Have you read Rex Wrecks It by Ben Clanton? It’s a great book that offers a fantastic foundation for multiple lessons. This Rex Wrecks It lesson plan incorporates social-emotional learning, shapes, and sorting. It is easy to differentiate this preschool lesson plan for various levels of learning and different skills you may be focusing on in your class. My students who are just about three years old loved this; they not only enjoyed the book but also the activities to accompany it.
This post contains affiliate links.
Rex Wrecks It by Ben Clanton is a must-read for preschool. It is all about a little dinosaur who just can not stop himself from knocking down other people’s towers. It is a great story because it empathizes with the children on all sides of this situation. As you read it to your students, focus on how it feels to have a block tower knocked down and the character’s faces. They are so sad. This will help as you progress through the year and deal with tower knocking down during free choice. It’s also good to spend some time looking at hard it is NOT to knock down a tower when it’s right in front of you. The book is an excellent look at self-regulation and resisting temptation to do something fun.
Rex Wrecks It Circle Time Lesson
Gather your materials. You will need some card stock in various colors, magnetic tape, lamination sheets, and a laminator. You will also want a fabric bag or basket.
Start by cutting the card stock into various shapes. With my class, I kept it simple, we had circles and squares. My students are all right around three, and keeping it to two shapes helps to reinforce those shape names that might still be brand new. Add more shapes if you have a class that needs more challenge.
Laminate and add magnets. Pop them in a basket or bag and set aside for the lesson.
If you do not have a magnet board, you could do this with felt.
As you read the book make sure to focus the children’s attention on how Rex’s classmates feel when he wrecks their towers. I like to have my students make faces just like the sad faces in the book to help make it more relevant. After reading the book, ask your students if they will help you build a tower on the magnet board. Tell them that you need them to help you find the squares to build the tower.
Pull one shape at a time from the bag/basket and let the children shout out the name if it is a square hand it to a child to come up to the board and use it to build a tower.
When the 2nd and subsequent squares are identified make sure to prompt the child with positional words. “Can you put the square on top of the other?” or “Put that square above the other squares.” and keep going.
Once all the squares have been identified, count how many squares are in the tower together.
Rex Wrecks It Art Activity
In my classroom, we do a short art activity after circle time, and this is what we did.
Gather your materials. You will need construction paper, card stock, scissors, and glue sticks.
Start by cutting the construction paper into squares of various sizes. Cut the card stock into one large square per student.
Scatter the paper squares on the table.
Give each child a card stock square and a glue stick. Tell them that they get to build their own towers or a wrecked tower with the squares and glue stick.
This activity was such a hit with the students, we have often done square collages with no real focus, and some children love them but giving the children a little direction and combining it with this book made this activity so much more enjoyable.
They started making towers… and then kept adding blocks, and some students made them ” a big pile of blocks!”
There is no wrong way for the children to do this, so give them ample time to create however they want. The point of the activity is to allow children to explore and manipulate squares as well as practice using glue sticks appropriately.
If you like this circle time activity and matching craft, you will love our thematic units. They have everything you need to build your curriculum with engaging free choice activities, circle time lessons, book lists, and even a song for every theme. Find these fall themes and many more for any time of the year in our teacher store.