H is for House Lesson Plan #1

This year, we did our letter H activities around Halloween, so we did the theme of "H is for Halloween." Many of our activities were from this cute "H is for Halloween" Mommy School packet from Oopsey Daisy. I have quite a few other Halloween-themed crafts and snacks on my Pinterest board. But since Halloween is now a long way away, I thought I'd share a different letter H lesson plan that isn't so seasonal. We did the theme of "houses" theme a little over a year ago when my kids were 3 and 18 months. At the time I wasn't focusing on the alphabet as much as I was trying to just have fun and build vocabulary. But it still would be a great unit to incorporate into the letter "H."

Introducing the Theme
I printed out pictures online of various types of houses such as apartments, townhomes, single-family homes, etc. as well as some different kinds of houses around the world and through time such as teepees, igloos, and castles. We looked at the pictures and named the different types of houses. Then, we learned about the rooms in a house. I printed out a picture with a cutaway of a house and told my children the names of each room. There were some rooms that they had never heard of because of their limited experience in an apartment--such as a garage or a basement or a laundry room. (They just know "Laundromat" and "carport" J) So it was a good vocabulary-building activity. Then, I played a riddle game. I would describe a room, and things you might find in that room and have them try to guess what room I was thinking of.

Here are some of the books about houses that we enjoyed reading.
 by Mary Ann Hoberman

My kids and I love the detailed creative illustrations and ideas in this classic book.
In a People House  by Dr. Suess
This book doesn't have much of a plot, but it's a great, simple rhyming text with fun illustrations.

It was fascinating to read this book and see some of the unique houses around the world. Each featured house had both a photo and a labeled cutaway illustration. My son was especially impressed with some of the underground houses.

In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

This book wasn't really about houses, even though it started and ended with a little house. But we really enjoyed the whimsical illustrations and text. My kids were always excited to see the next surprise in the book.

I also told the story of the three little pigs. When I tell stories without books, I try to make the stories as active and exciting as possible to keep my kids interested. I do things such as knock on the wall to make the sound of the wolf knocking, I blow hard into my kids faces when the wolf blows the house down (this always makes them laugh), I use different voices for the characters, and I involve my kids in saying as many of the words of the story as they can remember.

Field Trip
We went on a walk around our neighborhood, noting the differences in the houses we walked by. We paid attention to the colors of houses, which houses had garages or chimneys, which were apartments or townhomes or single-family homes, and whatever other interesting features we could see outside the houses we passed.

We made a book about rooms in a house. We printed out the coloring pages from this website two pages to a sheet, so each coloring page was half of a sheet. The kids colored the coloring pages, we labeled each room, and then we stapled the pages together and made a book about rooms in a house.

We made a Graham cracker house--you don't have to wait until Christmas time to make Graham cracker houses. They can be fun any time of year! Here's a great tutorial on how to make a Graham cracker house. I have found with little kids that it is a lot less frustrating if I build the basic house shape and let it dry the night before and then just let them apply all of the decorations.

Games and Songs
We built houses with our MegaBlocks and I printed out a picture of a house, laminated it, and then cut it into pieces to make a simple house puzzle. (While we did this, we also worked on learning more words for parts of houses--such as roof, window, door, etc.) We also played with our house shape sorter from Ikea.

We also enjoyed doing these this little fingerplay about houses:

A nest is a home for a bird. (cup hands to form a nest.)
A hive is a home for a bee. (turn cupped hands over.)
A hole is a home for a rabbit. (make a hole with hands.)
And a house is a home for me. (Peaked hands like roof.)

This year, now that we have moved and the kids are older, I have also been working on helping them memorize their address. I used this song during our circle time to help them practice their address and they were quickly able to memorize our new address with the music.

I have since found a few more fun ideas and collected them on my "H is for House" board on Pinterest--so next time we learn about houses, we will have even more fun!

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