Picking, finding, or even making learning units is not as hard as it sounds. Learning units are a great way to introduce babies, tots, and preschoolers to new words.
Did you know that according to National Florida Reading Institute the vocabulary comprehension a child has when they are three years old is an indicator of their level of vocabulary comprehension as an adult? It goes like this:
***This means that on average children who gain an understanding of more words by age three will have a sizable advantage Forever.
This is one of my purposes in publishing “How to” guides on how to conduct home learning routines. It is my desire to give access to this information to all parents, regardless of socioeconomic status. No Matter what the situation you are born into, or living in, you as a parent have the ability to give your children far greater opportunities that were ever given to you, and it can start Right Now. Structure vocabulary development in young children has been shown to help children develop communication skills, academic skills, and even social skills. These skills turn into opportunities later in their life.
SO HERE IT IS! THE BEACH UNIT!
Introducing a new unit does three main things.
- Makes learning new and fun
- Guides teacher or parent in picking out new activities
- Structures learning new vocabulary
The first part of any preschool or totschool unit should be Keywords. These are the vocabulary words. Below is pictured the ones I created for our unit.
(Available as a free download to subscribers soon).
Here are the beach unit key words I used:
From there it is great to pick a book companion that uses many of the key words from the unit. You don’t need to buy one! These are all books most likely available at your local library. Here are great kid stories about the BEACH:
- Be careful not to pick books about the ocean, as those will not use the key words from this unit.
Next pick a letter to focus on for speech and language development. This you are focusing on sound production!
For this unit I chose B: making the /b/ sound like in ball, beach, boat. This ties into our unit and is great for all babies, tots, and kids as it is one of the first sounds young babies learn how to make.
Now comes some real fun activities and crafts that go with the unit. Here are some I did throughout our Beach Unit (Links included):
- Beach Ball tissue paper craft https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9007267982604648/
- Handprint Crabs https://www.pinterest.com/pin/330803535102298438/
- Play with Sand.
- Go to the park with sand, and use several of the keyword items: shovel, bucket, sand, sandcastle etc.
- Play out back with a beach ball, and lay out beach towel and have a picnic.
- If you live near the beach, Go to the beach!
And There you have it, a full learning unit. Here are a couple of tips to help you find success:
- Review keywords and read book every day. Repetition is important with young learners.
- You don’t have to do an activity every day, just one to two within the unit.
- If just starting out set a realistic goal. Doing 1 unit a month is a great start.
- Save everything! Get a binder or file folders and put all the key words into it when your done with the unit, next year it will be ready to go.
- If you are using this in a preschool or home preschool setting, try to change units at least every two weeks.
Need more resources: Leave a comment below telling me what you are looking for and I would be glad to help!