Teachers, particularly in early childhood education, are critical in promoting children’s growth and development. As a result, it is the teacher’s job to plan out a series of learning activities that begin with the development of learning objectives and continue through implementation and evaluation in a preschool setting. In early childhood education, the success or failure of implementing teaching and learning activities is based on teachers’ capacity to carry out their professional responsibilities and tasks based on learning objectives. Due to these responsibilities, teachers must remain committed to the lesson plan and guarantee that learning is implemented on time to help students develop. When observing youngsters, the concept of “play” must be taken into consideration.
Important concepts in lesson planning and teaching
Early childhood educators incorporate numerous chances for play into their teaching practices because they know that children need to experience joy and wonder via play. There should be a combination of self-directed play, guided play, and direct instruction in teachers’ learning environments for their students. Play gives children the freedom to use their imagination, language, social skills, and self-regulation to the utmost, as well as to put what they have learned to use (Taylor & Boyer, 2020). Additionally, it gives educators a unique opportunity to observe children’s abilities and understandings as they are engaged in play. Every child should have an equal opportunity to choose what they learn, how they learn it, and who they learn it from (Taylor & Boyer, 2020). Children’s play experiences are supported and extended by educators through the provision of materials and resources that are based on careful observation of children’s choice of play activity (Taylor & Boyer, 2020). Educators scaffold and extend children’s attention, engagement, and knowledge through adult-guided activities, which give them a sense of agency.
A key notion in aiding any child’s growth is adherence to a plan, routine, and regular activities. When educators organize meaningful first-hand experiences for children, they engage them actively and sustainably in cognitively and creatively challenging learning. Children learn best when presented with a diverse range of resources, activities to choose from, and concepts that capture their interest alongside teachers displaying the unique expertise they bring to the classroom. Rotating and revisiting materials gives youngsters a chance to reflect and re-engage with their learning experiences regularly. The strategy should include free peer contact as well as opportunities for collaborative learning.
Creating a group time using “The Little Red Hen”
While the mentioned concepts, that is, creating a play environment and adherence to a well-defined lesson plan and schedule, are essential in early childhood learning, actively involving the children in relevant activities is critical in this learning environment. A group time specifically is a perfect way in which educators can involve children in learning various concepts. For instance, the story “The Little Red Hen” provides the children with many activities to engage during group time, including singing and retelling the story.
If I were planning a group activity around “The Little Red Hen,” I would start by leading the kids in a song session about it. The most recurrent words that the characters in the story used would help me identify a stanza of the music. As a group, we would reread the story to see how the photos may be sequenced to demonstrate what happened first, second, and so on. I will sing the appropriate line of “The Little Red Hen’s Song” with the kids as we add pictures to the sequence. This is not only a fun exercise, but it is also crucial for the early development of the brain and language. Singing a verse from this narrative will help children learn new vocabulary, patterns, and cognitive abilities simultaneously.
The second approach through which I would generate group time is by inviting the children to sketch, color, or cut out their version of the primary figure, the little red hen, according to their preferences. Using this practice, kids will improve their knowledge of shapes and their fine motor abilities. A great method for getting kids involved in the story is to let them engage with the main character in their way.
Furthermore, during group time, the kids might participate in retelling the story. When you retell the narrative, you give the kids a chance to practice their word knowledge and how it relates to spoken and written language. Sight word cards could be created by the kids and used to make sentences like “Not I” spoken in the story. In retelling the narrative, children will gain experience organizing and describing events, which will improve their reading comprehension. To help youngsters better understand the story, consider using sight cards or cut-out photos from the original story instead.
Teachers typically play a crucial role in the growth and development of children. While planning and teaching are expected of all educators, dedication or commitment to these obligations results in the greatest advances for pupils. Teachers must adhere to the specified lesson plan and timetable of events to ensure that learning is fully implemented. Additionally, children’s behavior mandates the inclusion of play in the lesson plan to meet the psychological and physiological needs of young children. The fable “The Little Red Hen” is very valuable for teaching youngsters because it may be used to develop a variety of subjects for group time with the children. They include singing, reciting the story, and each youngster creating their distinctive main character.
Galdone P., (1985) “The Little Red Hen.” HarperCollins Publishers.
Taylor, M. E., & Boyer, W. (2020). Play-based learning: Evidence-based research to improve children’s learning experiences in the kindergarten classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 48(2), 127-133.