One of my favorite tales to teach young children is the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker. It is a great way to sprinkle a little dust into the season if you are unable to talk about Christmas in your school, or as a juncture from storybook elves to North Pole elves if you are. There are many versions to purchase of this title, Here are a few of my favorites (with my Amazon affiliate link).
I like to get at least 3 copies of any book that we will be studying so that we are able to do a compare and contrast activity as we read. I also love to bring in the non-fiction aspect into all themes. This theme does not easily lend itself to nonfiction literature, but there are a few videos that show the work of a cobbler.
Kids love the non fiction connections. Especially when the connection brings in a science or social studies concept.
The next thing I think about when teaching a theme is gathering some great songs! This song, which is included in our Elf unitm is one of my student's favorites! It is simple, yet so much fun to sing! Our unit contains a 5-day plan to incorporate the song into your classroom.
The song Cobbler Cobbler Mend My Shoe is also a lot of fun. My students love this version that uses the song Johnny's Hammer for the melody. It is fun to act out using our hands, feet, and even head as a hammer. You can listen to that version here.
Kids also love the kinesthetic link of singing and dancing to this traditional Danish Dance called The Shoemaker's Dance.
This fun tune is also simple to sing at transitions, It is called "We are Elves." It is a great sing/song tune that can easily have more verses added by yourself and/or the students.
The classroom also provides opportunity to excite students to learn academic skills with some elf-style flair.
The playhouse is a great and easy place to set up learning experiences. I purchased a cheap, small tree and a few non breakable ornaments to allow for decorating and undecorating, then I made a few felt hats and aprons, found an old Santa costume, and added some kitchen tools, some play cakes, candies, cupcakes, and other play sweets. The kids LOVE this kitchen, and I LOVE to listen to the language that is developed as the students bake the elfish goodies.
The supportive material to use with all of my thematic units are organized on my planner sheets because I want to make sure the theme covers all aspects of the curriculum.
I make, laminate, and file each activity so that any prep is a one-time prep. After use, all items are carefully filed, ready to go year after year.
All of the activities are standards-based and have been used successfully with hundreds of kindergartners.
Here are a few examples of the many games and activities that are included in the unit.
Guided Reading - Social Studies - Art
This unit is stuffed with academic learning, and always leaves the students begging for more! As with all of our products, they are available at Teachers Pay Teachers or here at our Squarespace Store.