Themes can be fun in the classroom, and if you enjoy planning around themes, this can be sure to make class fun for the kids too!
There are plenty of benefits around planning each week specifically, but even more when you plan around themes! We want to share some themes with you to help make your classroom even more fun and special.
We have even got an awesome list of themes for your kindergarten class all year round to help you plan ahead!
Teaching With Themes Benefits
Before we delve into what the themes could be, and how you can plan some themes, let’s talk about why it’s good and what the benefits are.
On the side of planning for the teacher and the learning side of the student, there are plenty of benefits to planning a curriculum around different themes.
Here are just some of the benefits we have found!
Accessing Prior Knowledge
When you use themes in the classroom, it can help your students to access the knowledge they already have.
So, if you were to use a pumpkin theme, for example, this can then build upon the knowledge and vocabulary your students already have.
Your students having some prior knowledge on a subject can help them to feel more confident about their learning, and it can build excitement around learning and make it fun for them.
Building Knowledge Depth
When students learn about the same topic over multiple subjects the way they understand the concept of the topic is multiplied and strengthened.
This also provides them with even more opportunities to build up their vocabulary.
As a teacher, when you are planning your week ahead, if you can line up all of your subjects around a single theme this can make it easier and faster. This can also allow you to meet a wide range of standards.
Adding in some fun themes to subjects such as math or science or in a reading center helps the students stay motivated about the subject and can keep them more interested in the topic as well.
We admit that choosing a theme is not always easy, which is why we will provide you with a list of ideas to help you decide on some themes for your classroom.
Sadly, it is not actually possible for you to use all of these themes in a single year. However, there are some things you should consider when you are picking your themes for the year ahead. Consider the following:
- What themes do you already consider in your current curriculum that you can add to?
- What literature do you already have in your current classroom library?
- What themes have been popular for previous students and classes? What kept them engaged and interested?
- What aspects of teaching do you have passion for? What do you like about it?
Monthly Theme Ideas For Kindergarten
|January||Polar animals (i.e. polar bears). Penguins. Winter. Snow. Hibernation. Lunar New Year. New Year. Martin Luther King.|
|February||Groundhogs Day. Presidents’ Day. Valentine’s Day. Friendship. Dental Health. Presidents. Friendship. Black History.|
|March||Maps. Spring. Women’s History. Saint Patrick’s Day. Transportation. Nutrition.|
|April||Insects. Earth Day. Oviparous Animals. Seeds & Plants. Gardens. Zoo Animals.|
|May||Oceanic Animals. Farms. Space. Camping. Dinosaurs.|
|August/ September||Apples. Fairy Tales. Weather. Seasons. Grandparent’s Day. Nursery Rhymes.|
|October||Fall. Spiders. Pumpkins. Fire Safety. Nocturnal Animals. Bats.|
|November||Native Americans. Thankfulness. Community Helpers. Manners. Scarecrows. Veterans Day.|
|December||Polar Express. Reindeer. Wants Vs Needs. Gingerbread. Christmas across the world.|
If you like planning out your whole year, so you can get your materials ready in advance, then you can easily use any of these themes. If you have an excitable class, you could even use one theme per week.
There are plenty of themes for you to choose one per week if you wanted to!
For most teachers, it is always best to have an idea of what you will be teaching every month, it helps you to be on the lookout for general learning resources and literature that can help to enhance a theme you have up and coming in the year.
This is why it is always wise to have a yearly planning template or a cross-curricular planner. Go through this during the summer, and give yourself a head start on looking at your plan for the year.
It is a great way to ensure you have a full overview of what you will be teaching during the year.
You can make alterations to it each year, however, once you have an outline you can use a lot of these themes and associated subjects each year.
Using cross-curricular themes can be incredibly useful for teachers in kindergarten, and above.
Chose A Theme
It is always best to choose what your themes will be before the school year starts, match up themes to holidays, seasons, and what is going on in nature.
Do not forget to consider themes that you know your students will find interesting too!
Gather Relevant Materials
Once you have chosen a theme for the week or the month, check what materials you have related to that theme. Have a look at the following:
- The School curriculum.
- Library books.
- Art supplies.
- Science experiment materials.
- TPT curriculum/ supplemental materials.
- Pinterest’s ideas.
If this is new to you, this list can start smaller, but each year it will certainly expand. It is not a bad idea to also make a wishlist around this time also, look to see if any subjects may need some more material to make the topic more interesting.
This could include new equipment and books.
You should always check the standards you are working on with your class at any given time and match your themes lessons to the theme.
If you were working on procedural writing, and your theme was nature, you could do a procedural writing task on planting seeds.
Themes are a great way to get kids excited about learning and motivate them to stay interested in class. It has many benefits for both you and your students and makes the whole experience so much more fun.
You could choose a theme per month, or a theme per week, how you do it is up to you. However, we always recommend introducing themes into kindergarten learning!
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