My Hands Can…

In this lesson students learn about and practice good choices they can make, using the book 26 Big Things Small Hands Do. Teaching staff read the book and discuss it every day during circle time for a month, then complete a small group activity later in the day that allows students to practice the concepts presented in the book.

Fox C6 School District

Grade Level: PreK

Estimated Time: This lesson took place over the course of a month and was integrated into the classroom routine: Reading story every day during circle time & discussion: 10 minutes. Daily activity during small group time: 20-30 minutes

Connections to CEP’s Eleven Principles: Principle 1: Promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character., Principle 2: Promotes core values to include thinking, feeling, and behavior., Principle 4: Creates a caring school community.

Connections to Core Values: make good choices, work together

Lesson Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with their school environment and establish positive relationships with classroom staff and peers both in and outside of their classroom.
  • Students will identify, discuss, and practice the life skills of making good choices and working together.
  • Students will generalize the positive social skills they work on during these lessons to the classroom and other environments.

Materials Needed

  • 26 Big Things Small Hands Do, by Coleen Paratore (2008, Free Spirit Publishing)
  • Markers, paper, blocks, and other general supplies found in an early childhood classroom 
  • Cookie dough, cookie cutters, and icing/ toppings
  • Supplies to make musical instruments (cans, shoeboxes, beans, rice, etc.)

Procedures

Read the book every day during a gathering time. Each letter in the alphabet is featured, as well as something positive small hands can do. This can be used for just one lesson on a single day, or spread out over the course of a month as our teachers did. They also reminded the students about the ideas in the book during “teachable moments” in the classroom.

Here are the activities they did:
B (Build)- Children worked together to build with blocks.
D (Draw)- Children drew pictures of themselves
E (Explore)- Children took a tour of the classroom and school building (this was the first month of school)
G (Give gifts made with love)- Children made heart shaped cookies and shared them with children and staff in other classrooms.
I (Invite new friends to play)- The classroom hosted another class for a play time.
J (Join)- Children joined hands and played ring around the rosie
K (Kindle Kindness)- Children discussed different ways to be kind to others.
M (Make Music in Marching Bands)- Children made musical instruments, then had a parade and marched around the school.
S (Sign Love)- The children learned how to sign “I Love You.”
T (Teach)- Children discussed different ways to teach others. 
V (Volunteer)- Children discussed different ways to help others, including helping out at home
X (x and o)- The children “wrote” love letters to their families and practiced writing their X’s and O’s.
During each activity, the teachers and classroom staff emphasized the good choices students were making.

Assessment

Observation of students both during lessons and in the general classroom environment to see if they are making good choices (sharing with friends, being kind, working together, etc).

Download Lesson Plan

Credit

Tracy Delia, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Don Earl Early Childhood Learning Center, Fox C-6 School District
Dawn Wilhelm, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Don Earl Early Childhood Learning Center, Fox C-6 School District
Marti Shedron, Speech and Language Therapist, Don Earl Early Childhood Learning Center, Fox C-6 School District

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