Unit on School

Unit on School

Key Terms: school, bus, pencil, eraser, crayon

(note: I used a classic red school house pic because Charlie’s classroom is also red. If you can get a picture of your child’s actual school, that would be ideal)

Objectives: The child will recognize the above school-related items by sight.


School Bus Changing Station: This has become our go-to activity because it provides such great reinforcement and interaction. Simply put, I created buses out of sticky-backed foam and put them on the wall above his changing area. I don’t have a picture because Charlie’s “interaction” involves ripping pieces off the wall and chewing on them, and throwing them on the floor. This time I took a little tip from Ellen and tried to incorporate some PT into it as well.  So we changed him in the other direction to try to get him to use his right hand. No dice. He just reached over with his left. Still, great way to keep the learning going throughout the day.

Pretend School House: Playing pretend is a cognitive skill and I have no idea if Charlie knows how to do it or not. My guess is no, so we’re working on it. I painted a diaper box to look *roughly* like a school and then rolled up a plastic bus that we had and had the occupants get off the bus and go into the school. I didn’t have any people that were the right size so this bus had a driver, a chick, a pig, and one very tiny man. diaper box school craft

Same/Different: Another new concept for us. We would show Charlie three buses and then have him tell us which one was different. He wasn’t real interested, but you can bet we’ll be repeating same/different for a while. same different activity

School Sensory Bin: I filled a bin with rice and then added school supplies: erasers, pencils, and crayons. Charlie then got to explore the bin. He was real excited to touch the things inside until he felt the rice–apparently rice is disgusting to Charlie. Funniest part is when a piece got in his mouth–I’ve never seen him stick his tongue out that far before.

Finger-painted School Bus: I cut out a bus shape and then Charlie finger painted it yellow. After it dried, we glued it to a white sheet of paper and then glued on two black bottle caps for wheels. This came out really cute and Charlie is getting better and better at painting.school bus craftBook We Enjoyed

Wheels on the Bus: Raffi Songs to Read by Raffi. Charlie is still pretty unimpressed by books, so anything that we can sing is good. This is just the Raffi song as a book.

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  1. Great Ideas! He looks like he is having fun-even if he doesn’t like the rice!

    Sometimes when starting with different I say “which does not go/belong” then “you’re right! it does not go with the others-they are ____ and this one is____ it is Different!

    Sometimes in a shortened version… :)

    (oh…I am an SLP)

  2. Great idea for activities to introduce to little kids for them to be able to have a head start when it comes to being familiar with school. Thanks and by the way, your kid is so cute.:-)

  3. Great activities. I need to do this stuff with my kids but I haven’t done much since my school started back (apparently when I get home from teaching I am done teaching, lol). Consider moving the footplate up on his rifton chair. It is important he has a place to put his feet (helps with balance and when some one is balanced it is easier to learn). I see this at least once a week, I always tell people to think how it feels when you are sitting on like a bar stool do you dangle your legs or find a place to support them.

  4. Katy, I think you are right on track to work on pretend play. I think we are hard wired to do it, and if Charlie loves music, figures out electronics, and has a sense of humor, then he definitely has an imagination that just needs stimulation. Maybe it won’t be obvious how to make a connection that he has communication skills to show you he gets but I’d give him the Playmobil people with the wee house in the 1 1/2 age line. I think he’ll recognize house, boys, moms, chairs, cars, etc.

  5. Hi, Katy. I don’t have kids yet, but I love them and would love to have some of my own some day. It’s just amazing to me the strength and discipline you have with your son, and I think it’s an inspiration to all parents. If all of them were to take the effort and care you do in raising Charlie, I really think this world would be a lot better place. Thanks for sharing your heart (and lesson plans) with us.

  6. I love seeing your units. So many great ideas that are making a big impact and are simple to do. You are such an inspiration for me to keep on working with our son on this type of stuff. You’re a fantastic mom!

  7. How do you usually come up with these ‘units’? Why do you call them ‘units’? Is that an official term of sorts? They are very creative, very adaptive, and impressive. Do you teach them in conjunction with someone else’s therapy or do you do them on your own? I should know all this by now shouldn’t I? I think I need to narrow my focus, my blogroll is just too long maybe.

  8. Great ideas! And the pics of Charlie – adorable! I could eat him up!