I have deeply loved doing a Fairy Tales unit over the past two years. Aria looks forward to the unit each time it comes up, and every morning of our Fairy Tales theme will ask what story we are working on that day almost the minute she wakes up. I strongly feel that you need more than one week for the unit, as there are so many great fairy tales that deserve to be covered, but I will say that the three weeks we did this year were probably not necessary. I think two weeks of fairy tales, royalty, and castles are the perfect amount of time to really dive into the subject! But you can make that decision on your own, either shortening it if your kid doesn’t seem excited about the unit or adding more stories and making the unit longer if they love it!
For this unit, I took the time to create individual lesson plans for each story, because I really wanted to spend one day per story. That meant that I wanted an in depth study of each story we covered and made sure to try to take the time to do math, science, literacy, and art if possible each day. Were we able to do everything I had planned? No. But I adapted each day based on how receptive Aria was to the story or what we had going on (aka, some days were just too busy to do much other than the story and a few crafts/sensory activities). We have been working through a large Ready for Kindergarten workbook over the last few weeks, so I don’t feel bad on days we don’t get to math and literacy with our unit, as we probably do with the workbook. However, I’m glad that I had it all well planned out so that I had options to pick and choose from…and also because it should make lesson planning for next year that much easier!
My daughter is not a huge Disney fan. She likes princesses but doesn’t love them or beg to watch any Disney princess movies on a regular basis. So, for her, the princess stories were not the ones she was most responsive too even though she had fun with them. Instead, she loved the Three Little Pigs and Red Riding Hood the most. Part of this was due to how fun the units were and part of it is that she loves the idea of The Big Bad Wolf. My girl just loves the bad guys for some reason! Goldilocks and the Three Bears was also a big hit because we had some great toys to use with the lesson and because we had some friends come over who participated in the fun!
We did the stories of Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Tom Thumb for the first time this year. I chose Peter Pan because Aria had been working on a geography workbook for several weeks, had finally finished the whole thing, and her reward for finishing the workbook was a large color me pirate ship. The girls loved the pirate ship, and they have a huge love of fairies, so it seemed to be the best story to spend two days working on this year. Aria loved the crocodile and Captain Hook, so we did a pirate day. The big hit was Aria going on a treasure hunt that I made, then creating her own pirate map for me to follow to reach the treasure. The following day we focused on Tinkerbell and did a fairy themed day where the girls dressed as fairies all day, played in their fairy garden, etc. Definitely something to do again next year. The Little Mermaid was fun to do now that we are in summer, as it aligned well with us having swim lessons and spending lots of time in the water. We did the story of Tom Thumb as a quick side story since Aria loved it when we read it. Though there is not much out there for the story, we did a lot of fun fingerprint activities that kept us busy and learning!
The most important part of this unit is spending a lot of time reading, and I am super glad that somehow the unit hit right when Aria started showing even more of a fascination with reading. As the year has progressed, she has worked harder and harder at reading, going so far as to read and find many of the pronouns in the books that she reads now. But she doesn’t let her inability to read stop her. More than anything, she wants me to read the story to her so that she can learn it and then pick the book up and read it back to me. Though it sometimes feels like it takes up a lot of time, these early reading steps seem to really excite her, and I will do anything to foster it. So, it was wonderful to have these weeks set aside where we really focused on literature as the main part of our day and not a small part of the day.
As this was my last official unit of Pre-K 4, I spent a large portion of these weeks thinking about what I would change or make better for next year. I think timing the unit earlier in the year is a wiser choice, just so that we have less going on and more time to focus on the material. Somehow the summer months always seem to be busier! I also plan to do the unit near our Europe unit (we are starting continents units this year), so that we can connect the kings and queens of Europe to a royalty/princess fairy tales week. This year we separated the Castles and Royalty week from a Fairy Tales week, which really worked well for Aria as a 4 year old, but I think she can handle a little history and more of a challenge this coming year, so I won’t have separate units for her as a 5 year old.
I love this unit and definitely think it is one of the best units of the year. There are so many options out there of units to do with a 4 year old, but if your child loves adventures and stories or lives in their own fantasy land half the time (as mine does), start collecting materials and go on a fairy tales journey with your kids! So worth it!
**I apologize for the formatting issues on the below PDFs. Working to fix them ASAP and will repost once I fix them!**
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE CINDERELLA UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE GINGERBREAD MAN UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE HANSEL AND GRETEL UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE JACK AND THE BEANSTALK UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE LITTLE MERMAID UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE PETER PAN UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE PRINCESS AND THE PEA UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE RED RIDING HOOD UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE SLEEPING BEAUTY UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE SNOW WHITE UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE STONE SOUP UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE THREE LITTLE PIGS UNIT PDF
CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOADABLE TOM THUMB UNIT PDF
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Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.