Noah's Ark is a classic Bible story.  It has a prime spot in every preK Bible class or Sunday School.  And for good reason....it's an amazing and miraculous story of God's protection along with animals and rainbows, which are always a win for little kids!

My favorite part of this 5 week unit is all of the hands on exploration stations we have that connect with Noah's Ark.  We spend the first 15 minutes of our 45 minute Sunday School class in exploration stations.  These stations are hands on ways for my preschoolers to make connections to our unit.  Here's a look at the stations I use during this time throughout our Noah's Ark unit.

Not all of our exploration stations are available each week...Some stay all unit long and some are more specific to one week's big idea and are just around during that week or two.

1. Build An Ark

This is a class favorite.  Hands. Down!  We started this station the first week and they were immediately hooked!

Add a little imagination and give the kids the job of building an Ark that is big enough to fit all of the animals inside and that will keep the animals dry.  This station makes the perfect preK STEM station as well!  3 of my boys had the best time drawing up instructions on an etch-a-sketch and carrying out their plans--all on their own! :)

Maybe it's because my class is mainly boys, but it's definitely a winner!  And during the second week, when we focused on Noah bringing in animals 2 by 2, I had the kids pair their animals on the ark correctly also! :)

2. Bible Verse Match

This one is perfect to start after practicing the Bible verse during the first lesson.  Each time we practice our Bible verse during each lesson we go through the same steps (which I'll be blogging about later).  Part of that is matching word cards to our Bible verse cards.

What you need:
*Bible verse cards (from my packet) or make your own)
*Pocket chart to organize the cards (optional)

Kids match the word cards to the Bible verse cards and practice pointing and reading the words in the Bible verse.

3. Book Nook

This is just like classroom library station in my first grade classroom.  Students grab a book, and cozy up with a pillow and stuffie and "read."  They love retelling Bible stories we've already read here or exploring the feature books on the top shelf for our current unit!

4. Ark Puzzle

Kids can build Noah's ark with this Ark Puzzle.  I usually start this one at the beginning of the unit with a cheat sheet for them to follow for building the Ark and then challenge them to build it without looking at the picture!

5. 2 By 2 Animal Match

We use the animal cards in my packet to play memory or go fish games...during our play, I am continually reinforcing the idea that Noah sent the animals in the Ark by 2's because those were God's directions!

6. Sink or Float

This exploration station is added during "The Flood" lesson.

My kids LOVE predicting whether an object will sink or float and testing out their predictions.  Of course, I am reinforcing the idea during this station that Noah built the Ark to float so that he could protect them during the flood.

7. Catch a Rainbow

This exploration station is added during "The Rainbow" lesson.  You can read about this one in detail in this blog post (I use this as a science experiment during our weather unit in first grade!)

In preschool Sunday School, I give them time to explore and simply catch rainbows on their paper and color over them to record.  Of course, this (along with the sink and float station) is a station I am sitting super close to so that I can help guide their exploration a little bit more! *wink*

Since we did this station the last time we studied Noah's Ark, we did a rainbow fine motor activity and craft instead for this time around!

Check out these stations, including instruction cards with photos for each exploration station in my Noah's Ark Unit!




I recently became a consultant for Usborne Books and I'm already LOVING the wonderful books they offer.  My 4 year old absolutely loves his interactive books and reads them all the time!

But Usborne also has some GREAT books for the classroom.  So let's talk about some amazing books to use as read alouds or interactive books in science or social studies to use in a literacy station as well!

Human Body Books

October is a great time to learn about the human body!  I always love hanging our skeletons up in October as we learn about bones!  And our human body posters make fun Halloween/Science decor too!

These Shine-A-Light books are so interactive and perfect to put at a science or exploration station. Watch a video on how they work here...

My preschooler is hooked to these books and who doesn't love getting to use a flashlight?  I'm pretty sure everytime I break out the flashlights in my first grade classroom, I get the cool teacher award! :)

And here are some more amazing, fact filled books on the human body that would make awesome read alouds or classroom library books!  Just click the covers below to take a closer look!
          

Animal Books

October is also a great time to read and research nocturnal animals like bats.  My first graders LOVE our 6-week integrated animals unit and I love having great read alouds for this unit as well as hands on interactive books that kids can explore and read in our science station or classroom library!  (Click the pics for links)

These books are the PERFECT resource for our animal research projects!  The Pocket Books series have a book for each animal group as well! (Click the pics for links)
   


Here are a few more of our favorite animal books (Click the pics for links):
            

Halloween Books

And if you have a little one at home, you will want to check out these favorite Halloween books!


Remember that song we used to sing in Children's Church as kids?

He's got the whole world in His hands,
He's got the whole world in His hands,
He's got the whole world in His hands,
He's got the whole world in His hands!

Such a simple song with such a powerful meaning....God is in control.  Not me.

For a few years now, we have been using that simple kid's song as the tune to our continents poem, "I've Got The Whole World On My Body."  The kids adore this song.  It's a perfect Total Physical Response activity and in just a couple of short singings the kids can name all 7 continents {on their bodies, of course!}

We sing the song in 3 different ways to keep the song fresh and because I just can't pick a favorite way!

On Our Body

First, we sing the song by tapping the beat on each part of our body:
Africa >>> Head
North America >>> Shoulders
South America >>> Hips
Europe >>> Left Hand
Asia >>> Right Hand
Australia >>> Knees
Antarctica >>> Feet

With A Partner

The second way we sing the continents song is with a partner.  Each kid faces a partner and they tap each other for each continent...

Head to head for Africa...

Foot to foot for Antarctica....

And so forth!  This version always includes lots of giggles! :)

Travel the Room

The last way we practice the song is traveling the room.  Since I have the continents hanging above our group tables in our room, we "travel around the world" and go to each continent table as we sing! Along with the Continental Drift, it's one of their favorite brain breaks for this unit!

Once we are continental pros, we add the poem to our poetry folder.  You can find this poem plus a full years worth of poems, materials, and plans here.}

We highlighted the continent names in each stanza and they illustrated the continents to match our class' world map.

You can find this poem and song in my Year Long Poetry Pack or Cinderella Around the World Unit.  I also love to use this song during our Me on the Map Unit too!
        


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