Literature As Lesson Planning Inspiration

Even seasoned teachers need lesson planning inspiration every now and then. If you want to add some spice to the day's activities and exercises, Deborah J. Steward recommends looking first to your bookshelf! Your stash of children's literature can actually provide great math, art, science, and other connections!


Choose a prevalent character or object from the book and create colorful cutouts for:

  • Counting
  • Sorting (by color or size)
  • Patterning


Look for sensory connections. If the setting of your students' favorite book is a farm, make a recording of farm animal sounds and have your students identify them. Talk about how the hide of a cow feels compared to the fur of a dog or the down feathers of a goose. If possible, bring in texture samples for the children to feel. If you have a sensory table, consider filling it with "wood chips" or sawdust to introduce students to the materials farmers use to bed the stalls of horses, etc. Music

Find themed songs that go along with the book (e.g. For a farm themed book you could sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", "Five Little Ducks", etc.)  If possible, make finger or hand puppets for your students to use so that everyone can actively participate while singing. It may also be fun to make up hand motions for students to try.


Have students draw their favorite scene from the book. Paint or color pictures of the book characters. The possibilities really are endless. In most cases, the problem won't be coming up with art projects, it will be figuring out which ones to include and which ones you won't have time to complete!

For more great ideas for teaching preschool be sure to check out the rest of Stewart's blog!

Connecting children's literature to all content areas of your classroom

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