Introdouce these two sea shell poems in your preschool class for some summer time fun! Poems and rhymes allow children to experiment with language and to strengthen phonological awareness skills, like rhyming and alliteration. Repeated reading of poetry helps them develop fluency and begin to recognize sight words. Crafts allow preschoolers to express themselves creatively, build fine motor skills and work with different textures and materials.
Five Little Seashells
Five little seashells washed up on the shore,
Along came a wave and then there were four.
Four little seashells happy as could be,
Along came a wave and then there were three.
Three little seashells all shiny and new,
Along came a wave and then there were two.
Two little seashells lying in the sun,
Along came a wave and then there was one.
One little seashell left all alone,
Put it in your pocket and take it home.
There are lots of fun activities to do with this cute counting poem.
- Let children act out the poem. Choose five students to stand up and be the "shells." As you read the poems, have the other children, sway back and forth, pretending to be waves. As each shell disappears, that child can sit down.
- Give each child five shells or counters to represent shells. Begin by having the children point to each shell as you count to five. Then read the poem and have the students remove a shell each time one is washed away. Stop and count between each verse. This is a great activity for young children who are still working on one-to-one correspondence.
- Use the rhyme to practice language arts skills, too. Find the rhyming words and the number words. Count now many times you see the word seashell or wave.
She Sells Seashells
She sells seashells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells seashells on the seashore,
I'm sure she sells seashore shells.
Tongue twisters help young children learn what it means when words start with the same sound. Practice reading this one to preschoolers and point out how some of the words sound the same at the beginning. Let the children say the words that start the same way with you as you read the rhyme again. Brainstorm a list of other words that start with the same sound. You might make two lists: one for words that start like sea and one for words that start like shell.
Just for Fun Crafts
Shell-shaped card stock, one per child
Tri-colored shell pasta
Give each child a shell shape cut out of card stock, a small bowl of tri-colored shell pasta and some glue. Encourage the children to decorate their shell shapes by gluing the colored pasta shells onto them. Some preschoolers will simply glue their shells on in a random manner, while others may use the different colored pasta to make patterns and designs. All of the children will be working on gluing skills. You may need to remind them about using the right amount of glue before they start.
Give each child some play dough. Have them roll it into a ball and then flatten it out a little. Next give each some small shells to press into the play dough. Tell them to carefully remove the shells from the play dough. When they remove the shells, the imprint will remain. This is a fun way to introduce the children to fossils. You can let the fossils dry, so that the children can keep them or place the materials in your art or science center and let the students create more fossils on another day.
Use these simple seashell crafts and poems with your preschool students as part of your beach or summer theme.
Clarke, Jacqueline. Hands-On Math Around the Year. Scholastic, 2000.