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 ArkThis 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 MatchThis 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 NookThis 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 PuzzleKids 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 MatchWe 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 FloatThis 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 RainbowThis 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!