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A Complete Preschool Lesson Plan – Jungle Theme
Get on the Safari Bus. We are going to take a walk in the jungle in the preschool class. It’s going to be so much fun for the kids, and I guarantee you’ll have a blast.
Here are some ideas on how to get your jungle-themed lesson plan started and some ideas for keeping it going for as long as your preschoolers are interested in the activity.
Here’s how to introduce the theme:
Day 1. Ask the children if they know what the word “jungle” means. Explain what a jungle is for those who may not know and have a picture of a jungle so they can associate your description with the picture.
Day 2. Have books* in the library about jungles and animals that live in the jungle. They can be a mixture of cartoon-type children’s books and actual children’s books. (Your local library should be able to help you find books.)
Day 3. Find pictures* of jungle animals in magazines, books, the internet, calendars or anywhere you can find them, laminate them and post them on the walls around the classroom.
Day 4. Place the jungle-themed toys on the toy shelf and place some jungle-themed puzzles in the puzzle area.
Day 5. Find a CD with jungle-themed music and listen to it throughout recess after talking about the jungle.
* If any pictures or books you have show tribal people, you can make tribal masks for a creative art activity and the children can wear them in the drama play center.
You can also place paper towel tubes, pipe cleaners, markers, googly eyes, etc., on the art shelf and see what animals they create.
Here are some examples of animals you can introduce through books and pictures:
Do not hesitate to have an open discussion with the children. Talk about the colors of animals, their teeth, their eyes, which animal each child prefers, etc.
If you want, you can also talk about what the animals eat, but make sure to keep it simple. Children at this stage of life do not need to start learning the words carnivores, herbivores, etc. Keep it simple like saying, a panther eats meat, a monkey eats fruit, a giraffe eats leaves from tall trees, etc.
Children will probably want to know where the animal houses are in the jungle. This information should be easy to find in the books and photos you have. Otherwise, the library will have books on the individual animals you are talking about that will give you the information you need.
Here are some examples to get you started:
Animals will find homes in their habitat (the jungle) which they will make a home for themselves and their animal families.
Animal homes in the jungle could be a nest, den, burrow, under a rock, in a hollow tree trunk, on top of trees, etc.
You can then talk about which animal might live in a tree, which might live under a rock, etc.
To integrate this theme into the different programming areas of the class, here are some examples:
Creating a Dramatic Jungle-Themed Play Center:
Make a jungle jeep, safari jeep or car from a box or place 4 chairs with a steering wheel standing in front of a chair.
Get some safari-style hats.
Binoculars for children.
Display pictures of jungle animals on the wall and watch your preschoolers go wild with this theme. 🙂
Here’s a sandy sensory idea:
Put sand in the sensory tray.
Find small rubber or plastic sand animals* that you would find in the jungle. (Snakes, beetles, insects, etc.)
Place these items in the sensory bin and you’re done.
* I have had great success finding almost everything I need at dollar stores. Look them up, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Be as creative as possible with this theme. The possibilities are endless if you put your mind to it. When you listen to jungle music, you can incorporate creative movement into it. Have the children choose an animal they would like to pretend to be and turn on the music as that animal. There is no right or wrong move, kids will have a lot of fun.
You can also move this theme into the outdoor gross motor play. You can bring some of the dramatic outside play items like hats, binoculars, cameras, etc. Place stuffed toys here and there around the playground (make sure they’re washed when you bring them in for the day) and go on an outdoor game drive.
Kids can ride a bike and do their own trick, they can do a “lion/bear hunt”, you can run away from animals that “scare” you, you can tiptoe around and go around animals that “sleep” “.
Remember to use your imagination and expand on what children do and say.
Have a wonderful jungle themed lesson and go on an adventure.
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