Welcome! If this is your first time here, I am sharing lessons I teach my 4-year-old each month. Each week I choose two books,
have two discussions and we create two crafts that go along with one character trait. I use a variety of resources online to put together the lesson plans. Enjoy!
Week #1 Gratitude
Read: The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
Discuss: This book is great to teach the attributes of shapes. But the Greedy Triangle in this book also learns to be grateful for what he has… a great chance to talk about how we are all different and how special and awesome it is to have people with different strengths in the world!
Make: Trace and cut out shapes like the shapes in the book. Make a design with the shapes you created.
Read: The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
Discuss: What are YOU thankful for? Talk about what the words gratitude and grateful mean.
Make: A handprint thankful tree. List things you are thankful for on the leaves like this sample here.
Week #2 Generosity
Read: Dogger by Shirley Hughes
Discuss: How do you think you would feel (empathy) if you lost your favorite toy? Do you think that’s how the boy in the story feels? What did his sister do that was so kind? What she did can also be called generous. Think of a time you did something that was generous for someone else.
Make: Fold a piece of paper into thirds. Then, have your child retell the story in three parts. Write what they say in the three sections of the paper–beginning, middle and end. Finally, have your child illustrate their work to match their words.
Read: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Discuss: Do you think the yarn box was magical? What would you have done with all that yarn? How did the girl in the story show generosity? Why do you think she passed up the offer to give away her yarn box for money?
Make: Help your child come up with three Random Acts of Kindness to complete. Be sure they are reasonable and realistic for their age. List them on a piece of paper on your fridge and complete them together.
Week #3 Sharing
Read: Chloe Instead by Micah Player
Discuss: Can I just add in that I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! It is awesome for a big sister to have in regards to her little sister. Discuss how the big sister didn’t want to share her things with her little sister. In the end, why do you think she shared her things?
Make: Print out the free activity kit found here. There is a great Feelings matching game to complete and a color and share activity.
Read: It’s Mine by Leo Lionni
Discuss: What does it mean to share? Does the frog in this book share? What does he learn is important in the end?
Read: Mine-o-Saur by Sudipta Quallen
Discuss: “That’s not fair! You should share!” Why do the dinosaurs at school keep repeating these lines in the book? Who isn’t sharing? Do the other dinosaurs want to play with someone who doesn’t share? Would you want to play with someone who doesn’t share? Why or why not?
Make: Paint your child’s foot and stamp it on a piece of paper. Have them cut out the footprint and turn it into a dinosaur. Glue it to a piece of paper and ask your child to both name the dinosaur and tell you what they did to share—write this caption on the picture!
Read: Sister Bear Learns to Share by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Discuss: Does Sister Bear remind you of any of your friends? How does it make you feel when a friend doesn’t want to share with you? Why is sharing important?
Make: Play the “Learn to Share Game” My girls LOVE the Berenstein Bears. I have grown to love their books to since each has a very good lesson in it.
Week #1 Patience
Read: This Monster Can Not Wait! by Bethaney Barton
Discuss: Talk about a time you wanted something so bad and you had to wait (a family vacation, Christmas, Birthday Party, etc.) How come the monster decided to enjoy each day in the end instead of thinking about his trip? What changed his thinking?
Make: Monster Cookies. The hard part is reminding your preschooler to be patient and wait to eat the cookies until they are all done!
Read: Be Patient, Petunia by Erin Butler
Discuss: Petunia couldn’t wait for anything! Come up with a few different times that you and your child had to practice patience. I like to use this work aloud with my girls when we are running errands so they can experience the tricky concept right as it is happening. Example: While waiting in a long line at the post office, trying to contain the kids from trashing the card area and turning it into a game to keep them occupied, all the while, me, the 9-month pregnant mama is a hot, sweaty mess. I say to my girls, “We are being patient while we wait!”
Make: Pull out construction paper, scissors, markers and glue. Work with your child to make a cake that has everything they love. Ask your child to come up with a title for their cake. If it were a real cake, does your child think they could wait to take a bite?
Week #2 Hope
Read: Someday by Eileen Spinelli
Discuss: This book is FILLED with visions of HOPE from a little girl as she dreams about what she wants to be when she grow up! Let your child be a dreamer and tell you all about what THEY want to be when they grow up. Bite your tongue and allow the sky to be the limit!
Make: Think of a way to help your child organize and set up a pretend play of what they want to be when they grow up. A chef? Let him or her wear your apron and make a chef hat as you play in their pretend kitchen. A teacher? Set up a classroom with stuffed animals. Your child gets to be the teacher and you are a student!
Read: The House on Dirty Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger
Discuss: The concept of this book MAY be a bit difficult for a child to understand but it is written in such a way that they will take something away. A mother and child relocate into an old dingy house. Ask your child, why you you think the little girl in the book is so sad about moving to a new house? How come the mom in the book is working so hard on the house they moved into on thirty-third street? After the mom and girl go to church that first Sunday, church members start showing up at the house to help fix it up. Why do you think they were doing that? Did you notice the pictures in the book were all gray at the beginning but near the end they were bright and colorful? Let’s talk about why that may be!
Make: Using a paper lunch bag, create a 3-D house like the one here. Talk about the neighbors in your own community. How do they help each other out?