Introduction to the Basic 3 Year Curriculum
Welcome to, and thank you for using, the basic ABCJLM 3 Year Curriculum for children ages 36-48 months! Remember to use the following Lesson Plans and links found here in an immediate-family, home setting only.
Each Lesson Plan includes:
Choose objectives and activities that are appropriate for your child and situation, and then incorporate them into the child's normal activities.
The Complete Curriculum is available to purchase in the 3 Year Curriculum Guide and Workbook.
Want to try the Complete 3 Year Curriculum? Download for FREE the Week 1 Lesson Plan and worksheets! Handprints designate items only included in the Complete 3 Year Curriculum. The online Basic 3 Year Curriculum and the Complete 3 Year Curriculum are not compatible.
Below is list of suggested items needed for the objectives in the Lesson Plan. Substitute these items as needed.
The objectives are goals for your child’s learning in a given week. I suggest using the Introduce, Practice, Identify teaching strategy to be successful in helping a child reach those goals. Remember that the 3 Year Curriculum focuses on the introduction of new concepts. Choose the objectives that you want to cover. Not all objectives need to be covered each day; feel free to spread throughout the week.
Bible Story: Creation Days 1-3
Scripture: Genesis 1
The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes: pg 14-17
The Beginner's Bible: pg 7-13
My Story Bible: pg 8-9
Through the Bible in Felt: Story #1
What did God create on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3?
What is your favorite activity to do during the day?
What is your favorite activity to do during the night?
What is your favorite activity to do in the water?
God created everything. God gave us day and night. Why do we need night time?
God created the sky and water. Why is water important to us?
Verse: Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Tune: Are You Sleeping
In the beginning, (2x)
God created (2x)
The heavens and earth (2x)
Genesis 1:1 (2x)
Bible Song: This is the Day (Traditional)
This is the day (echo)
That the Lord has made (echo)
I will rejoice (echo)
And be glad in it (echo)
This is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day (echo)
That the Lord has made
Poem: Seven Days ( Author unknown )
Tune: Are You Sleeping? or Where is Thumbkin?
Seven days, seven days
In a week, in a week
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Saturday, that’s a week
Colors: Black, White, Blue
(One color and Color Song is covered per week in the Complete Curriculum.)
Number Rhyme: Around, around, around you go. That’s the way to make zero!
Name: (Name activity begins Week 1 in the Complete Curriculum.)
Letter: (Letter and a phonetic theme begins Week 1 in the Complete Curriculum.)
Book for the Week:
Five Little Ducks by Various Authors
Fine Motor Skill: Draw My Family
Gross Motor Skill: Put the Fire Out
Busy lives make it difficult to think of activities that pair well with learning objectives. Below, I’ve listed suggestions to help you teach the week’s objectives. Choose activities that your child would enjoy and that fit into your schedule. As often as possible, achieve the learning from books, play time, craft time, and current activities.
The goal of the 3 Year Curriculum is to introduce the child to stories in the Bible. The Items Needed section includes page numbers corresponding to The Beginner’s Bible (when available), but you may use any children’s Bible. For variety, consider reading the same story from several Bibles. Be sure to read the Scripture for yourself to make sure you know the important story elements.
- Help reinforce creation with fun snacks. (Image shared by Megan)
Day 1 (Day, Night) - Oreo cookies, chocolate and vanilla chips
Day 2 (Sky, Water) - Blue Jello and marshmallows or cool whip clouds
Day 3 (Land, Plants) - Make plants and flowers with stick pretzels, colored M&M's, and raisins
- Play the "Creation" adventure on the Charlie Church Mouse Preschool Cd-Rom. Read more...
- As you read the story, have the child give a thumbs up every time God says, "It is good!
- Creation Wheel (Adapted from Big Book of Christian Crafts)
Cut out the Creation wheel template. Add a title to the empty segment. Color the pictures. Using construction paper, trace and cut out a second circle the same size. Cut out a “pie” segment from the second circle that is slightly smaller than one segment on the first circle. Make sure not to cut all the way into the center. Insert a brad (paper fastener) into the center of both circles with the second circle on top. Review the creation story by turning the top wheel to expose the pictures below. You can also create your own wheel by cutting two circles and drawing or using stickers for the seven days of Creation.
- More Creation Ideas...
- Another way to further Bible learning is to tell the story in an interactive way. The ABCJLM Interactive Bible Stories provide you with an age-appropriate script and comprehension questions to actively include the child in the story. All interactive stories are available to order as a digital download and include optional flannelgraph suggestions. Download for free the Week 1 story.
ABCJLM Video: Using Flannelgraph to Teach the Bible
Each week includes a simple memory verse. Help the child memorize at least the key words.
