Activity Plan 4-5: Gather Round for a Round Robin Get Together!
These small-group activities will encourage friendships and collaboration.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Creative thinking
- Social development
- Problem solving
- Math and science concepts
- Sentence strip pocket chart
- Chart paper and markers
- Index cards
- Large mural paper, tempera paint, and smocks
In Advance: On four individual index cards, write the following: block area, sand area, dramatic-play area, and art area. Place the area cards into rows of a sentence strip pocket chart. Cut other index cards into smaller sections and write each child's name on one of the smaller pieces.
- On the top of a sheet of chart paper write the question, "What can we do with our friends?" Underneath the question divide the page into four columns for the block area, sand area, dramatic-play area, and art area. Read the question to the children during morning meeting time and invite them to think of different things that they could do with their friends in each area. For example, they can build a bridge in the block area, a sandcastle at the sand table, prepare for a party in the dramatic play area, or make play dough cookies and cakes in the art area. Record their ideas in the appropriate column.
- Explain to the class that they will work with small groups of friends in each interest area. Each day they will work in a different area during work time. Show them the four areas on the pocket charts, then divide then into four groups, placing their names in the respective areas on the chart. Rotate the area names each day to indicate where each group will be working.
- To encourage group participation in the art areas, have them work together to create a group mural. Invite them to think of a theme for their mural.
- Give them interesting props so that children have enough materials to extend their play and creativity. You may want to add small figures of animals, people, vehicles, and fabric swatches to both the block and sand areas. Make sure the children have enough tools for digging and molding the sand as well.
Remember: At this age, some children may have difficulty staying with the groups or connecting with the activity. Provide extra support for those children who may need assistance.
Curriculum Connection: Math
Sequencing Information. While children are working in their groups, take photographs of each group, in at least one of the areas, to document their process from beginning to end. Afterward have each group organize their photographs in sequential order. Then provide them with art materials to create a poster, and assist them in writing or dictating information about each photograph. When finished, find an area in the classroom to display each poster.
From Biggest to Smallest. Send home a sheet of brown butcher paper along with a note requesting family members to trace their feet on the paper. Ask families to have their child organize the family feet? from biggest to smallest. You can explain that this is an important math skill for young children to develop. They can write the names of each person's feet on the tracings and their children can even decorate them. Then have the children share and compare their work.
Friends at School by Rochelle Bunnett (Scholastic Inc.)
Kindergarten Kids by Ellen B. Senisi (Scholastic Inc.)
My First Day at Nursery School by Becky Edwards (Bloomsbury, 2002)