UNIT 1 | Building Our Classroom Community
How do we build our classroom community?
What Children Learn | We take care of ourselves; we take care of each other; and we take care of our environment.
In this unit, you welcome children into their classroom community, where they will learn and grow so much with your support and guidance. Set the tone for the year by getting to know each individual child, helping them feel safe and secure, and teaching them the routines and rituals that help them feel confident in and knowledgeable about their new classroom community.
UNIT 2 | Healthy Kids
How do I keep my body healthy?
What Children Learn | I keep my body healthy by eating nourishing foods, staying active, and getting plenty of rest.
The children in your classroom are now settling into their classroom community. They are becoming familiar with the routines and schedule of the school day. They are now ready to learn more about their favorite topic – themselves. Children between the ages of two and five are very egocentric. This does not mean they are selfish; rather, they tend to focus on themselves. This unit capitalizes on that intense interest. Children are fascinated by and delighted with the things that they are able to do, their new skills, and their new levels of independence.
In this unit, “Healthy Kids,” children explore the concept of taking care of their bodies. Your class will discuss and explore questions such as “How does eating nourishing foods and staying active help us take care of our bodies?” and “How does sleep help us take care of our bodies?” The focus on taking care of our bodies means learning how to make healthy choices. This includes learning that everyone’s body works differently. In essence, children are exploring life science – what living things need to survive, grow, and thrive
UNIT 3 | Welcome to Our Neighborhood
What makes up our local community?
What Children Learn | A community is made up of people living and working together. They take care of each other and the neighborhood.
In Unit 3: “Exploring Our Local Community,” children look outside their classroom and school to their community and the world around them. They think about the question- what is a community- and talk about the places, people, vehicles, and animals in their own community. Multiple opportunities for hands-on activities take place as children build buildings, explore basic maps, and create obstacle courses for their toy cars to ride around.
UNIT 4 | We Are Architects!
How do buildings get made?
What Children Learn | Architects plan and design buildings. People use different materials and tools to construct them.
In this unit, we focus on the concepts of designing and building. Children learn that architects design buildings (using blueprints!) and then many different people work together to turn that design into a building. Children also learn that persistence is important in seeing a job through. We focus on the motto “Keep on trying.”
UNIT 5 | Life on the Farm
What happens on a farm?
What Children Learn | Farm animals eat, work, and sleep. Farmers take care of them so they are happy, healthy, and grow.
This unit focuses on what life is like on the farm for both animals and farmers. It threads many thematic ideas touched upon previously. Children learn that farm animals eat, sleep, and move in different ways. These are things that healthy kids do as well, as children learned in Unit 2. They compare baby farm animals to grown farm animals and learn that one characteristic of living things is growth. Children look at how a farm is a home for many animals, and they explore different buildings found on a farm, echoing their study of homes and structures in Unit 4. Finally, they focus on one particular farm animal, the goat, to explore its needs and unique characteristics. The unit ends with a look at the work farmers do, affording children another opportunity to participate in a design challenge (creating a cow bell). This work echoes the design challenge that took place in Unit 4.
UNIT 6 | Mix & Make
What happens when you mix things together?
What Children Learn | When you mix things together, they can change into something new. Sometimes you can separate them; sometimes you can’t.
Children channel their inner scientist in this unit, as they make mixtures using a variety of substances.
They learn that mixtures result in changes, some that are reversible and some that are not. They engage in foundational science practices by asking questions, making predictions, and using their senses to make observations.
UNIT 7 | Let’s Eat!
What makes food special?
What Children Learn | Food is special because there are different types of food. You can shop for it or grow it. Cooking, eating, and cleaning can be something special you do with others.
Children re-examine something that is already a big part of their lives: food! In Unit 2: “Healthy Kids” they learned about how eating healthy food helps them take care of their bodies. In this unit, they explore the steps in making a meal and investigate how the cooking process changes foods. They talk about how food is often part of special occasions and celebrations. They read two versions of a food folktale and learn about gardens and how some foods grow from seeds.
UNIT 8 | Animal Architects
How do animals build their homes?
What Children Learn | Many animals find and use different materials from their environment to build their homes. In their homes, they eat, sleep, and protect their eggs and babies.
In this unit on animal homes, children combine what they have learned about what living things need to survive and how buildings get made. They learn how animals use what they find in their environment to build shelters and other structures to take care of themselves and their young. They take part in a new design challenge by building their own nests, and they learn about how our planet has many different kinds of habitats for many different kinds of animals.
UNIT 9 | Look Up!
What happens in the sky?
What Children Learn | The sky changes depending on the time of day and the weather. People observe the sky. You can even travel in the sky!
Children continue to explore their world by looking up to the sky! Encourage them to use their imagination and curiosity to explore concepts like gravity, daytime and nighttime, clouds, rain, and space travel.
UNIT 10 | Celebrating Our Classroom Community
How do we celebrate our classroom community?
What Children Learn | We celebrate all the ways that we take care of ourselves, each other, and our environment.
As they prepare to say goodbye to their classroom community, children celebrate their progress and reflect on their year. They build excitement for their next year at school, and they review how the Power of 3 helps us take care of ourselves, each other, and our environment from this classroom to the next!