A Mom asks: My 3 year old (preschool) daughter is participating in an English Poem competition this month. She wrote a poem that rhymes called “My Body Parts”. Can you suggest any type of prop that can be used for this poem to attract the judges?
Miss Cheryl says:
Speaking in front of peers and/or other adults can be a new situation for preschoolers. From emailing further with you, it sounds as though this will be a fun time for your daughter!
Attracting the judges: I think the fact that she made up this adorable poem (for you readers out there, it is very cute….”My eyes can…….My head can……”. Very cute and covers eyes, hands, head, feet, etc.) will be enough.
However, props can be very beneficial to preschool children! As I said, speaking in front of a group, even at Circle Time in preschool, can create excitement, nervousness, anxiety or all three. Props can help that. Holding a prop gives their hands something to hold and keeps their hands busy!
Based on the wording of your question, I am making an assumption that English is a second language for her.
If this is the case, remember that she will be translating the words in her head from her native language to English…this is an incredible feat for any preschooler!
Adding a prop that she needs to do something with may be a bit too much for her, depending upon her grasp of the English language!
However, holding a prop could help calm her!
For your daughter’s situation, I have a few ideas.
1. A Puppet!
A puppet of a child might be great! Your daughter could point to the body parts from her poem on the puppet as she says each part.
2. Flannel Board and Pieces
The other suggestion would be to have a large flannel board set up next to her. Give her flannel pieces for each line of her poem.
For example, the first line of her poem is “My eyes can see.” For this piece, have a picture of a person with an arrow, perhaps, pointing at the eyes.
Then have a piece that represents the next line. The good part of this is that it would help her to remember the poem by placing the pieces on the board in order.
With that said, this could be a downfall if
A) The pieces fall from her hand, thus coming out of order. B) If they fall off the board as she places them on the board. C) Recalling her poem AND placing pieces on the board as they match takes a lot of directional thinking, too much for this!
A better suggestion would be to attach the pieces mentioned above to the board ahead of time in the order of the poem.
Your daughter could then point to each one as she says them. And even if she forgets to point to them, they are there as a visual to help her “read” her poem!
My final suggestion would be to use NO props…just herself! She could simply point to the body parts as she says them.
This poem is so much like the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, that it would be more natural and fun for her to do this!
Hey there! Welcome to Preschool Plan It! I’m Cheryl, a preschool teacher of over 20 years.
I KNOW, I know, you spend hours of time developing your preschool themes, activities and preschool lesson plans each week. You are commited to planning preschool themes and activities that are engaging hands-on, interactive, fun AND meet the goal of supporting each child’s level of growth and development.
I am commited to providing you, the preschool teacher, with everything you need to develop preschool lesson plans and preschool activities for your classroom all in one place!
You’ll receive a weekly email with planning tips and teaching ideas. You'll also receive (on the 1st of each month) a free theme starter pack with some printables and activity ideas to get you started planning a theme!