Some of my best preschool lesson plans have been made through themes. Whenever my classes have shown an interest in a particular topic, one of my first ways to organize for it is to find books about that topic. I’ve compiled books for teaching themes, and I’m including some of my all-time favorite educational books.
Teaching through themes is not only engaging to young children but it also helps to concrete new learning and allows you to infuse all academic areas within that one exciting theme! Little ones make connections while building new vocabulary and engaging in authentic learning experiences. Not to mention, preschoolers love it! They love being able to choose the theme of learning based on their own interests. Teaching with themes is a teacher and kid favorite…for a reason!
Books for Teaching Themes
Bugs and Insects Theme
This theme is full of creepy crawlies! Kids love observing bugs and insects and getting up close and personal with their handy-dandy magnifying glass! Check out the book Bugs A to Z or Little Kids First Big Book of Bugs to learn about all kinds of insects. Don’t forget about the butterflies with this book Ten Magic Butterflies!
Fly over to our store for our bugs and butterflies unit lesson plan for even more ideas.
The Human Body/5 Senses
We use our five senses in many ways, every day! Learn about taste, touch, smell, hear, and feel in this fun theme. Learn with the book My Five Senses, read A Listening Walk, and head outside! Or make a musical sensory bottle, and discover how our five senses teach us about our world. Learn about how our magical body works and all the parts in Me and My Amazing Body!
Dinosaurs are fascinating and the perfect opportunity to dig in the dirt looking for fossils! Play some dinosaur games or read these fact-filled dinosaur books – Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs and Dinosaur A-Z. Or get super silly and read Dinosaurs Love Underpants… it will have your kiddos cracking up! You should definitely check out these adorable dino-riffic songs too!
Dig up some fun with our entire dinosaur-themed lesson plan in our store.
Learning about outer space sure is a blast! Stars, moons, and planets are just some of the cosmic things you can teach kids about space. Get creative with this night sky sensory bin for some themed sensory play! Incorporate math by using these space-themed number writing practice cards, making a rocket ship out of a cardboard box, or doing fun constellation activities.
Don’t forget the books! These space-tastic books are full of learning and bright illustrations and a perfect fit for your space theme! Hello World! Solar System uses simple facts and vibrant colors for young learners. Roaring Rockets is the perfect book for learning all about the rockets that carry astronauts up, up, and away! 8 Little Planets is written with a catchy rhyme as you travel around the solar system.
If you’re looking for an entire space lesson plan, we’ve got you covered in our store.
The ocean theme is a preschool and teacher favorite every year. The magic and wonder of the ocean never seem to lose their luster and there is so much learning to be done… under the sea! This adorable rhyming book, Commotion in the Ocean, is full of fun rhymes about lots of ocean creatures. Or for a “trip to the beach”, check out Hello Ocean, with its super realistic illustrations will have you hearing the ocean waves and the sand between your toes. Learn some new facts with Hello, World! Ocean Life and have your preschoolers counting octopus arms and loving the brightly colored illustrations. For more fantastic ocean book ideas, see our ocean book list.
Swim over to our store and check out our entire ocean lesson plan.
Transportation and Construction Theme
Beep! Beep! Beep! Preschoolers love learning about things that go! This theme is ideal for incorporating sensory play with bins of different vehicles, roads, and people. Your preschoolers will be doubled over laughing at The Pigeon LOVES Things That Go! and his delightful sense of humor. Sheep in a Jeep is another classic tale of some hilarious sheep who have some jeep troubles! Branch out of land travel into the air with this book, Amazing Airplanes.