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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week one: THE FOX

What do you know about foxes? Have you studied them explicitly? Do you know what makes them tick? What their favorite snack is? How they like their fur brushed? Why they run in packs? What a pack is exactly? No? Me either. But I found out.

I decided to stray away from the typical "fall" animal (horse, bear, etc) mainly because I like to be different. Also I didn't have any good horse stories on hand, and it's hard to trick your family members into buying books for your new project the day before you need it. Also I like foxes. Having recently watched Fox & the Hound with my kiddos, I was reminded just how cute and cuddly they were. Also when I asked my son what I fox says, his answer is really stinkin' cute.

Go ahead. Ask him.

Coming up with curriculum for a preschool setting is both easy and difficult at the same time. It's easy because it's fun: crafts, stories, little science experiments... it's so much fun looking at all the different ways you can incorporate a single animal into math and science and language arts and crafts and reading. So many options!

But it's hard because you don't want to screw up. You don't want to give the wrong information. You don't want to teach your child something too easy or too hard or too boring or basically "too" anything. You want it to be perfectly perfect so that they'll listen, and enjoy it, and LEARN something, and all the while not go over or under (?) their heads.

It's hard.

So here is where we're starting:

Where to start? 
Ask children what they know about foxes, or if they have seen pictures or read stories that have a fox character. Ask children if they have heard about endagered animals, and what these terms mean to them. 

Basic facts about the fox:
The fox is a wild animal that has a pointed nose, pointed ears, and a bushy tail. Foxes are closely related to coyotes, dogs and wolves. Foxes hunt insects, birds and other small animals but will sometimes eat plants - especially fruit.

[do you think they are going to laugh at me if I read straight from my sheet? no? okay cool.]

So that's our starting point. Discussion.

From there, I have created a guided lesson plan for the week, with five areas I want to concentrate on, with three activities per area (since we will home school for three days a week).

Fox masks,
Marble art on fox cutouts,
Friday we'll "make our own" fox with color squares (you can glue them on), fuzzy stuff for the tail, and googly eyes

look up "fox" in our encyclopedia and talk about what it says. talk about fox food, where they live, habitat, etc.
pass around a toy fox and talk about how it feels, the different parts, what the fox uses each body part for, etc.
friday: felt fox body parts to put together, which we will have talked about on wednesday

Two stories from Aesop's Fables
And one of my daughter's favorites: My Lucky Day. I thought we would read this on Monday so there is a sense of familiarity to our class.

Writing the letters for F-O-X and spelling the word. We have writing sheets for F, O and X with upper and lowercase letters. Practice writing the letters for the word fox, then trying writing the word as a whole.
Use the word fox in a sentence using a word from science time: A fox is red. Make up a silly sentence about a fox (Abigail's favorite game): Have you ever seen a fox wearing a dress jumping rope at the grocery store?


Count the fox faces and match it with a number and word

Roll a dice and put fox pictures in a bowl, most after 5 turns win

Circle the right number of foxes



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