With Easter just a few weeks away, I thought I’d remind you of the readilearn Easter-themed lessons and activities suitable for use with 5-7 year-old children, at school or at home. The Easter collection can be found in Cultural Studies here.
Easter in the classroom — some thoughts
When considering whether to include Easter activities in the classroom, it is important to realise that Easter may not be celebrated by all children and, even if it is, the importance and focus of the celebration may differ from family to family.
If you have already investigated Family traditions and celebrations, you will know which children celebrate Easter and which do not.
If you haven’t, you could use the Yes/No survey, Do you celebrate Easter? to find out.
For children who don’t celebrate Easter, be sensitive to the expectations their families may have for their participation. Depending on the number, you may choose to avoid Easter activities or use the time to investigate other festivals celebrated by your families. However, unless you are in a religious school, most Easter activities will focus on eggs and bunnies or bilbies rather than religion, as do our readilearn resources. If you are in a religious school, then parents were aware of the focus when enrolling their children.
The lessons and activities mentioned in this post assume you have decided to include Easter in your program and are focusing on the secular celebration. While many of the Easter traditions focus on the new birth of spring, in the Southern Hemisphere, Easter occurs in autumn. Our readilearn Easter resources avoid focusing on the seasons for this reason.
How families celebrate Easter
The way of celebrating Easter will vary from family to family. Some go away for the weekend. Some stay at home. Some are visited by a bunny, some by a bilby. Some put out carrots for the bunny, some put out baskets for the bunny to put eggs in, some search for eggs in an Easter egg hunt.
It is always interesting to hear about different ways of celebrating so it is useful to begin with some discussion and writing.
Talking and Writing
Recounts and personal experiences
Children love to write about things they know about and enjoy. Follow up discussions of Easter traditions with writing.
Find some ideas for talking and writing in Easter Writing Prompts with 5 discussion and sentence starters for writing and drawing, for example:
- When I think of Easter, I
- At Easter time, my family
Other ideas for talking and writing
Children also enjoy using their imaginations and having fun with ideas. They may like to, for example, consider problems that the Easter Bunny or Bilby may encounter in making their deliveries, and write a story to explain how the problem is solved.
Ask and respond to questions
Another way to encourage thinking and stimulate writing is by encouraging children to ask and respond to questions. It can be as simple as showing them an object; for example, an Easter egg in this instance. See how many questions they can ask and let their ideas flow.
- Whose egg is it?
- What is it for?
- How did it get here?
- Will it hatch?
- What is it made of?
Write your own Easter acrostic poem with this Easter acrostic template. Whether at school or at home, children will enjoy writing their own Easter poems.
Resources for learning across the curriculum
Easter Delivery is an interactive digital story for use on the interactive white board in the classroom or personal computer at home.
While the resource is designed to encourage mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills using combinations of numbers up to ten, it also involves children in reading and following instructions. Follow-up activities extend the learning.
The story: The Bilby twins, Benny and Belinda, are excited to be making their first deliveries for Easter. Before they do, they must prove to Dad that they can deliver the correct number of eggs for each friend’s family.
After children have helped Benny and Belinda by working out what combinations of eggs could be delivered to each family, they are challenged to consider how many eggs Benny and Belinda would deliver to their own (the children’s) families.
Science information about bilbies is included in the resource.
Related activities supporting the resource include:
Benny and Belinda’s Easter Delivery – a worksheet on which children can work out the number of eggs Benny and Belinda would deliver to their families.
Fill Mrs Bilby’s wagon – a game for maths groups is equally suitable for families to play at home. It involves children in subitising, adding, counting, finding missing addends and trading.
Bilby Easter gift labels and bookmarks can be printed and given as gifts to children, classroom assistants, colleagues and family.
The Bilbies – Easter colouring page can also be used as a stimulus for discussion, storytelling and writing, and
A Happy Easter card from the Bilbies can be personalised with children’s own messages and posted to relatives and friends.
Match the Bilbies is a fun exercise in visual discrimination which requires children to find two bilbies that are exactly the same. It’s not as easy as you think.
Easter maths lessons and activities
There are many other Easter activities that can be incorporated into the maths program at school or used by families at home.
Collect the eggs – a game for maths groups is also suitable for parents to play with their children at home. The game involves children in counting on and back, and subitising and comparing numbers up to 20. It also provides opportunities for discussing “What is fair?”
Easter egg domino cards can be used in a range of ways to help to develop fluency in number with
- addition turn arounds
- missing addends
- speed of recall
They are equally suited to use at home or school.
Reading – caption books and sight words
Who am I at Easter? is an Easter-themed caption book suitable for use with emergent or beginning readers. The printable book is available in two versions: the Easter Bilby, and the Easter Bunny. The stories feature children who dress up as these characters for an Easter Parade. The repetitive text and use of sight words makes it an easy first reader.
Easter Word Cards is a set of fourteen Easter themed word cards which can be used as a reference for children’s writing and in other activities.
Easter word search is a fun way to have children practise recognising and reading sight words and Easter topic words.
Whose egg? – a logic puzzle engages children in reading for meaning as they interpret clues to work out which egg belongs to which person in which basket. It helps to develop logical thinking at the same time.
How to make a nutritious bunny breakfast is an easy-to-follow recipe for children to make their own fun and delicious Easter breakfast.
Where are the Easter eggs? teaches children the meaning of positional words and to recognise them in print. Eight positional words are introduced: on, under, beside, between, in, in front, next to and behind.
Dragona’s Lost Egg While not specifically related to Easter, Dragona’s Lost Egg maintains the egg theme and involves children in logical thinking and problem solving. It is an interactive digital story for use on the interactive white board in the classroom or personal computer at home.
The story: Dragona has lost her egg and turns to her friend Artie, owner of a Lost and Found store, for help. Artie is confident of helping her as he has many eggs on his shelves. He asks Dragona to describe features of her egg, including size, shape, pattern, and colour. He uses a process of elimination to identify which egg might be Dragona’s.
Children join in the process by choosing eggs with the characteristic described. What is Dragona’s egg really like, and will Artie be able to help her find it?
Related activities supporting the resource include:
Which egg is mine? is an interactive digital resource to use on the interactive whiteboard in the classroom or personal computer at home. It can be used with any number of players and for any amount of time.
The game helps to develop logical thinking and descriptive mathematical language such as size, shape, colour and pattern.
The Egg cards can be used to play the game independently of the interactive white board. (Refer to information included with the cards for additional suggestions.)
With more than 25 Easter-themed lessons and activities in the collection, I’m sure you’ll agree there are many ways to keep the children learning while having fun with Easter activities, whether in the classroom or at home.
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