As a beginning teacher my first professional development I attended was given by “Susan Kovalik & Associates” on Integrated Thematic Instruction. I was excited about the training and the idea of choosing a year-long-theme. Choosing a theme and plugging everything else into it seemed like a logical way to make sense of instruction; not only for myself but my students.
I quickly chose the theme “A Great Adventure in K” and began to plan my thematic teaching. Now, 20 years later I am so glad for my foundational roots planted deep in the tenants of early childhood and brain research. I am also very happy for my very first professional development arranged by a great principal, Jylene Morgan. I am very glad that I jumped in head first and went the route of thematic teaching! I would recommend to everyone to 1) Choose a year-long-theme and 2) Teach Thematically!
Before choosing a theme and plannning thematically, it is important to ask yourself, “Why?" What is your main motivation for thematic teaching? Is it to help children make links across different curriculum areas--to make learning authentic? If so..continue on!.
Following are the themes that we have developed and actually taught in our Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms! We have found these themes to be exciting and engaging. Although all of the units are written specifically for kindergarten (with the exception of the 1st grade Polar Express Unit), they can be easily adapted for PreK and 1st.
We have also sold these units to many homeschool parents. If you use these units throughout your child's homeschool PreK-1st experience, you will find everything you need to have a quality experience.