Home on the Range

Hey there all y’all cowpokes! It’s high time we do some learnin’ out here on the wide prairie lands! We’re gonna wrangle up some letters, heard some numbers back to their corral where they belong, and have an in general rootin’ tootin’ good time! Saddle up your horse, grab your lasso, and let’s head on into cowpoke week!

Literacy:

-Cowpoke song: We sang this each morning during calendar time to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. We also read it as a regular poem and identified the rhyming words on day one.

-Round ’em up letter relay: I placed all of our ABC flash cards on the floor across the room then had my littles take turns wearing a cowboy hat and riding their stick horse (we already had these items- you could also just have your little “gallop” on an imaginary horse) to “round up” a letter. Once they chose one, they had to “ride” back to the group and identify the letter and sound. Then it was the next person in line’s turn.

-Lasso the letters: I put out 10-12 ABC flashcards at a time then gave my littles “lassos” I made out of pipe cleaners. For the activity I would say a letter then have them lasso it.

-Cowboy word coloring pages: I printed these cowboy word pages from Teachers Pay Teachers, had each of my littles choose one, write the word and color the picture (I helped my 2 year old write, my 5 year old did his independently).

-C is for cowboy pages: I printed two C is for cowboy pages- one for kindergartners and one for younger preschoolers– and had my littles complete them.

-Campfire tales: For writing this week, I had my little write a campfire tale cowpokes would tell around the fire after a long day of herding cattle.

-Cowpoke book list:

Math:

-Number round up: I threw number flash cards 1-20 around the house then had my littles round them up and bring them back to the “corral” (aka fireplace) where we put them in the correct order. When they were done we counted them all up to make sure none we’re missing.

-Count the herd: I got a set of cow stickers on Amazon and had my littles practice counting large groups by counting the stickers (my 5 year old did 40 independently, my 2 year old did up to 20 with help in the teens…I also pointed for him).

-Cowpoke math: I made up these three cowboy themed math problems and then had my little use cowboy food… aka beans…to help him solve the problems. The first problem uses larger numbers because my little needs to practice accurately counting large groups- if the numbers are too much for your little that’s totally OK! I think you can edit the document before you print it…or just white out the ones place!

-Cowboy (or girl) boot symmetry: I went over what symmetry is with my little by drawing and coloring a simple symmetrical picture on the back of his paper. Then I had him color these cowboy boots I got on Teachers Pay Teachers symmetrically.

-Bandana number ordering: I cut out some small bandana shapes from construction paper, labeled them with the numbers 1-20, then had my 2 year old order 1-10 (I supported him by telling him which color bandana the number was on) and my 5 year old order the numbers 1-20.

Science:

-Rattlesnake book and skin shedding experiment: As a kid did you ever put Elmer’s school glue on your hand, wait for it to dry, then peel it off? Things to Share and Remember turned this typical kid activity into a brilliant science demonstration! First, I explained to my littles that for the activity to work they had to leave the glue 100% alone while I read a book about rattlesnakes- venomous critters that cowpokes may encounter out on the grassy plains. Then I spread a thin layer of glue on the back of their hands and read them the book. When it was through, we discussed how snakes and humans shed skin, but snakes do it all at once so it comes off in one big layer where as humans do it very slowly and it’s not even noticeable. Then I showed them how to peel the glue off their hands and we examined it- it had all the tiny waves imprinted in it from their skin just like a snake’s shed skin has scale marks. What a great connection!

-STEM challenge- build a cactus: I gave my littles some green grapes and toothpicks and the challenge to use them to build a cactus. The picture is my example. I got this idea from The Keeper of the Memories.

-Cows and horses comparing: I read a book on cows and a book on horses to my littles, then we used a Venn Diagram to compare them.

-STEM corral building: I gave my littles the challenge to build a corral for their cows with blocks then let them have at it!

Art:

-Desert sunset painting: Cowpokes probably won’t be in the desert with their cows seeing as there’s nothing for the cows to eat- but since the southwest has deserts and cow hands I figured we’d do a desert sunset painting! I put lines of yellow, orange, red, pink and purple on my little’s papers (we used cardstock since it’s thicker) then showed them how to paint side to side to mix the colors in layers. As a finishing touch, I added black cactus silhouettes to their work.

-Decorate a boot: I cut out cowboy boots from craft foam and had my littles go to town decorating them with Sharpies and sequins.

-Mosaic rattlesnakes: I cut out some rattlesnake templates then had my littles decorate them with squares I had cut from construction paper. I got this idea from Mrs. Cardena’s Bilingual PreK Classroom.

-Cow and horse handprint art: I used my littles’ hands to make a brown print for a horse and a white print for a cow. After they were dry we added details like spots and grass.

-Cowpoke free art: I gave my littles some blue, red and green construction paper and told them they were to use it to make a cow pasture. I told them they could use the red to make barns if they wished, but it was up to them. Once they were finished I gave them cow stickers to add to their pictures to make a herd. I helped my toddler cut out his barn and silo, then he did the gluing.

Extras:

-Letter of the week: Cc, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice.

-Word of the week: if, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workbook writing practice.

-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.

-Character trait of the month: Responsibility…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates responsibility I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Oh wow! You put your plate in the sink and all of your trash in the trash can without being asked! That is SO responsible!”)

Supply/shopping list:

  • pipe cleaner
  • dried beans
  • cow stickers
  • a book each on cows, horses and rattlesnakes
  • tooth picks
  • green grapes
  • craft foam
  • colored sharpies
  • sequins
  • blocks
  • stick horse (optional)
  • cowboy/girl hat (optional)
  • rocking horse (optional)

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