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Preschool Fall Lesson Plan: Getting To Know You

Updated on July 30, 2017
Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children
Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children

Award winner of Best You Can Be Foundation top 10 Children's Books, Fill A Bucket is a magical book about kindness. It is perfect for the first day of preschool or any day! The message is simple, yet powerful. Our words and actions can either add or take away from each of our invisible buckets. What will you do to fill a bucket today?


Circle Time: Getting To Know You

Need a first day icebreaker for circle time? This is a great way to get to know each other and come together as a group! I begin by telling the children about myself. I tell them about my family, and my love of reading and cooking. Next, each child names a favorite thing. We continue around the circle until each child has several turns. A fun extended activity? A memory game! Each of the children sit in the magical chair and we remember their favorites.

First day circle time sharing could also include the story, Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children. How could we be bucket fillers to our new friends?

Another circle time activity during the first week might be to talk about our home or neighborhood. A map of each child's neighborhood would be a fun follow up in a learning center. I usually brainstorm with the group about what we might find on our streets. A back yard swing or playset might be included, street signs, or the elementary school down the block.

Learning Centers

I like to keep it simple for first day learning centers. You may decide to talk about learning center choices at circle time.This is also a good time to talk about number of children in each center, keeping materials in each center, scissor safety, etc.

Block Center: Building neighborhoods with blocks and cars. Assorted props could be included.

Art: Using poster board cut out figures, child traces family members. These tracing figures are great to keep in mind for other units. Trace and dress community helpers. Trace and dress for the weather using fabric.

Science: My growing hair! Children love to cut yarn hair on self portrait paper plates.

Math: Children sort shapes. Later in the week, child may construct shape houses with same shapes. Designs may be shared with the group. Drawing a map of your neighborhood is another fun idea for the math center. This gives the child a sense of directionality.

Language Arts: Friendship Bingo. Laminated photos of children on poster board. Caller has own set of laminated photos. If caller has yet to learn name, photo is shown.

Dramatic Play: A fun problem solving and creative thinking activity to begin the year. Where is your favorite place to go? How do you get ready? How would we dress for the activity? The housekeeping area, with dress up clothing, would be a fun starting out point for this activity. Future ideas for the dramatic play area could be discussed with the children later in the week. Train station? Bakery?


Ms. CeCe's New Friend Greeting (Sung to London Bridge)

You are wonderful in everyway! What will you decide to do today? Ready to learn, ready to play! You are making new friends along the way. My friend (child's name). Teacher shakes hand and speaks name of each child around circle.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be
The Wonderful Things You Will Be

'This is the first time there's ever been you.' Emily Martin's poetry and beautiful illustrations of children in non specific gender roles, is refreshing and inspiring. 'I know you'll be kind and clever and bold. The bigger your heart the more it will hold.' This heart warming story will be requested again and again!


Movement and Gross Motor

Shape Toss: Children call out shapes and toss beanbag through cut out shapes on cardboard. Neighborhood theme could be included by cutting out squares for windows, rectangles for doors and a circle for the sun on neighborhood cardboard scene.

Getting to know you beanbag toss: Child calls out name, and tosses beanbag to new friend.

Get on board! Fun to call out new friend's name to board the moving train. A song to sing along? (sung to Where is Thumbkin) Where is (child's name)? Where is (child's name)? Get on board! Get on board!

Gathering Time

Invite children to share about their day. What was your favorite part? The quiet place in the room to to rest or read could be introduced. Do you have a quiet place at home? Sometimes we all need to take a break. Let's make a quiet space for our room. This is the perfect introduction to Charlotte and the Quiet Place, a beautiful book about mindfulness.

Charlotte and the Quiet Place
Charlotte and the Quiet Place

'Charlotte discovers an even quieter place.' The inner calm inside. A place she can revisit when her world is too busy or rushed. The expressive water colored images in this delightful book, are so on target with the message.



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    • CeCe Rees profile image

      CeCe Rees 4 months ago

      So beautiful. Thank you.

    • Decaturflyfisher profile image

      Decaturflyfisher 4 months ago

      This really speaks to your love of teaching and more importantly, making everyone feel welcome and included. One of your strongest talents! Your students are luck to have you! Keep writing - we want to read more CeCe!