Attention all preschool teachers: allow yourselves a break by consulting an easy to use preschool lesson plan template.
Perusing the Internet only proves the fact that too many sites are swindling teachers’ paychecks for preschool worksheets and resources; allow us to show you an effective and easy-to-use option for your preschool lesson plans for free.
All preschool teachers grasp the importance of these formative years in a child’s life. Note that we said life and not education. Sure, learning the alphabet and understanding the value of numbers are essential—but what about life lessons? Who teaches empathy, patience, and kindness? All teachers have this opportunity, but those who teach in the earliest formative years have the most influence, undoubtedly.
The most effective preschool teachers include these thematic concepts into their lesson plans. These thematic inclusions are just as important as the other skills, but this only adds to the teacher’s plate. Simplify your planning by creating your own easy-to-use template.
Creating Your Own Free Preschool Lesson Plan Template
You cannot start building your preschool lesson plan template until you have categorized the important chunks of your daily lesson plans.
Mentally run yourself through a day in your classroom, and write down all of the activities that occur. For most preschool teachers, this will sound something like: a good morning activity and greeting one another, practicing motor skills with a fun, kinesthetic activity or utilizing fun yet informative preschool worksheets, taking a break for snack, enjoying group center’s time, lunch, recess, more centers, and a read aloud.
Inevitably everyone’s classroom has a different agenda, but you must first identify your own before moving forward with your lesson plan template.
Now, categorize these activities. Perhaps you can break them down into a few different groups. For example, you have a kinesthetic activity in the morning, you have a transition into snack and more individualized centers, of course lunch and recess, another activity paired with reading, and then a closing activity for the day.
Use these categories to help cut down on your time spent lesson planning by creating a shell for all plans. Begin by opening up the application you plan to use—we recommend Word Office, but anything where you can create a table will suffice.
Create a table by selecting six rows and however many lesson plan categories you have created, plus one, for the columns. Here is a list of the sample lesson plan categories with a sample preschool lesson plan template to follow:
- Kinesthetic Activity
- Thematic Unit/Reading
We have chunked all of the day’s activities into these larger categories for the sake of learning objectives and assessment—if this sorting is not preferable, then you can always reconfigure it to fit your curriculum or personal needs.
Here is a sample preschool lesson plan template for the sample lesson plan categories we provided above:
As you can see, this teacher has decided to structure the template around the key activities they include throughout the day. Other important factors, such as snack and reading, can be interspersed throughout different activities depending on the topic covered. For example, if the snack fits with the thematic unit, then perhaps snack time that day will be after recess in addition to the typical snack time, which occurs during the first center station.
Sure, you know the components of a lesson plan. But do you know the important components to consider when designing a preschool lesson plan template?
Designing Fun Yet Meaningful Thematic Lessons
As a preschool teacher, your job requires attention to different details as compared to any other grade K-12. You might have a curriculum, but you also have these young children for extended hours of the day. It is important to include kinesthetic activities, snacks, naptime, and much more into your already activity-packed day.
Ensure that you are creating meaningful, yet fun, preschool lesson plans by always considering these two important factors:
- What is the Point?
Every effective lesson, for any teacher of any subject, must revolve around an objective or two. The ultimate question, “What will the students be able to do?” must be answered by the objective. If you are having difficulty writing objectives, then you can start with the following sentence starter: “The students will be able to…”
This sentence starter ensures that all objectives begin with an active verb. The students should be reaching upon a variety of Bloom’s Taxonomy levels. In the beginning of a unit, the students should be recalling, identifying, and listing. Eventually, the students should begin to summarize, sort, and prioritize concepts. Ultimately all students should be able to display the highest levels of understanding, which include creation, evaluation, and analyzing.
Sometimes objectives will span an entire week or repeat over the course of a combination of units. Therefore, it is acceptable if your objective repeats throughout your weekly preschool lesson plan template; however, there must be one for every meaningful activity. The main priority is that they crescendo over the course of a unit—work up towards the highest levels of understanding.
The remainder of your lesson should center on the students completing this objective. In order to guarantee that your students touch upon this objective, there are a few other important considerations to think about.
- How Are the Children Benefiting?
You know your students more than anyone else. In fact, you spend as much time with them in a day as their parents. Therefore, you should place their needs at the core of all lessons, and you absolutely know what those needs are.
Analyze the types of learners who enter your room everyday. Do you have kinesthetic or visual learners? Are they more active in the morning or the afternoon? When in the day do your students need a break? Here is a list of various needs that most preschoolers have in common:
- Snack time—they’ll be hungry, and if they’re hungry then they aren’t learning.
- The basics—Touch upon various gross motor skills that are of the utmost importance throughout every single lesson plan.
- Remain open ended—Sometimes coloring arts and craft stations where students are encouraged to color in between the lines are tempting, but allow them to create a masterpiece of their own genius instead. Instruct students to draw a picture of their favorite flower, whether it is a real flower or not; the results will be much more astounding than if you ask them to color in a printed out picture of different flowers.
- Thematic inclusions—Incorporate character building lessons into your plans—some curricula heavily stress gross motor skills and rudimentary practice. However, as a preschool teacher it is also important to entertain the idea of defining character. Remember that these formative years are the most influential for a child.Incorporate various themes into your units. Perhaps you can center your themes on a book or a concept, such as kindness or patience. Cater one snack time per week to your thematic concept, and tie it back to some activities that you plan to cover, or find companion preschool worksheets to align with your unit.Your preschoolers will soak up these character-building sessions like sponges, and their parents will surely thank you for it. Not only are you preparing them for Kindergarten, but also you are helping ensure that they become well-rounded, respectful young people. These thematic units can be made much more manageable with the use of an effective preschool lesson plan template.
Teaching preschool is nothing to be taken lightly. Your job entails patience, hard work, and specific detail orientation. You can, however, make your job a little easier by creating your own free preschool lesson plan template today!