The USA–Our Country


Objective:  Learn the name of our country (USA), what our country looks like, how a map of our country looks and which state is our state.



  • Read a book or use pictures to talk about our country.
  • Show the children big maps of the USA and point out the states and the oceans and boundaries.
  • Show which state is their state and talk about it and other states they have heard of.
  • Show the United States on a globe and where the children are relative to the whole world.
  • Describe where places are located on a map using relative distance and direction, such as near-far, above-below and cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west).


  • Pass out printed map worksheets and crayons to children.
  • Show the children the words “United States of America”. Tell them this is the name of our country but it is a very long name so we can shorten it by calling it USA. Show them how to write USA on their map.
  • Show them the state they live in and tell them the name of the state. Write in the name of the state on the map. Have them color it.
  • Ask them if they have been to any other states (grandma’s house in Arizona, Disneyland in California, etc.) and have the child color them.

Symbols of The USA—The Flag

USA Symbols—The Flag

Objective: Help children understand the importance of the United States flag as a symbol of the USA and teach the Pledge of Allegiance.


  • cut rectangles from blue construction paper:  4 ½ ” x 6” (one for each student)
  • cut strips of red construction paper:  6” x ¾” (four for each student), and 12 x ¾ (three for each student)
  • white 12 x 9 construction paper (one for each student)
  • white crayons or pencils
  • stickers; preferably with flags
  • USA flag
    Suggested books:
  • The Pledge of Allegiance by Lloyd G Douglas
  • The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan


  • Read a flag book and discuss.
  • What is a flag? A flag is a piece of cloth, in the shape of a rectangle with colors, and designs.
  • Display a flag.
  • Discuss that red, white and blue are the colors of our country, The United States of America.
  • Have children count the thirteen stripes. Show that six are white and seven are red.
  • The blue rectangle has 50 white stars which represent each state.
  • Every country has a national flag. A national flag represents a country’s citizens. When you are the citizen of a country it is like being part of a team and you work together to take care of the country.
  • Read and discuss The Pledge of Allegiance book.
  • Define pledge: (promise) and allegiance: (follow and protect)
  • Citizens of the United States make an important promise called The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. When we make this pledge, we promise to be good citizens.  It is good to learn, understand and respect this pledge. Explain the language of the pledge to help the children understand. For example – “I promise to respect the flag, which represents the United States of America, one nation (country), which cannot be divided (all the communities/states remain together), under God, with freedom and justice (fairness) for all.”
  • Discuss and demonstrate how we place our RIGHT hand over our heart when we say the pledge to show respect.
  • Place a sticker on the children’s right wrist to help them remember which hand is their right hand.
  • Help them recite the Pledge.

Activity: Make your own flag.

  • Place the blue rectangle at the top left.
  • Have the children glue the red strips onto the white construction paper. Show them how to put the 4 short strips at the top right side and the 3 long strips at the bottom leaving spaces in between for the white stripes.
  • Have the children add the stars using white pencils or crayon.  Show some simple ways to make stars, such as draw a “t” then draw and “x” on top.



Objective:  Children will discover how shadows are made.  (These ideas are great for Groundhog Day or any sunny day.)


  • Find pictures of shadows and sundials.
  • Sidewalk chalk.
  • Lamp or flashlight. 
  • Sundial– if you can find one or make one.
  • Card stock and Popsicle sticks for shadow puppets.
  • Suggested book:  What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Robert Bulla

Lesson: Begin the lesson outside (weather permitting).

  • Trace the shadows of the children (or partner them up and have them take turns tracing their partner’s shadow) with sidewalk chalk. Ask children to describe their shadows. How is your shadow like you? How is it different? (Compare shadows at the end of the class or lesson to the chalk outline.)
  • Find other interesting shadows to trace with chalk. Trees, playground equipment, and toys have interesting shadows.

Discussion:   (You may want to go inside for this part.)
Read the book and discuss shadows.

  • A shadow happens when an object (or a person) gets between the Sun or some other light and the surface of the Earth. 
  • Before we had clocks people used shadows to tell time. The sundial is the oldest known scientific instrument. It is based on the fact that the shadow of an object will move from one side of the object to the other as the sun “moves” from east to west during the day.
  • Use your hands and the lamp to make shadows on the wall. Make shadows that look like a flapping bird, quacking duck or running spider. What shadow shapes can you make with your hands? You can also place other objects in front of the light to create strange shadows.  Have the kids try to guess what the object is. Use opaque and transparent objects to observe that light can be blocked and describe the resulting shadows. Move the objects closer to the light and then farther away from the light to demonstrate  How the distance from the light change the shape of the shadow.


  • Make shadow puppets: children can put on a shadow play.  Cut out figures from card stock paper and glue them to a Popsicle stick to make puppets.  Use these as shadow puppets.  Make up a story to go along with your shadow creations.
  • Play a game of shadow tag: Take children outside to an unobstructed area. Select one child to be it. The remaining children run around, trying to stay as far away as the child who is it as they can. The child who is it tries to step on the shadows of the players. When it steps on a players shadow, the player is out of the game. The game continues until the child who is it has stepped on all the shadows of his opponents.



Dinosaurs      dino bones 001

Objective: Children will learn about dinosaurs.  (Some children are afraid of dinosaurs, so it is good to be prepared to address it.)


