Do you use thematic units in your Kindergarten classroom? I think that they are so much fun and provide many interesting opportunities. I am going to share a list of benefits to teaching with themes. I will also tell you what I started using when our schedule changed and we did not have enough time to teach a complete thematic unit.
7 Benefits of teaching with Thematic Units in Kindergarten
1. Themes allow students to build on background knowledge and make connections to the real world.
2. Teachers can integrate content areas such as literature, math, social studies and science.
3. Thematic word banks and the use of these words throughout the unit will help increase vocabulary skills.
4. Thematic units usually involve hands-on activities that make learning fun and engaging (e.g., During a plant unit, students can plant a seed to watch how a plant grows and record the growth.)
5. Thematic units provide opportunities for field trips that enable the student to acquire meaningful experiences. Some fun field trips include going to the farm, the zoo, the post office, a museum, fire station, etc.
6. Students learn to collaborate during small group projects related to a thematic unit.
7. Guest speakers add value and interest to thematic topics. You can have a variety of guest speakers when learning about community workers. You can also invite a speaker to make a presentation about bats in October. Students love to learn about echolocation and interesting bat facts.
What if you have a strict schedule that does not give you time to teach a thematic unit? This is when we have to become a little creative and try to introduce our themes during different parts of the day. Personally, I like to integrate themes in my literacy centers. That is how I came up with my collection of Thematic Literacy Center activities.
Hop on over to my Kinder Alphabet blog to find out more about thematic literacy center activities.