• fine motor
• cultural diversity
• creative thinking
• problem solving
Materials• mural paper
• drawing paper
• markers and crayons
Set Up and PrepareGather a variety of magazines that have pictures of animals and their homes. Ranger Rick and National Geographic magazines are great resources for these photos.
Hold a discussion with children about homes and shelter. Ask them if any of their pets have special homes. Do any of them know where wild animals live?
If possible, take children on an animal home hunt around the neighborhood. Next, hang a large sheet of mural paper with “There’s No Place Like Home” written across the top. Invite children to look through the magazines and cut out pictures of places where animals or humans live.
As a class, invite them to sort the images into human and animal homes. Suggest they paste them together on the mural paper.
Have art materials available for those who would like to include illustrations of homes in the collage.
Remember: It’s extremely important to be aware of children’s feelings when discussing homes. It can be a sensitive topic for some, and we should always help guide the conversations. Discussions need to be focused on how our homes provide shelter and why that’s important. Stay away from discussions about possessions or how any one thing is better than another. Younger children may only be able to think about and build their own home. Simply adjust constructing a town to constructing a neighborhood of friend’s homes.
Learn From One Another. Invite the families that come from another country to share their knowledge about homes in their country with the class. Also invite an architect or carpenter to come in and talk about the homes they design. Suggest children write out invitations to the visitors.
Curriculum Connection: LANGUAGE
Language Labels. Invite children to brainstorm a list of things in the classroom that are also in their homes, such as sinks, clocks, windows, doors, computers, desks, tables, chairs, and mirrors. Write out each word on an index card in English and on another in Spanish, or another language spoken in your program. Pass out the labels and invite children to tape them on the different objects. For a few days, practice reading them together. Assist children in saying the words in both languages.
Birds Build Nests
by Yvonne Winer
(Charlesbridge, 2002; $7)
Owen & Mzee
by Craig Hatkoff
(Scholastic, 2006; $17)
Whose House Is This?
by Wayne Lynch
(Walrus Books, 1999; $7)