While 15 minutes may not seem like much time, it is time enough for several different activities with preschool students. A short time frame and one or two activities mixed in can mean plenty of variety for children. A brief activity also ensures greater attention from preschool-aged children, whose interest may wane over a longer period of time.
Identifying Colors and Shapes
Children participating in this activity should know at least some colors and shapes. Look around the room and announce a color or a shape that you see. Encourage children to identify the object you saw. The first child to guess correctly can then announce a color or shape he sees. Offer corrections or help to students who show difficulty identifying particular colors or shapes. After each correct guess, compare the chosen object to another similarly shaped or colored object, such as saying, "Miguel's chair is blue and so is this piece of chalk."
Knowing the ABC's
In preschool, many children begin to learn the alphabet and how to spell. Give the kids in your group a refresher on the 26 letters in this activity. Hold up cards or paper with each letter printed in a large font. Encourage children to "shout out" each letter. Announce which letter it is after the class answers. Teachers can also ask more advanced students to identify words that begin with that letter.
Using Pencils and Tracing
Gaining the dexterity to correctly hold a pencil and learning to trace remain important skills for preschool students to learn before they advance to kindergarten. Show each student how to balance the pencil between the thumb and pointer finger. Draw lines, circles and other basic shapes onto sheets of paper. Give students another blank sheet of paper. Lay the blank sheet of paper over the sheet containing shapes. Encourage students to trace the shapes.
Coloring and Toys
Fifteen minutes is plenty of time for fun, and students can take advantage of the time to play with and share toys or color. Several education websites, such as "Enchanted Learning," offer print-off coloring sheets. Take the opportunity to select a coloring page of an animal for an additional learning lesson. Teachers who print off a whale coloring sheet, for example, may look up information about what whales eat and share it with the class.
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