Social Studies/Sensory Unit: The Sights of India

Social Studies and Sensory Preschool Lesson Plan

I {Kayla} teach a preschool class at my church on Wednesday nights and we recently did a lesson that I thought would be fun for any preschool classroom! Perfect to include in your geography/social studies unit, we explored the region and culture of India using our five senses {with a few extras thrown in, of course!}.

The "Sight Station/Center" was one of my favorites - lots of exploring and learning going on! We had several things going on and students worked through them at their own pace...
  • At the beginning of the night when the kiddos arrived, we presented them with a world map poster - having a little discussion about how maps work {i.e. the blue stuff is water, here's where we live, etc.} and inviting them to guess where they thought India might be located. They marked their guess with a small circle sticker and then we headed off to chapel. This same map was then moved to the sight station where, when we returned, I showed them where India is and we determined who had guessed the closest. We also located India on a globe {my kiddos were amazed to see that India is on the other side of the world!} and found/colored India on a map of southern Asia.
  • I wanted the kids to be able to connect to the lesson, so I attempted to tap into their knowledge base by comparing and contrasting various things {that they have experience with} in America and India - food, housing, clothing, currency, church/religion, etc. Using file folders, I created flip "books". The front flap displayed a photo from the United States, the inside of the folder revealed a print from India. I hung these up at eye level for the kiddos to explore.Sensory Social Studies Preschool Lesson Plan
  • Lastly, I visited the library and checked out a ton of children's literature/picture books on India. I set these up in a comfy reading area {pictured above} for the kids to page through. The colorful images held their attention for quite a while.

My goal for this station was to allow my preschoolers to peruse and explore at their own pace. Maddy {my helper} and I made ourselves available to answer questions and talk to the kiddos about what they were seeing, but we didn't want it to be too guided. The kids really responded to this format and many of them sought us out - wondering why the people were throwing 'paint' on each other {at the annual Holi festival, Indians throw colored powder at each other to herald the end of winter and celebrate the coming spring}, asking how many people lived in the "big house" {the Taj Mahal}, and trying to figure out why there was a cow in the middle of the city road.

Be sure to check back for the rest of the India centers - I'll be posting about them tomorrow!

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