March: In like a lion – out like a lamb?
Your bulletin board might show these two animals as you welcome spring into your classroom. But you can use this traditional saying to teach important concepts. Let’s start with science. How does a lion act? Does a lion hunt? What does a sheep do? How does a sheep get its food? You can contrast these two animals.
Have a grand conversation about lions and sheep. Children can help develop background knowledge of others in the class by acting out what a sheep does and what a lion does. This is helpful comprehensible input for your ELLs. They can put together what they already know with what is shown them by their peers. Repeat key vocabulary/phrases like lion, sheep, grass, other animals, etc.
If the background knowledge in your class is limited about these animals, look for appropriate videos for your children. We are not suggesting any, as we know there are many helpful videos in “Internet World.” But only you know what is just right for your class.
Next give children two half sheets of paper. Ask them to draw a picture to answer one of the questions about the actions and food gathering habits of a lion. Have them use the other paper to show the characteristics of a sheep. Continue with the conversation as children show their pictures and use speaking and listening skills as they tell about their drawings.
Put the lion pictures together by either tacking them on a bulletin board or gluing them to a large sheet of paper. Do the same with the sheep pictures. Add the conversation of these pictures to your calendar time. Talk about how a windy, cold day might be like a lion or a warm, sunny day makes you feel like a cuddly sheep. This can help your ELLs as you constantly refer to their drawings throughout the month and they hear key vocabulary repeated.
This also connects with a later language skill – similes. You can guide children who would benefit from this extension by sharing other examples of similes.
NAEYC – 2. D. 01 & 07; 2.G.07.
Head Start - VIII. A & B; XI. B1.
In honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss, take a visit to our Green Eggs and Ham reading.