Complete Curriculum Addition: Memory Verse Cards are a wonderful tool to learn the memory verses. Each card contains the verse, reference, a corresponding picture, and a piggyback song or CD to sing the verse. Also listed is the week the verse is used in the ABCJLM Lesson Plans (i.e. 3 Year Week 6). Cut out and glue both the front and back of each card to cardstock for extra durability. Rubber band together or hole punch and combine with a c-ring. Keep in the car, by the child's bed, or near the dinner table for quick reference and review for the whole family. Click to order this printable found in the 3 Year Workbook.
The songs chosen are old "Sunday School" favorites and are added to enrich the curriculum. I included those songs that are familiar to most, but if unfamiliar, use any Bible song. Find most songs on YouTube, Spotify, or Amazon. Before teaching the song to your child, teach it to yourself. Then, teach the child the song slowly in small sections. Use the recording once the song is learned.
Complete Curriculum Addition:
Available as a digital download, the 3 Year Bible Song Cards consists of 26 cards containing lyrics from the Bible Songs used in the 3 Year Curriculum. Also included are 2 extra cards to custom create your own. Print, hole punch, and bind together for easy access and mobility.
Traditional poems and nursery rhymes help children develop rhyme, fine motor skills, and rhythm, as well as beginning reading. At first, quote the poems very slowly to help the children correctly learn the words. Also, assist the child in performing actions with the poems. Quote them throughout the day (e.g. while driving, in the bathtub, while washing hands).
- Vocabulary activities are included in the Complete Curriculum.
Complete Curriculum Addition: Available as a digital download, the 3 Year Poem Cards printable is made up of 25 cards containing the poems used in the 3 Year Curriculum. Also included are 3 extra cards to create your own.
- Focus on the colors of Creation in the Bible story and snacks. (e.g. black - darkness, blue - water, white - clouds in the sky)
- For the next few weeks, use the Building with Colors worksheet to build a color ice cream cone. This week add the black, blue, and white ice cream scoops.
- View Boz Colors and Shapes and discover God's world through colors and shapes!
- Create a Number Book using the number posters to introduce the child to several art media and counting. After decorating the poster using the suggested medium, add the appropriate number of stickers to the poster. At the end of the curriculum, a book will be created for numbers 0-15. For this week, use black, white, and blue crayons to color the Number 0 poster. Because zero can be hard concept to understand, explain that zero means none and put no stickers on the worksheet. Play a game asking the child to jump up and down, clap, and say his name zero times.
- Tactile numbers and letters (also called sandpaper or textured) are key to the 3 Year Curriculum. Because many 3-year-olds do not have the fine motor skills for handwriting activities, this curriculum emphasizes tracing the numbers and letters with the child’s finger. Using the roughness of sand, glitter, or yarn adds one more aspect of learning. The ABCJLM website contains a plethora of simple ideas to make or purchase your own tactile letter set. As the child traces the tactile numbers and letters, be sure to say the Number Rhyme and Letter Formation Chants. This helps the child learn the correct formation. All numbers and letters are formed from top to bottom, left to right, and counter clockwise.
- For older children or those with strong fine motor skills: If the child is ready for basic writing of numbers but not ready for the intensity of the 4 Year Curriculum, use the Number Posters to teach the correct formation. Add green and red dots to the posters and teach the formation using the Number Rhymes. Encourage the child to stay between the lines when forming each number. (Original source of Number Rhymes unknown.)
• Calendar Activity - From Starfall.com, this activity is a great start to the day. The activity reinforces numbers, days of the week, and months of the year.
Book of the Week:
- Fingerplay: After reading the book several times, sing the song while doing the actions by memory.
Number - show the number of ducks on your fingers
Over the hills - move hand in front of you like you are going up and down over hills
Far away - move opposite hand in front of you in same motion
Quack - move hand like a duck's beak saying "quack"
- Color and cut apart the Five Little Ducks worksheet. Back each duck with sticky tape and post. Sing the song or read the book and have the child remove one duck for each verse (begin with Duck #5). To make the activity more difficult, scramble the ducks so that the numbers are not in order.
- As the book progresses, sing each verse in a "sadder" voice. Talk about the feeling of "sadness." Show a "sad" face. Talk about things that make us sad just like the Mommy Duck in the story.
- Practice counting backwards from 5 to 1 using your fingers. This is a great fine-motor activity.
- Visit a local pond and feed the ducks.
- More Five Little Duck ideas...
- Vocabulary activities are included in the Complete Curriculum.
"I am Learning" Objective Poster:
Complete Curriculum Addition: The “I am Learning…“ Objective Poster is one of the best tools for helping you track what objectives the curriculum introduces to your child and when to incorporate the objectives into daily activities and play. Transfer the weekly objectives to the poster and hang it in a prominent place to remember the objectives. By placing the poster in a dry erase pocket or a picture frame and using a dry or wet erase marker, the sheet is reusable each week. Click to order this printable found in the 3 Year Workbook.
First Day of 3 Year Curriculum:
Print the First Day of Preschool poster to create a precious photo op to remember today. Be sure to tag #ABCJLM or @ABCJesusLovesMe when you post the image on social media!
