All about me themed playdough mats and cards. Differentiated.

So often a school day is full of activities that require children to write. Sometimes this can be tedious and for students who find writing difficult, it can make the school day very frustrating. So why not change it up? This product allows children to practice skills such as reading, comprehension, speaking, and build new vocabulary, all by simply playing and manipulating playdough to create the answers to questions. Playing with playdough is also a great activity to encourage the development of fine-motor skills. Playing with playdough can also have a calming affect. Playdough is not just for younger children. Older children and even adults love playing with playdough. Playdough is fun!

This product is made up of 12 playdough mats and 20 playdough cards. The playdough mats are a simpler version of the playdough cards. For the mats, I recommend printing them A4 size so the children can work on them. For the cards you can print them A4 or A5. I print them on A5 as it saves on ink and paper. The children don’t work on them and A5 is still big enough to read the information on them. I also recommend laminating both the mats and cards for durability.

HOW TO USE THEM:
The playdough mats have simple instructions that the children need to read. They then need to create something out of playdough according to the directives that were given. Once they have completed their creation I suggest encouraging the children to talk about their creation to a friend, teacher or parent. On each mat is a checklist to remind children of the simple steps they need to take to complete the activity.

o READ
o CREATE
o SHARE

For learners who are unable to read yet, you can still use this activity by reading the mats to the children and they then have to follow the instruction. Here they are practicing their listening and processing skills.

The playdough cards are a more difficult and require students to read and remember more. There is an “A” card and a “B” card.
The “A” card has some information on that the children need to read and instructions that they need to follow. Here too they need to create something out of playdough according to the directives that were given.
The “B” card is more difficult and children have to remember what they read on Card “A” and show understanding by making creations out of playdough.
Some of the “B” Cards also have extra challenge blocks.
As with the playdough mats, children are encouraged to share their creations.

For both the mats and the cards, you could set it up as a whole class activity or an individual activity. As a whole class the children can all get the same mat and present their creations to the whole class. This could be a great ice-breaker to start off the theme “All about me”. If you hand out a variety of mats/cards, the children can swap with a friend once they are done. I also like to leave the mats and playdough out for when children have some free time. E.g. they have completed an activity earlier than the other children.

I have developed these mats and cards around the theme “All about Me”.
Some of the topics covered are:
o What do you look like?
o What can you do well?
o Your family
o Your pets
o Your favourite meal
o Your favourite thing to do at school
o Your favourite story/books
o Your hobbies
o What do you want to be when you grow up?
o Your favourite place to go on holiday
o Your favourite number, colour, shape

These mats and cards are a great way to get to know your students better. These mats are also great for therapists and counselors as well. They provide a safe way for children to open up about how they feel and what their life is like.

I would suggest having a few tools and utensils available to the children when they are working with the playdough. Some ideas include: rollers, playdough scissors, googly eyes, cookie cutters, match sticks, ice-cream or lolly sticks, coloured beads, coloured stones and pebbles, plastic knives, forks and plates to name a few.

I really loved creating this resource and I really hope that you will find it rewarding to use with your children. Please view my store for other themed resources.

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Robyn Keudel-Schaffer / Treasures for Thematic Teaching

I have been involved in education for 14 years. My experience includes pre-school as well as junior and senior school. I am involved in a mentorship programme that provides extra guidance to people who are training to become teachers. I am now currently a stay at home Mom, enjoying the opportunity to spend time with my little boy. Since being at home, I have co-authored two English text books for the country of Rwanda. I enjoy new and creative ways of teaching content and skills to my students. Not everyone learns the same way and I enjoy finding methods that help benefit all those that I teach. I love working with themes and find this enhances cross-curricular teaching in my classroom. Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Development - Foundation Phase.) Advanced Certificate in Education (Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase) Honours Bachelor of Education in Inclusive Education (Cum laude)

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