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Spring 2013

Sem I-ECED372

LESSON PLAN OUTLINE JMU Elementary Education Program

The following information should be included in the header of the lesson plan:

Hunter Gwyn

Ronda Heatwole, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Pre-K

October 19 th , Approximately 11:00am – 12:00pm

Date written plan is submitted to the practicum teacher (Plan must be initialed and dated by the teacher when it is reviewedat least one week in advance.)


Exploring Play Dough The students will be introduced to play dough. They will be given the opportunity to explore its physical characteristics and create works of art through molding and manipulating the substance. There will be no guidelines for what the students are to create with the play dough, in order to foster self-expression and individuality. The students will also talk about the qualities of the play dough that they observe, or describe what they will create with it.


This activity is appropriate for my students at this time because interacting with play dough fosters creativity and individuality. There is no wrong way to mold play dough, so this allows students the opportunity to express themselves and their artistic abilities in a low stress, non-judgmental setting. This is important because young children need to have opportunities for self-expression in order to nurture emotional health, which can be more difficult when a task requires one, specific method of accomplishment. Allowing opportunities for genuine creativity also helps children develop their cognitive and language abilities by promoting new ways of thinking, the use problem-solving skills, and talking about their art with the teacher and their peers. Young children also require practice developing their fine motor skills. Using play dough is an appropriate way for the students to do this, as they must exercise the small muscles in their hands and fingers to manipulate the dough. Every week that I have observed center time in my practicum classroom, the drawing table has been a popular area of congregation for the students. While only a handful of students can create pictures that can be deciphered by someone other than the student who drew it, the children appear to enjoy creating novelty pieces of art without any direction of where to take them. However, only traditional art resources, such as markers, colored pencils and crayons, are regularly available to the children during center time, so I believe the students would greatly enjoy using different material to create unique pieces of art. Many students in the class have never had the opportunity to use play dough before, so introducing the material will expand the students’ mental concepts of art, and help them realize that art can be more than just drawings and pictures. Through modeling the play dough, the students will expand upon their creative processes, and begin to understand that art can be more than just two dimensional, and does not have to be bound to markers and a piece of paper.


Developmental Objectives

Plan for Assessment

1. The students will describe their individual works of art.

I will assess this by asking each student about his or her artwork, and waiting for a response. An acceptable response would include any descriptive words on what the students intend to/are attempting to make with the play dough, or any physical qualities of the play dough itself. For every student that successfully does this, I will record his or her responses

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next to his/her name on the name sheet.

2. The students will use the play dough properly in their designated space.

I will assess this once a student has finished crafting with the play dough. I will examine a finished student’s work area and see if all of the play dough that the student used is still on his/her work mat. This means that no play dough can be on the table (other than on the work mat), the floor, the student’s seat, or anywhere on the student’s body. For every student that does this successfully, I will write a check mark next to his/her name on the name sheet.



Virginia Visual Arts Foundation Block 1: Visual Communication and Production

a) Understand that artists create visual arts using many different tools

b) Understand that visual arts take many forms

c) Use a variety of materials, textures and tools for producing visual art

d) Develop and use fine motor skills necessary to produce two- and three-dimensional works of art

Virginia Visual Arts Foundation Block 3: Analysis, Evaluation, and Critique

b) Understand that each person responds to and creates works of art in unique ways

Virginia Literacy Foundation Block 2: Vocabulary

a) Use size, shape, color, and special words to describe people, places, and things


- Play Dough (Cooperating teacher)

- Place Mats (Cooperating teacher)




I will first push together two small tables that the students use during center time and place 6 chairs around


the work area. I will then lay down 6 place mats on the tables, one in front of each chair.


I will place the instruction cards in the middle of the work area so that all of the children can see the


instructions. Then I will place a handful of play dough on each place mat.


I will do this activity with up to 6 students at a time.



Before the students begin center time, I will introduce the learning center while all of the students are

gathered together on the rug in the middle of the room.

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I will first ask if any of the students have used play dough before, and, if students raise their hands, allow


students to talk about their experiences with it by asking, ”What does it feel like?” and “Did you make anything with it?” I will then demonstrate appropriate ways to interact with the play dough by using my hands to stretch it,


bend it, roll it, squish it, poke it, and break it into multiple pieces. Then I will point out that the students can also use the play dough to create objects, shapes, animals, people,

and whatever else they can think of, though will not require that they have to make anything at all. 10) I will also encourage the students to use their senses touch, sight, smell and hearing to notice how the play dough feels, looks, smells and sounds when they are using it. 11) I will then say explicitly that we do not put the play dough in our mouths and use our sense of taste because eating play dough can make them sick. 12) Then I will point out that the play dough should only be used at the designated table, and should be kept on or over the place mat at all times. 13) I will also direct the student’s attention to the instruction cards on the table and tell them that if they forget the appropriate ways to use the play dough, they can remind themselves by look at the cards on the table. 14) The students will then be allowed to begin center time by my coordinating teacher.

IMPLEMENTATION 15) I will monitor the students as they filter through the play dough station to observe the students’ interactions with the play dough. 16) I will allow each student that comes to the station time to explore the play dough before engaging them individually, or as a group. 17) I will ask each student that utilizes the station questions, such as, “How does the play dough feel?” and “What are you making with your play dough?” and record their individual responses. 18) As students leave the station, I will examine their work area and record whether or not they used the play dough appropriately, and repeat the process for each student that comes to the station.

CLOSURE 19) Once the students have reconvened on the class rug after center time, I will ask the whole group what kinds of things they made with the play dough. 20) I will also reiterate the senses the students used when interacting with the play dough, and ask the whole group how the play dough looked, felt, sounded, and smelled.

CLEAN-UP 21) As the students are cleaning up the other stations at center time, I will put away all of the play dough used during the activity, as well as the place mats. 22) If any play dough has found its way off of the place mats, I will clean this up as well, and move the tables and chairs to their original positions.


Some of the students in class speak primarily Spanish and know a limited amount of English, so I will have pictures on the instruction cards so that these students know what are appropriate ways to use the play dough. I will also model these appropriate behaviors before center time begins so that these students can see what those behaviors look like in real time. When demonstrating these appropriate behaviors, I will also use the Spanish terminology along with the English terminology to ensure that the ELL students know exactly how to use the play dough.

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Some of the students may have also previously used play dough before this activity. To ensure that these students are as equally involved and engaged as the students who have never used play dough before, I will challenge them to craft specific objects or letters after they have already explored their own interests. If a student has difficulties meeting this request, I will assist them by beginning the craft myself or directing them step-by- step.


Not all of the students may want to participate in the play dough activity. If all of the students have not participated by the time center time is almost over, I will try to encourage them individually by asking them if they would like to come play with the play dough with me, where I will model appropriate behaviors with them one-on-one. If students who have not participated still do not want to do so even after my encouragement, this will be acceptable. It could also be possible that some students want to stay at the play dough station for the entire duration of center time. If this is the case, I will remind the students who want to stay that there are other stations open for them to play at, and that their friends would also like a turn at the play dough station. If a student is still insistent on staying even after I have tried this approach, I will give them a maximum of three more minutes at the play dough station so that they can finish up, and let another student take their place.