My classroom in November is all about family, friendship, food, and farms. All of these themes lead us to learn about thankfulness, gratitude, and the importance of relationships in our lives at the same time as learning a little more about the basics. Yes, my students are only two and three years old but these big ideas can be broken down into bite-size pieces for them. This literacy-themed preschool lesson plan uses a cooking both real and pretend to learn about letters. In addition to this lesson, I will be using activities from my Family, Thanksgiving, and Harvest Farm Unit to accomplish this task! You can grab these thematic units ( and many more) to help make your planning so much easier in my teacher shop.
My circle time routine is simple. I start with my Good Morning Song, we do the chant, then we sit down to read a story. After that story, we do a short interactive activity. After that, we move to a short art or craft project related to the book or activity at the table. I keep each part of this routine short to keep it engaging and appropriate for the age group I teach. Making the art or craft activity related to the book or circle time activity helps to build on the experience the children had at circle time.
This post contains affiliate links.
Free Choice Activity – Making Alphabet Soup!
This is easier than it sounds, the picture above is of my students a couple of years ago making soup that was so tasty!
Grab a crockpot, some chicken broth, salt, pepper, alphabet pasta noodles, carrots, celery, bowls, a few cutting board, spoons, and knives. Invite the children to help slice the veggies and add ingredients to the crockpot. Pop it on high until the noodles are soft and then lower it until you serve. Children LOVE making this and I think it’s a must for this whole lesson to be meaningful.
Find more food ideas for preschool here.
Circle Time Prep
Gather your materials. You will need a pot, ladle, letter magnets, and this printable (download it free here). Print out this little rhyme and pop it up on your board or wall with this painter’s tape. Pop the letter magnets in the pot and the ladle in too. Set aside for after reading.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert is a favorite! The bold but simple illustrations and the short text makes it a perfect read-aloud for young groups like mine. The book looks at how to make vegetable soup beginning with planting seeds in the garden and ending with yummy vegetable soup. Remind the children if they helped you make soup at free choice about how they did that. Did they slice? Add broth? Can they smell the soup cooking right now? Connect as much as you can from their previous experience to this book.
Alphabet Soup Circle Time Activity
After you have read the book tell the children that today at circle you are going to play a little pretend. Today you are going to pretend to make a different kind of soup; Alphabet Soup! Instead of vegetables and chicken broth, you are going to make soup with letters. Ask all the children to put their pretend chef hats on ( go on put yours on too!) and invite each child up to stir the pot and scoop out a letter with the ladle!
Say the rhyme “Stir the soup it makes it better, now use the ladle to get a letter!” as each child stirs the soup and scoops out a magnetic letter. When the child gets a letter from the pot, take it from them and show the class labeling the letter verbally. ” Hailey found a lower case f in the soup! Now it’s Mateo’s turn!” continue repeating the rhyme until everyone has had a turn, in small classes like mine if their attention is still holding you can go around twice, but don’t push it, once is enough!
Art Activity – Alphabet Noodle Collages
Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, alphabet noodles dyed in various colors, and white glue. The best way to dye the noodles is simply to add a handful to a ziplock, add in a few drops of food color and shake vigorously until distributed. Let dry overnight on cookie sheets lined with paper towel.
Give each child some glue ( I like a small dish and paintbrush for my students) and scatter the colorful letters all around the table. Let them create by touching, manipulating and gluing those letters on to the paper. Yes, the colors will run some, that’s OK it makes it even prettier!
Let dry for a day or two before displaying to make sure the pasta is stuck on the paper nice and secure!
Want to see how this activity played out in my class? Check out my Instagram later this week to take a peek!