A Place to Grow Learning Blog

  • Preschool & PreK Learning Through Theme Study

    Posted by on March 17, 2016

    What makes a house a home? Ask a group of preschool children this question and you’re likely to get a million different answers. And not one will be wrong. So how do you help children understand a complex question with a lot of moving parts to the answer? Theme study.

    Facilitating preschool learning requires unique and creative techniques that help young children break down intricate concepts. Immersion into theme curricula helps them to really think about topics of discussion and better understand subjects as a whole.

    At A Place to Grow (APTG), theme study has been a part of our curriculum since 1995. We credit the success of this program to the collaboration and participation of teachers, students, and parents. APTG’s theme study is a 3-month long curriculum focusing on a single topic that touches upon all aspects of literacy, art, math, and science. It envelopes fine and gross motor skills, as well as social and emotional development.

    Sample Themes for Preschool and PreK Learning

    • A Specific Season
    • Community or Neighborhood
    • Fitness & Health
    • Occupations
    • Ocean, Seaside, or Beach
    • Stars & Sky
    • Animals
    • Vacation & Holiday
    • Sports
    • Insects
    • Jungle or Forest
    • Gardening
    • Environment
    • On the Farm
    • Food

    Preschool & PreK Class Activities
    Creative and analytical learning disguised as fun and engaging activities are at the heart of our theme studies. APTG uses shapes and colors, existing artwork and original designs to decorate for each individual theme. We read books and create our own stories based on what the children discover.

    Discovery is an important aspect of the process. Investigations, collections, and hands-on sensory play are critical to learning. Children immerse themselves in the topic though activities that include movement and dance, and complementing music and sounds heard in class throughout the day. We encourage our parents and families to participate as guest readers, preparing special foods, and sharing items for interactive show-and-tell.

    This year’s theme at APTG takes a look at “HOME,” and concludes with a deeper understanding of what makes a house a home. From animal nests, dens, and dams; to people living in houses, apartments, and igloos, they explore the different physical spaces as well as the similarities. It’s this look at the collective environment that helps them to better understand the attributes of a home.

    A Place to Grow theme study gives our PreK and preschool students the opportunity to acquire knowledge, as opposed to a specific skillset. It fosters collaborative and critical thinking that creates a framework for young children to make sense of their experiences. We value this time, and the children very much look forward to this part of our preschool curriculum as another way to unite our community through learning and play.