Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Language/Fine Motor
- Glue brushes, craft sticks, or small squeeze bottles (for applying glue)
- Old magazines or food advertisements
- Small plastic baskets or paper plates
- Clear contact paper
- Small photograph of each child (or copy a class photo done on a copy machine)
Objective: Children will develop fine-motor and language skills, as well as explore foods from near and far, as they create place mats to use during mealtimes.
In Advance: Collect a variety of magazines and newspapers, including those that represent different cultures. Cut out photographs depicting different types of food items from a variety of countries that the children will use to decorate their place mats.
1 Engage children in a discussion about the different types of foods they like to eat at home. Ask them to describe the taste, textures, and smells of the foods. Invite children to talk about their mealtime routines, including how the meal is served, family members they enjoy meals with, and how they help with mealtime and cleanup.
2 Set out glue and the pictures of food. Remember to include foods representing each child's home culture. Explain to children that they will apply the pictures to the oaktag to make their own place mats. Help children identify the foods they have chosen.
3 Assist children in writing their names in the upper left-hand corner of their place mats, naming each letter. Include a small photograph of children next to their names.
4 Create a mealtime ritual to pass out the children's place mats. Before each meal, a child or teacher can hold up each place mat. Encourage the children to identify their place mats through picture and name identification. Eventually cover the children's pictures to encourage them to identify the letters in their names.
Cooking: Friendship Fruit Salad Bar. Send a note home requesting that each child bring in a favorite fruit to make a friendship fruit salad. Show the children the different fruits during group time. Assist the children in naming them. Cut the fruits and place them into separate containers. Place them on a table to create a salad bar. Provide children with bowls and invite them to create their own fruit salad. Add vanilla yogurt for dipping or mixing with their fruit. Remember: Some fruits are choking hazards; also, do not include any fruits or food items that children may be allergic to.