is so important for preschool. Knowing what to expect is key to creating security and managing challenging behaviors. Your routine is likely different than mine because of school-specific timetables, and program duration. My class of 2-3-year-olds meets for two hours per class and our routine looks like this:
Welcome and free choice
Transition to outside
Outside Free Play
Transition to inside/ wash hands for snack
Snack / quiet reading time after snack
End of day song circle
Free choice and outside time are the bulk of our day taking up over an hour of our two-hour class while the other activities vary in length from 5-10 minutes.
Here is how I lesson plan for my day:
The first few sections are planned completely based on my students’ abilities and personal tastes, if Jordan loves tutus I make sure we have tutus in the dress up for pretend play, if Frankie loves firetrucks I will try to find a puzzle with firetrucks and encourage Frankie to work on hand eye coordination etc… We are constantly assessing our students, and trying to meet their developmental needs.
The book, lesson, and project usually coordinate and are usually chosen to fit the theme our school calendar, but I try to tailor them to my students as much as possible as well. I normally start with a book, find a fun group exploration that matches and then creates a simple lesson appropriate to my students’ ability level.
Lesson Plan Template With Learning Areas pdf ( The red outer frame is only for the photo)
Lesson Plan Template Without Learning Areas pdf ( the red outer frame is only for the photo)
(Fine Motor/Hand-Eye Coordination, Gross Motor, Early Literacy, Early Numeracy, Science, Sensory, Pretend Play/Language Development)
The specific developmental areas are addressed during free choice time and represent what toys or activities we place out for the children to explore. Additional items are always available if needed and if items are flopping I put them away for another day. I can’t stress enough how much flexibility matters. If you need ideas for activities for these areas check out these great Free Choice Activities For Preschool.
This is where I write down the title of the book I will read at circle time. Here are my favorite preschool books.
The lesson section is for is the short lesson I will do relating to the book. You can find great book related circle time lessons here. There are days where we don’t do any lesson and instead either move to a longer art project, science experiment or just dance out our wiggles. Don’t fret if this lesson doesn’t get done the real meat of your teaching is in your interactions during free choice and outside. This is a little prep for learning how to sit and interact as a group which has its place but don’t let this turn into a power struggle. While we adults usually focus on this, I really think it’s the least important part of the day.
This section is where I write out any materials I may need and the process of the project we are doing that day. This sounds like a huge involved activity but really it’s usually something like painting with potato mashers or making a collage of rough or soft materials. From time to time we do do a more product related craft or a science related activity but the bulk of our group projects focused on the process of creating.
The songs section is a great place to brainstorm which songs you want to sing that day, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of a preschool class when you sit down to sing you end up singing your three old favorites – writing the titles down can help remind you of which songs you meant to sing that day. This is why I love song printables, I pop them on my board in addition to writing them in my lesson plan to remind myself . Here are some song printables for you to use in your lesson plans.
Here are three sample lesson plans using my FREE Printable Lesson Plan Template – you can see how there is plenty of space for writing, you can right-click on the image and open in a new tab for a larger view.
How do you plan your day?