The Objective Checklist contains all of the objectives the child will be introduced to during the 3 Year Curriculum. It is very common for a child not to know any of the objectives at the beginning of the curriculum. Use the 3 Year Objective Checklist to determine what your child knows and to check for learning along the way.
Scope and Sequence:
Complete Curriculum Addition: The Scope and Sequence explains what is going to be taught when. This is especially helpful to see in table form exactly what the child will be introduced to and note planned review weeks. Use the spreadsheet to plan around special events and holidays, easily switch objectives if needed, or to combine curricula with more than one child. Click to order this printable found in the 3 Year Curriculum Guide.
Complete Curriculum Addition: The Complete Curriculum is filled with teaching tips and explanation on the importance of activities. For example: Throughout the Complete Curriculum it will be suggested that a child use a broken crayon to color and write. Occupational therapists have discovered that broken crayons (under 1” in length) force a child to correctly hold a writing utensil so no bad habits are developed. The ending goal is that the child will hold a utensil with her thumb and index finger while supporting it on the middle finger. Read more handwriting tips.
Fine motor skills are activities that improve one’s ability to write and manipulate small objects. Gross motor skills involve large muscle movement (e.g. running, jumping, hopping etc.). These skills are important for pencil control, balance, and coordination. Each Lesson Plan includes an activity to improve the child’s fine and gross-motor skills. Also, I encourage you to not use markers or pens since, unlike crayons and pencils, they do not sharpen fine and gross motor skills.
• Fine Motor Skill:
Fine motor skills are those activities that allow you to better do things such as writing and manipulating small objects. Each lesson plan includes an activity to help improve the child's fine-motor skills. Periodically throughout the curriculum, the child will be instructed to draw his family. This can be a daunted task for some children. Begin by demonstrating how to draw a person. Use simple shapes for parts and explain what you are doing as you draw. Let your child assist in the process. Later in the week, give your child a chance to try it himself. For more ideas read, "Teaching Your Child How to Draw a Person."
• Gross Motor Skill:
Gross motor skills are big motor skills that require balance and coordination (e.g. running, jumping, hopping etc.). Each lesson plan includes an activity to help improve the child's gross motor skills. This week, play "Put the Fire Out," a fun outside activity that involves sidewalk chalk, water, and a sponge. Begin by drawing a ladder on cement with sidewalk chalk. Draw a fire at the top of the ladder. Place a bucket and a sponge at the bottom of the ladder. Have the child wet the sponge and jump between the rungs of the ladder to get to the fire. Once at the fire, squeeze the sponge over the fire to put it out! (Idea from YourTherapySource.com)
• Family Fun - Create a family tradition of making homemade ice cream in a bag or in a coffee can. Correlate with the "Building with Colors" activity.
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup milk, cream, or half and half
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the three ingredients in a quart-sized zip-top bag or a small coffee can. Mix and seal the container very well.Because the seal may not hold through the mixing process, you may want to tape the seals closed. If possible, refrigerate this mixture for a few hours to speed up the freezing process. Place the well-sealed zip-top bag in a gallon-sized zip-top bag or the small coffee can inside a large coffee can. Place crushed ice cubes and approximately 1/2 cup rock salt inside the larger containers to surround the smaller bag or can. Seal the larger bag or coffee can very well. Then shake and roll the containers for 5-10 minutes until the mixture turns into ice cream. Carefully open the smaller container making sure that the water and salt freezing ingredients do not come in contact with the ice cream. Grab a spoon and enjoy!
Be sure to look over the Development Guide - 3 Year so that you are familiar with developmental milestones for your child's age.
Daily Schedule – Week 1
Optional Addition: Below is a Daily Schedule dividing the Lesson Plan into a week's time. Beyond Week 1, the Daily Schedules are not provided on the website but are available in the printed 3 Year Curriculum Guide.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Bible Story||Creation Days 1-3|
|Creation Wheel||Creation Wheel|
|Verse||Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.|
|Bible Song||This is the Day||This is the Day||This is the Day|
|Poem & Rhyme||Seven Days||Seven Days||Seven Days|
|Colors||Ice Cream Cone||View Boz: Colors and Shapes||Colored Foods|
|Number||Tactile Number||Number 0 Poster|
|Book of the Week||Read||Fingerplay||Five Little Ducks Printable|
|Motor Skill||Draw “My Family”||Play “Put the Fire Out”|
|Other||Objective Checklist||Objective Checklist||Make Homemade Ice Cream|
Warning: All information on the ABCJesusLovesMe website, on Facebook Groups under the ABCJLM name, and on the Our Out-of-Sync Life blog is for general information purposes only. All the activities and ideas shared require adult supervision and children under the age of three should not participate in activities in which small pieces are involved. Also, what works with one child may not work with all children. ABCJesusLovesMe, as well as Our Out-of-Sync Life, contain suggestions and all should be taken simply as suggestions. Please seek the advice of a professional when questions arise.
This page may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.