  • Find drawings or pictures of dinosaurs from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Create a sensory table by filling a tub with rice, beans, sand, etc.,then bury plastic dinosaurs in it. 
  • Make or buy self hardening clay or Plaster of Paris.
  • Plastic dinosaurs
  • Suggested Dinosaur Books
    • My Big Dinosaur Book by Roger Priddy
    • How Big Were the Dinosaurs? by Bernard Most
    • If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today by Running Press;
    • How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? by Jane Yolen


Read a book then define some of the following words:

  • dinosaur:  Means “terrible lizard” in the Greek language.  These are prehistoric, extinct animals.
  • fossils: Any impressions, remains, or tracks of plants or animals from prehistoric times left in rocks.
  • paleontologist: People that study fossils and prehistoric life. 
  • prehistoric: The time before written history.
  • extinct:  Plants or animals that no long live on the earth.
  • carnivores:  Animals that eat meat or other animals.
  • herbivores: Animals that eat plants.

Dinosaurs lived on earth a long time before humans, but fossils and science have helped us learn what dinosaurs may have looked like, what they ate and how they behaved. Scientists believe that dinosaurs lived on Earth until about 65 million years ago when a mass extinction occurred. It is believed that they could have become extinct because of a large asteroid impact or volcanic activity. Over 1000 different species of dinosaurs have been named and the list continues to grow as new fossils are discovered.

Some dinosaurs were meat eaters (they ate other animals) and some were plant eaters. To help fight meat eaters, many plant eaters had natural weapons such as the spikes on the tail of the Stegosaurus and the three horns attached to the front of the Triceratops’s head shield.  Meat eaters had sharp teeth.  Plant eaters had flatter teeth for grinding plants.  

Five Little Dinosaurs

  • Five little dinosaurs sitting in a swamp (hold up five fingers)
  • The first one said, “Let’s go run and jump.” (Point to a different finger for each dinosaur)
  • The second one said, “I smell Tom Tyrannosaurus.” (Point to nose)
  • The third one said, “I bet he’s looking for us.” (Put hand above eye and look around)
  • The fourth one said, “He might grab us by the neck.” (Put hands around the neck)
  • The fifth one said, “Let’s run away quick.


  • Sort Animals:   Fossils:   Give each child enough clay to make a 2″ ball. Have them flatten it with their palm. They can now make “fossil” prints in the flat surface of the clay using small chicken bones, small plastic dinosaurs, leaves…etc.  Let dry and harden.  
  • Sensory Table:    Fill a tub with sand, rice or beans then bury plastic dinosaurs for the children to find.





Objective: Children will learn the characteristics of reptiles and how they compare with other animals.

  • Find drawings or pictures of reptiles and other types of animals from books, magazines or old calendars.

  • Make word cards for the words, Reptiles, Animals, Yes, and No.

  • Have glitter glue, and colored pencils or crayons.

  • Print out an IGUANA coloring sheet from the link iguana. One per child.

  • Suggested book:

      • The Iguana Brothers, a Tale of Two Lizards by Tony Johnston

Read the book then discuss reptiles while showing pictures.

Discuss the characteristics of reptiles:
  • All reptiles are cold-blooded.
  • Have scales.
  • Have dry skin.
  • Lay eggs.
  • Have 4 legs or no legs.
  • Have ear holes instead of ears.

Play the Yes and No game with pictures of different animals.  “Is this a reptile?” Then place the animal on the yes or no pile.  This gives an opportunity to discuss and review characteristics of different animals.

Activity:  Give the iguana his scales.

  • Have children color the iguana with crayons or colored pencils.
  • Paint the iguana’s back with glitter glue to represent the scales.

Zucchini Muffins

profiles of preschoolers (1 of 1)Zucchini Muffins  (Makes about 24.)
1. Grate:

  • 2 cups zucchini
  • 1 teas. grated lemon peel

2.  Add and mix:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar

3. Add and mix:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teas. baking powder
  • 1 teas. salt
  • 1 teas. cinnamon

4.  Scoop into greased muffin tins.

5.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Teaching Time – Clocks and O’clock

Teaching Time – Clocks and O’clock

Objective:  Teach children to understand O’clock times.


·      Make word cards for the words “Time”, “O’clock”, and “Clock”.

·      Have a teaching clock with movable hands.

·      Prepare to read the book, The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle.

·      Have cards with o’clock times on analog clocks and cards with o’clock times as they look on digital clocks.  Be prepared to play a matching game with cards.  (These can be made or bought commercially.)

·      Have a worksheet with o’clock times on analog clocks to do as a direction following activity.  Clocks worksheet


  •  Put up the word cards “Time”, “O’clock”, and “Clock” to label the clock in the room.  Talk about some of the sounds in the word.  (T, K, O, etc.)  Show clocks in the room and the teaching clock.  Show that when the hour hand or big hand is on the 12 and the other hand is on a number it is an o’clock time. 
  • Give out cards with a digital o’clock time to each child.  Then show an analog o’clock time and see which child has the match.  (The cards can also be used as a memory game.)
  • Read The Grouchy LadybugShow the time on the teaching clock as you read the book.  It is fun to let the children say what the Grouch Ladybug says.   


Give each child a clock worksheet and a set of crayons.  Have the children follow directions to color each o’clock time.  Then have them circle the time for each clock.  Have them color the bottom clocks to match the color of the clocks at the top of the worksheet, . 


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