Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Clothing Materials: An Avenue for School Readiness Skills

It's that time of year when children bundle up to protect themselves from the cold and snow. Use all that time you help with zippers and mittens in your classroom as a discovery lesson.

Show pictures of children playing in the summer. Discuss with children the kinds of clothing we need in hot weather. Then show pictures of children in the snow and ice. Have children share the clothing that is needed to stay warm. 

You can help your young learners to consider the skill of contrasting by laying down two hula hoops. Use photos of summer clothing and winter clothing (or even actual clothing items) in each hula hoop.  This is a wonderful visual to help children understand the school readiness skill of contrast
Later on, use the clothing, photos, and hula hoops as a center so that every child has a hands-on opportunity to contrast items.

Then talk about types of materials. Have examples ready like wool, cotton, felt, leather, silk, etc. (You can get small pieces of these materials by visiting a local fabric or craft store.)  Encourage children to look at, feel, and smell each piece of material. 

Ask children to state which material they like best and to give at least one reason why this material is preferred. The goal of this kind of question is to encourage children to describe the material, not necessarily to find out who likes what material. The observation is then meaningful as children are asked to state a detail about the fabric.  Being able to support a conclusion is another school readiness skill.   

Discuss the kinds of material that keep people warm in the winter and those that keep us comfortable in the summer. 

Conclude the lesson by having children look at their coats, hats, and mittens. Ask children if they can identify the materials used to create each clothing item.  

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.B.04., 2.D.03., 2.G.04.
Head Start - IV.C., V.B., VIII.B., XI.B.

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