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The Kennedy Center

Four Thematic Units - Details

Image of starts with the arts book
  1. All About Me
  2. Feeling Hot Cold and Wet
  3. How I Go From Here to There
  4. The World Around Me

Thematic Unit: All About Me

The focus of this theme unit is on the self image and stresses the need to be recognized as a unique person with individual interests, needs, and feelings. Children learn to explore different aspects of themselves to include their personal characteristics, physical uniqueness, feelings, and preferences. This is perhaps the most basic of all themes, as every child has certain personal characteristics that make himself or herself unique, and which are rich areas for self discovery and expression.

The topics chosen for this theme primarily focus on expressing knowledge about one's self with the emphasis on "feeling good about one's self" and "valuing one's self as a unique individual." The activities are designed to promote a positive self concept in young children. Included in this theme unit are activities entitled:

  • Getting to Know Me
  • My Feelings
  • Name Song
  • Watch Me Move
  • Friends Are Special
  • Our Music and Heritage
  • When I Grow Up
  • Showing Appreciation to Others

As a culminating event, consider having the children create a video documentary entitled, "All About Me." Video tape each child telling about himself or herself, using any or all of the art forms. Replay the video for all to see.

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Thematic Unit: Feeling Hot, Cold and Wet

This theme unit focuses on the weather. Most early childhood curricula include some study of weather - even if it is only to take note of the current weather conditions at the beginning of the day. Weather is universal, as it surrounds children on a daily basis and affects their environment, dress, and daily schedules.

Through the various activities, children learn to develop an understanding of the different elements of weather and noting seasonal changes. Included in this thematic unit are activities entitled:

  • Here Comes the Sun!
  • Rain Again?
  • Sound Effect Stories
  • It's Snow Time
  • Rising Thermometers
  • Wind Effects
  • Weather Report
  • Favorite Seasons

As a culminating event, consider having the children stage their own "live" weather show. They could talk about the weather depicted in their visual artwork and perform related dramatizations complete with sound effects.

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Thematic Unit: How I Go From Here to There

This thematic unit focuses on transportation. Different vehicles familiar to children are featured, as are more uncommon carriers such as spaceships and hot air balloons. The emphasis is on learning how people move from one place to another.

The topics chosen for this unit focus on understanding the purpose of different vehicles and how they move. Vehicles that travel through the air, on land, and on water are represented. Included in this thematic unit are activities entitled:

  • Human Train
  • Floating Boats
  • Ready For Take Off
  • A Very Special Bus
  • Community Helpers on Wheels
  • Balloons On the Run
  • Moving Together
  • Moving in Traffic
  • Spaceship to the Moon
  • Transportation Quilt

As a culminating event, consider having the children create a dealership specializing in all forms of transportation. Depending on where the customer wanted to go, the children could suggest the most appropriate vehicle. The arts could be used to describe the different transportation vehicles available.

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Thematic Unit: The World Around Me

This thematic unit focuses on ecology. Children learn how plants and animals grow, develop, move, and live. The learning experiences involve children in observing and describing the characteristics of plants and animals and in building an understanding of the concept of interdependency as it relates to people and nature.

The topics chosen for this theme are designed to capitalize on children's natural curiosity about the world around them. Included in this thematic unit are activities entitled:

  • Let's Explore Outside the Door
  • Stop to Smell the Roses
  • Magic of Butterflies
  • Slithering Snakes
  • Underwater World
  • Making Waves
  • Clues to the Past
  • Instrument of Nature

As a culminating event, consider having the children create an "Ecology Fair" featuring their favorite plants and animals. Children could use the arts to describe the characteristics, growth and development, and habitat of their plant or animal.