Area of Study: Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Motor Skills. Ages: 3-6 (extensions for older kids).
The scarecrow–themed lesson plan is designed for children ages 3-6, but many activities can be adapted for older children (extensions for older children will be in red text). This lesson plan includes: Introductions, Literacy, Math, Science, Crafts, Music/Action Song, and Scarecrow Book Suggestions.
Using scarecrows as a fall theme for learning is not only fun for kids, but it is a wonderful way to incorporate lessons on feelings at home or in the classroom. A scarecrow gets its name from the duty it performs; a scarecrow is designed to SCARE away crows from a field or a garden. To introduce the lesson, ask your children about a time when they were scared. What did being scared feel like? Brainstorm words or phrases with your child that might explain how being scared felt. While children may know about a feeling, translating that knowledge into words is sometimes difficult. Brainstorming allows children to investigate words to help them describe what they feel inside.
Materials needed: One copy of the Wikki Stix Scarecrow Matching Cards (separate download here) and scissors.
Print the Wikki Stix Scarecrow Matching Cards to heavy paper and laminate for durability. Have the children cut along the dotted lines to make 8 individual cards. Discuss the scarecrow "faces" on the cards with your child. Invite the children to explain how the scarecrow might be feeling simply by looking at one of the cards. The cards have faces for: Happy, Sad, Scared, and Mad. Ask the children about times when they have felt: happy, sad, scared, or mad. We can learn a great deal about our children by allowing them time to reflect and discuss. For older children, have the children select a scarecrow card and write about a time when they experienced a feeling that corresponds with the face on the card.
Scarecrow Matching Game: Print several copies of the Scarecrow Matching Cards (separate download here) to heavy paper. Laminate the cards for durability and cut them out. Lay all the cards face down on a table or the floor. Have the children turn the cards face up (two at a time) to see if the scarecrow faces form a matching pair. If they do not, the cards are turned face down and play continues to another player. The matching game is over when all pairs are located.
Beginning Letters: Print the Scarecrow Beginning Letters (separate download here) to heavy paper. Laminate the cards for durability and cut them out. As the children become familiar with the scarecrow faces, ask what letter the "feelings" words begin with: Happy, Sad, Scared, and Mad. Have the children make the beginning letter with Wikki Stix and place it beside the corresponding scarecrow card.
Older children may wish to create the entire word from Wikki Stix . Wikki Stix provides a tactile layer for learning that will enhance letter and word formations.
Materials needed: One copy of the Scarecrow Patterns (separate download here), scissors, and assorted Wikki Stix.
Print the patterning pages for each child. Set out an assortment of Wikki Stix for the children to use. The Wikki Stix will need to be cut into smaller pieces to complete the patterns (see photo above). Safety scissors will work to cut Wikki Stix, but younger children may need assistance.
Invite the children to look at the scarecrow faces in each of the rows. The children can use Wikki Stix to create the "face" that is needed to finish the pattern in each of the rows (see photo above).
The second table in the file is intentionally left blank. Older children can create Wikki Stix scarecrows for their own patterning page (see photo below).
Many farmers use metal pie plates or other metal items to decorate a scarecrow. Ask the children if they might know why farmers add pie plates (or other metal items) to the scarecrow. Items are generally hung from the scarecrow so that when the wind blows, the metal items will clang together and the sound will scare the crows (birds, in general). Ask the children what sounds they have heard that have scared them in the past? Most young children do not like very loud sounds (such as sirens or loud thunder claps).
Sound Experiment – items needed: craft sticks, Wikki Stix, and a variety of items found around the house (or classroom) that can be attached to Wikki Stix (item suggestions: large paper clips, keys, metal cookie cutters, miniature animals, binder clips, silverware, jingle bells, straws, cotton balls, and craft feathers).
Thread or attach similar items to strands of Wikki Stix (see photo above). Wrap the Wikki Stix around a craft stick (if desired, the scarecrow pictures from the patterning page can be cut and used as toppers for the Wikki Stix Sound Sticks). Invite the children to predict if the items on the individual sound sticks will make a LOUD or a SOFT sound. Lay the sticks out on a table or the floor so the children can explore the sound sticks one at a time.
The children can use markers and Wikki Stix to complete the recording sheet (separate download here).
For older children: Have the children close their eyes and listen to the Wikki Stix Sound Sticks (one at a time). See if the children can determine what items are attached to the Wikki Stix by the sound that it makes.
Wikki Stix Paper Plate Scarecrow Craft
The scarecrow craft can be created and enjoyed by children of all ages!
Materials needed: 2 paper plates per craft, scissors, and assorted colors of Wikki Stix.
Have the children cut out the inner circle of a paper plate. The remaining edge of the plate should be cut in half (see photo above). The children can cut a large oval or rectangular shape from the second paper plate (this will become the top of the scarecrow’s hat).
Set out assorted Wikki Stix and invite the children to completely cover the rippled edge of the paper plate. The Wikki Stix will adhere the last two parts of the craft together (no glue is necessary). Attach the Wikki Stix covered paper plate edge around the top and sides of the inner paper plate circle. The upper part of the scarecrow’s hat can be attached behind the paper plate edge (see photo).
The children can add facial features, yellow Wikki Stix "straw", or other decorations as desired.
The scarecrows make adorable crafts to display for fall celebrations or Thanksgiving!
Scarecrow Craft Extension Activity: Attach the paper plate scarecrow craft to a poster board and remove any facial features. Have the children cut pieces of Wikki Stix that can be used to create a variety of faces for the scarecrow. Observe the children and the faces they choose to create for the scarecrow. Invite the children to verbally share; we can garner valuable information from our children through discussions as they design and create!
SCARECROW ACTION SONG
(to the tune of "I’m a little teapot…")
I’m a little scarecrow all stuffed with hay.
(children stand and rub their tummy as if stuffing hay)
Here I stand in the field all day!
(children stand and sway back and forth with arms out to the side)
When the crows come out you’ll hear me shout,
(children cup hands near mouth)
"HEY YOU CROWS, YOU’D BETTER GET OUT!"
(children point as if talking to the crows)
~Original Author Unknown
Suggested Books to Accompany the Wikki Stix Scarecrow Lesson Plan
The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen
For more Fall and Harvest Craft Ideas, visit the Wikki Stix Blog!