Home, Sweet Home Activity Plan
Children will explore the uniqueness of their own families.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Enhance social awareness
- Practice language, literacy, and creative-thinking skills
- Develop fine-motor skills
- Books about families engaging in home activities, including Thanksgiving at Obaachan´s by Janet Mitsui Brown, A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, What Is Your Language? by Debra Lowenthal, Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
- Lined story paper and construction paper
- Drawing materials, including colored pencils, fine-lined markers, and crayons
- A stapler
Step 1: Read some of the suggested books, which focus on diverse families engaging in activities in their homes. Follow the readings with discussions comparing the books with the children´s own experiences. Which stories remind them of things that they do with their own families? Explain to children that they will write and illustrate a book entitled In My Home.
Step 2: Print copies of the following statements on separate sheets of paper with space for students to complete the sentence and illustrate it. Include any additional questions that you feel would be relevant to the children´s lives and cultures:
In my home we have ____________.
In my home we love to ___________.
In my home we have ___________ animals.
In my home we eat ____________.
In my home we speak _____________.
In my home we celebrate ____________.
Step 3: Give children drawing materials to illustrate each statement. Have them each choose a sheet of colored construction paper to make covers for their books. Don´t forget to include the title and the author´s name.
Step 4: Plan time during the week for each child to read his or her book. Engage children in discussions about one another´s books, and develop a language experience chart to summarize what the class has learned about their differences and similarities.
Remember: Learning about one another´s homes and traditions is a wonderful opportunity to teach respect for other families and cultures. It is helpful to know something about each family in advance.
Schedule time for small groups to work in the block area to build their own special “home.” Provide them with props, such as small plastic dolls and vehicles, and with materials to use for decorating, such as fabric scraps, paper, scissors, markers, and tape. Invite children to describe their homes to their classmates. Photograph their work and include their dictations. Keep photos of their block structures in the block area.
On a sheet of paper, write the question “Where did you live when you were a child?” Send copies home with children and ask parents to tell their children where they lived, including the name of the country, city or town, the type of building that they lived in, and any other information that would describe their childhood environment. Then invite the children to share what they learned about their parents´ childhood homes.