readilearn: Learning literacy and mathematics with Easter classroom activities

• Published on March 23, 2018

The celebration of special occasions such as Easter may bring interruptions to the usual class program with preparation for special events and performances such as Easter Hat Parades. It may also signal time to inject some fun into the program. But involving children in Easter activities doesn’t mean the learning has to stop.

In this post, I explain how using readilearn early childhood teaching resources keeps the children thinking and learning while having fun with Easter-themed resources across curriculum areas. (Note: All readilearn Easter-themed resources can be found here.)

Cultural studies

An inclusive classroom acknowledges all traditions celebrated by its children.

Find out whether Easter is one of the traditions celebrated by the families of children in the class and discuss how it is celebrated.

If you have already investigated Family traditions and celebrations, you will know which children celebrate Easter and which do not.

For children who don’t celebrate Easter, be sensitive to the expectations their families may have for their participation.

My personal view is that it is beneficial for children to learn about the traditions of others but that they can opt out of activities and celebrations if families wish. In my experience, few families have requested their children be provided with alternative activities as they don’t want their children to feel different or be left out. They also support the view that it is good for their children to understand the culture of which they are now a part.

Writing

When I think of Easter, I

When it’s Easter, my family

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.

Maths

There are many ways that Easter activities can be incorporated into the maths program. There are a number of existing readilearn resources for that purpose and I have uploaded two new resources this week:

Collect the eggs – a game for maths groups involves children in counting on and back with numbers up to 20. The game, which also provides opportunities for discussing “What is fair?”, gives children practice in subitising and comparing numbers.

Easter egg domino cards, which can be used in a range of ways, help to develop fluency in number with:

• subitisation
• speed of recall

Children always enjoy data collection, especially when they are the source of the data.

It is easy to create Yes or No graphs  in respond to questions such as:

Do you celebrate Easter?

Another fun living graph, bar graph or picture graph to make is one showing children’s favourite kind of Easter treat.

Resources for learning across the curriculum

Easter Delivery is an interactive digital story for use on the interactive white board. It gives children practice in finding combinations of numbers to ten.

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 families.

While the resource is designed to encourage mathematical thinking and problem solving skills, it also involves children in reading and following instructions.

Science information about bilbies is included in the resource.

Follow up activities supporting the resource include:

Maths

Benny and Belinda’s Easter Delivery – a sheet 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 which involves children in subitising, adding, counting, finding missing addends and trading.

Language and literacy

Writing

Opportunities for writing can be found everywhere. One of the best ways of stimulating interesting writing is by encouraging children to use their imaginations in asking and responding 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?
• Is it magic?

The Bilbies –  Easter colouring page can also be used as a stimulus for discussion, story telling and writing, and

A Happy Easter card from the Bilbies can be personalised with children’s own messages.

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.

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 fun and available free to all. You don’t even need to register. Children read and follow the steps of the procedure and get to eat the bunny in the end.

Other resources

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.

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?

Which egg is mine? is an interactive digital resource to use on the interactive whiteboard. 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.)

Other

Bilby Easter gift labels and bookmarks can be printed and given as gifts to children, classroom assistants, colleagues and family.

I’m sure you’ll agree there are many ways to keep the children learning while having fun with Easter activities in the classroom or at home.

If you are looking for a gift for an early childhood teacher this Easter, why not gift a readilearn subscription to show how much their work is appreciated. Contact me for details.

Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.

Norah Colvin says:

Thanks, Robbie. 🙂

This is fascinating, thank you, Norah. I’ve sent the link to my daughter for our granddaughter

Norah Colvin says:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Judith, and for sharing with your daughter. Much appreciated. Have a great week. 🙂

Such rich resources Norah! I wish I was a kid all over again. Loved the animated Easter Delivery. Thank you! Have a lovely weekend!

Norah Colvin says:

Thank you, Susan. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the resources and the video. I wish you a wonderful weekend too. 🙂

This is an outstanding post, Norah. If I were a grade school teacher, I’d be jumping for joy at discovering this. And the videos are wonderful ❤

Norah Colvin says:

Hi Tina, Thank you you so much for your enthusiasm. Appreciated. Best wishes. <3

Excellent teaching ideas and strategies, Norah.

Norah Colvin says:

Thank you, Jennie. So pleased you enjoyed them.

You are welcome, Norah!

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