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I am a fairly new teacher (3 years) and teach at a small private preschool. Each year my class is flooded with different dramtical play ideas that I support fully. We have done everything from race car units to mystical dragons. When a group of boys started to show interest in super heros I quickly noticed that their play was getting more and more physical. To solve, or guide their creativity in the right direction we sat down as a class and openly discussed the topic. We talked about what super heros do, who they are, why the are important…and every other issue having to deal with super heros. This not only gave my kids an oppurtunity to collectivly talk about what they are interested in but also gave me the chance to understand all of their fears, excitments, and all around knowledge of the subject. After we were all finished sharing I introduced a new and improoved super hero to the class, “PRESCHOOL PETE!!” As we all know, with excitment and energy anything will seem exciting to 3-4 year olds! Preschool Pete suddenly became a super hero that my kids could relate to even more. Nightly I would go home and write quick little plot lines for Preschool Pete. The next day at circle I would introduce a new plot and we would all collectivly write a new story for Pete to play out. We created rules from the start that Pete never uses weapons, which helped in the long run. After a week of creating stories we had Preschool Pete solving mysteries and protecting his school by using his words, sharing, listening to others, being a good friend, eating healthy and slowing his body down by making new choices. These ideas that we created toghether stuck with every child who particpated throughout the school year and I still hear back from parents about how effective “preschool Pete” had been in their childs development.
Hope this idea has been helpful and that others can use/create their own “preschool pete!”
Kyle W. McKay
Teacher, Younger Preschool
Holway Child Study Ctr – The Barn