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Preschool Instructional Materials

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About Us

Welcome to the Project Ready! section of our website. This is set up to share the preschool instructional and support materials that are being created as part of the Project Ready research project. It is a work in progress as the project is ongoing and new materials and revised materials are added as they become available. The project consists of 4 parts: A core preschool curriculum, (Joyful Discoveries), Playful Interventions, Family Education, and Teacher Professional Learning.

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Professional Learning

This section of the website features teacher professional learning on key components of Joyful Discoveries. You'll find videos to learn more about the core curriculum and implementation, including videos of our routines in use in classrooms. All of our materials are available for free and can be accessed below. Consultation and coaching opportunities also exist. Please fill out the intake form and a member of our team will be happy to reach out! 


Our Core Curriculum

The core curriculum consists of 12 Units plus several small group routines. Three small group routines relate to the theme: Wordless Books, 123 Storybook Rereads, and Math. Two small group routines are unrelated to the theme: Alphabetics and Telling Terrific Tales. Two units are still in development. These will be added as they are edited/created. The curriculum is designed to be used across a two-year preschool cycle with children ages three to five. Nine units are completed across the year (7 units are repeated in both preschool years, and 4 are specific to the implementation year. Original artwork throughout the curriculum was created by Jenny Kathmann.

If you have any questions about the use of the materials or the Project Ready! research project please contact Rosie Warburg, Project Ready! Project Manager, 

All Project Ready! Instructional materials are copyright protected. Copyright © Dr. Amy Murdoch, 2019. You are welcome to use these free materials in your 

educational practice and to share with other educators or parents. The materials are not permitted to be sold commercially or used in any commercial endeavor.

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Unit 1:
Welcome Unit

This unit welcomes children to school and lets them know how happy we are to have them in our school! In this unit we explore all of the things we will learn at school this year.


Unit 2:

This Unit teaches the importance of kindness. It is a foundational unit, where the theme of kindness is discussed and reinforced across all units in the curriculum. We explore kindness to our family and friends; kindness to animals; and kindness to our planet. Content covered in this unit includes ways to show kindness to our friends, family, animals, and planet; caring careers (Veterinarian, zoo keeper, animal shelter worker); life cycle of cats and dogs; recycling; conservation; and Earth Day.


Unit 3:
North America

This Unit explores the countries, people, & animals of North America. It begins with an exploration of maps & globes and then discusses the continent. We explore 3 of North America’s countries, animal habitats found in N. America, learn about scientists who study nature, and explore common amphibians.


Unit 4:

This Unit introduces children to the wonders of the universe. It includes exposure to concepts like the phases of the moon, constellations, and the names of the eight planets in our solar system. Students will learn about the work of astronauts, including the famous astronaut Mae Jemison. 

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Unit 5A:
South America

This Unit explores the countries, people, & animals of South America. It begins with a review of maps & globes and then discusses the continent of South America. We explore the country of Brazil and then explore three different animal habitats and learn about the animals that live there: Rain forest, Plateau (Altiplano) Region, and the Ocean.


Unit 5B:

This Unit explores the countries, people, and animals of Asia.  It begins with a review of maps and globes and an introduction to the largest continent in the world- Asia.  We explore 5 Asian countries (Japan, India, China, Korea, and Nepal), animal habitats, and special animals found in Asia.  We also discuss Mount Everest and mountaineering.


Unit 6:
My Amazing Body

This unit is all about the amazing human body. We learn the parts of the body including learning about our skeleton and what happens when a bone breaks. We also discover the wonderful diversity of human bodies and how skin color and other human features come in lots of different lovely varieties. We learn ways to take care of our body through eating healthy foods, exercising, and taking care of our teeth. This unit ends with a discussion of emotions and how we also have to understand and take care of our feelings.


Unit 7A:

This unit begins with a review of maps and globes and then continues our continent study with the second largest continent, Africa.  We explore several countries in Africa and learn about the people who live there.  We learn about African animals and their habitats, with a focus on the African savannah, elephants, lions, and hippos.

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Unit 7B:

This unit concludes our continent study with the smallest continent, Australia.  We begin with a study of Australia as a continent and country then explore different habitats within Australia with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback.  We learn about Australian animals, including the fascinating marsupials koalas, kangaroos, and wombats.


Unit 8:
and Weather

This short unit introduces students to foundational concepts that are helpful in the next unit, Botany.  We learn about the months of the year and how the seasons change as the months progress.  We learn about weather.  The unit concludes with a deep dive into each of the four seasons and the type of weather that we experience in each season.


Unit 9:

This unit explores our natural world. We learn about plants and flowers and their pollinators (butterflies and bees) and trees and birds.  Students will explore the concept of measurement and will practice using rulers and scales.


Unit 10:
The Arts

This unit introduces three types of art- music, visual art, and dance.  We explore the basics of these artforms and learn that everyone is an artist!  Students apply their background knowledge and new vocabulary around the arts in the recital hall themed dramatic play center.  Here they can pretend to visit an art museum, watch or perform at a concert, or present a dance for an audience.     


Small Group Materials


Phonological Awareness, Letter Recognition, and Letter-Sound Knowledge are taught using structured routines with fun and engaging activities! 

Teacher Materials
Instructional Materials
Lesson Books (print 2-sided)
Additional Materials (print 1-sided)
Letter Name & Sound Review (video)

Telling Terrific Tales

This routine uses a highly motivating story-based play activity with charming puppets. Listening comprehension and oral language development are the primary focus of this instructional routine. 

Basic Concepts

The Basic Concepts lessons are designed to support children's development of key preschool skills. Basic Concepts focuses on colors, shapes, opposites, and relative size. These lessons are implemented in response to student needs.

Playful Interventions

Playful Interventions can be implemented with small groups of 1-2 students when students demonstrate a need for letter instruction beyond Alphabetics lessons. These are fun, inviting, self-correcting activities led by a teacher. 

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Family Take Home Packs

The key objective of the family literacy packs is to create positive language and learning interactions between child and parent. The family literacy packs go home at the end of each preschool thematic unit in the Project Ready curriculum (once a month). They consist of fun language, literacy, and math activities for children to do with their families. All of the activities are things the children have done in the classroom (or a slight variation) and this is an opportunity for the child to show their parent what they have learned. It is designed for the child to “teach” their parent about the new knowledge they have learned. The family literacy packs are wonderful for all families and were designed so that any adult, regardless of the adult’s literacy level or English language fluency, can use with their child.

Tools for Implementation

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