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Begin With a Book
Hearts can be used all year round when talking about love, sharing, peace, family, etc. When you are working on a unit called preschool shapes, hearts should be an important shape to discuss.
In this busy world of working parents and after school activities, young children may feel ignored. This poignant book should be recommended for parents to read to their children and for teachers to read and discuss with their students.
In My Heart by Molly Bang
Colorfully illustrated, this book has an important message for children. Even though a parent may be out of view for the moment because of work and such, the child is always carried in the parent’s heart. This goes for Grandparent’s, caregivers, and others who love a child.
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A Song about Hearts
"This Is a Heart" by Gayle Bittinger sung to "Frere Jacques"
This is a heart. This is a heart.
How can you tell? How can you tell?
It's rounded on the top
And pointy at the bottom.
It's a heart. It's a heart.
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Spread the Kindness
- Construction paper in a variety of colors
- Safe scissors
- Pencils or crayons
Discuss with the students all the people around them that do kind things. Think of people in the school such as custodians, volunteers, aides, other teachers, and even their own classmates. Then suggest that the students prepare hearts to give to someone to thank them for an act of kindness.
Fold a piece of construction paper in half and draw one half of a heart on the fold as shown. Prepare enough to provide one for each student. Then instruct the students to cut on the bold line, leaving the paper folded. Hold the folded part in one hand and cut with the other hand. Open it up to produce a heart shape.
Then provide pencils or crayons for each student to write the words “Thank you" on the heart. At each table provide a heart that you, the teacher, have done so that the students can copy it. Keep a basket of these hearts handy. When a student sees an act of kindness they can take a heart and present it to the person and say, “Thank you for_______."
Some examples might be:
- Helping me when I fell on the playground
- Sharing your toy with me
- Baking cookies for our party
- Cleaning our school
- Teaching me a new game
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There are many ways to practice making hearts and increase fine motor skills:
- Use play dough to make hearts.
- Paint hearts in a variety of colors on white paper at the easel.
- On a warm day, use a bucket of water and a paintbrush and paint hearts on the playground.
- Pour salt or sand in a baking tray with sides. Trace hearts with your pointer finger.
- Use buttons, cereal or small counters to form a heart. Be aware of students who tend to put foreign objects in their mouths to avoid choking hazard.
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Provide a copy of this downloadable heart worksheet. Then instruct the students to color all of the hearts on the paper. Individually, ask each student to name the other shapes.
When you plan a unit for preschool shapes, hearts will probably be a familiar shape for the students already. Use the hearts to spread kindness and gratitude while you continue to "shape-up" your students with this fun unit.
- Bang, Molly. In My Heart. Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006.
- Heart Worksheet: http://www.suzyque.us/February/Heart-Shape-Worksheet.htm
- Image: Amazon.com
- Ideas and activities come from the author's twenty-five years of teaching experience.
- Heart Craft Ideas: http://www.first-school.ws/theme/animals/crafts/heart-shape.htm