This popular children’s book is an excellent choice for a distance learning lesson plan for preschool because it’s so engaging to listen to, it works on a basic concept, letter recognition, and students love it. As you will see, my format for this distance learning lesson plan for preschool is simple; We read, learn, sing, and then I share more activities that build on the video in an email to parents. I do not do my lessons live, mainly because I want it to be as accessible to my students as possible and respect that families have all kinds of schedules that don’t allow for synchronous learning as a group. If we do return to distance learning at any point in the next school year I plan on having two interactive elements; short playdough playdates where I create with playdough over zoom with my students, and porch read aloud where I visit the “child of the day” at home to read a story to them ( from a safe distance of course). Right now, we are preparing to start in person, but I am also preparing remote learning lessons for preschool, so if we do have to make a switch, I am ready.
Please note I don’t share the actual video links in these posts because I use my students’ faces and names in the videos.
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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools, but this one not only entertains readers, it never gets old. Its text is musical. Its premise is brilliant in its simplicity, and kids love it. I love that it shows the alphabet in both its upper and lowercase forms. My favorite line is “Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee.” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have one, you should!
Preschool Video Lesson for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Before we can get into the details of this distance learning lesson plan for preschool Find a place where the background isn’t too busy. As you can see in the screenshots of the video, my bookcase is not the best background. Live and learn, I’ll be so much better prepared this year if we have to go remote. If we are distance learning again in the fall, I will invest in some fancier materials like this super cute easel, but for now, we are making do with my trusty cookie sheet magnet board. For this lesson, you will need foam or construction paper to make a coconut tree, a cookie sheet, and magnetic letters.
- I start my preschool video lesson with my Good Morning song with photos of my students. As I say their names in the song, I point to their photos I have attached to a cookie sheet. This is one way to include my students in a lesson that is not live. As I said, I have decided not to do live zoom style lessons because of the age of my students as well as knowing families are sharing devices, and I wanted families to have the flexibility of viewing the lessons on their schedules.
- Next, it’s time to read the book! I love this book because even if I am not reading it live, it’s so much fun to read out loud. When you are reading books on video, using shorter books is critical to keep your students engaged. I always introduce the book reading the names of the author and illustrator and asking the students, “What do you think this book might be about? Let’s look at the cover.” As I read, I stop to ask questions as I would in a traditional circle time, giving my students time to answer me.
- After the book, it’s time for a quick lesson. This lesson is all about letter recognition—specifically the first letters of my students’ names. We get to add our letters to the coconut tree.I made this tree with foam and added some magnets. Then I grabbed the letter magnets, making sure I had every students’ first letter and popped them in a small container. I took out each letter one at a time ( which my eyes closed) and pretended to hear my students call out the letter. Then I’d open my eyes and say something like, “Did I hear you say E? Yes, E for Ellie!” then I added it to the cookie sheet. I repeated this with every letter. Make sure to take a beat after showing the letter to the camera so the children can yell out the letter at home. My students are beginners with letters, so I stick to the most familiar, but with older students, there is no need to limit yourself to first letters.
*If you are doing this LIVE on a platform like zoom as you pull out the letter magnets, you could have the children check-in if that’s their letter with hands up. “Yes, Hailey, this is an H, which is the first letter in your name, Hailey!”
- Finally, its time to sing! Sing the alphabet song. Sometimes I use extra props like our class mascot Ms. Bea to help.
This lesson plan created a 9-minute video, with only six students so larger classes would, of course, result in longer videos.
Email to Family
Here is the email to families with coordinating activities. I try to keep most of the activities limited to little or no supplies. When supplies are needed, my preschool provides them with porch drop-offs. I also try to limit my printable activities unless I can print and deliver them to my families. Many young families don’t have printers.
This week we are exploring the alphabet – in addition to these activities you sing the alphabet song, take note of letters in signs or other print you might see at home or on neighborhood walks like stop signs, and point out your chid’s name to them whenever it’s around focusing on how special a word it is.
Suggested Alphabet Activities
Get some plain paper and write letters on them. Use a mix of letters, but there is no need to use all twenty-six. Place them around a room with the furniture pushed aside, so there is room to move and groove when the music plays. Play the music and groove. Pause the music and CALL out a letter. Your child should stand on that letter. Repeat!
BOOK LETTER HUNT
Write a few letters on a piece of paper. Sit down with a familiar book. You won’t be reading it, just using it to find letters. Look for each letter, turn the page from time to time for a new search area. Keep going until you have found all your letters. With this age, try a few letters from their name, if they are still interested, add more.
Write your child’s name on a piece of paper and on the outside of the envelope. Use an uppercase letter for the first letter and lowercase for the remaining letters. Cut the letters on the paper out, so each letter is its own strip of paper. Pop them in an envelope. Present the envelope to your child saying,” Look, this says your name. I wonder what is in here? Let’s find out!” Take each letter out of the envelope and have your child name it if they can. If not, you name it.” Look, it’s a lowercase l, what’s next? Oh, look lowercase i… until you get all the letters out. They do not have to be in order. When they are all out, ask your child if they recognize the letters. “What do you think these letters could spell?” Let your child play with them. Together match them up to the letters on the envelope.
WRITE A LETTER
Gather some writing materials – use what you have!
Sit down together a write a letter to someone you miss. After writing, have your child draw a picture too. Address and stamp the envelope and walk it to the mailbox.
Have a wonderful week,
Activities To Add To This Distance Learning Lesson Plan for Preschool
Remember to choose activities that won’t overwhelm parents. Some parents are eager and enjoy this role of teaching at home, and others are trying to balance working at home full time and caring for young children. It’s tough, know your audience!
Check out this list of alphabet activities here!
More Remote Learning Resources for Preschool Video Lessons
All of the ideas in this preschool video lesson plan are from my If You Give A Mouse A Cookie Preschool Activities – there are many more in the post, but I chose the activities that fit MY students. Click on that link to find more that might be more suitable for your students. I also have other popular books matched with activities here. Throughout the summer, I’ll be creating more of these resource posts as we all prep for an uncertain start to the school year.