Looking for a literacy curriculum for your homeschool or school? Let the Play Academy make it easy for you with our specialist curriculum pathways of ready-made thematic units.
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The Play Academy gives you an exciting and engaging literacy curriculum that you can use with your children at home or in school.
Our ready-made units give you everything you need to lead a hands-on programme of literacy lessons that your children will delight in taking part in.
Based on the teaching philosophy of hands-on learning, the Play Academy literacy curriculum is engaging, effective and loved by children.
With everything planned for you, you can enjoy teaching, focus on supporting your children, and reclaim your weekends!
Your teaching’s about to get a whole lot easier: here’s how you can use the Play Academy ready-made thematic units to build your literacy curriculum.
What is the Play Academy?
The Play Academy is a bit like Netflix for teaching resources. Just as Netflix has a library full of films to watch, whenever you want to, in all sorts of genres, the Play Academy gives you a huge range of teaching units, with over 50 different themes, that you can use whether you are at school or home educating.
The units are ready-made and come with practical, bonus printables so you are always ready to grab-and-go, ready to teach your choice of unit.
With the Play Academy, you can choose from a monthly or annual membership, cancel any time, and you’ll be able to breathe a sign of relief because all your planning will be done for you. This lets you really focus on supporting your children and lets you reclaim your weekends for you and your family because all your curriculum is planned and ready for you to use. Relax and enjoy teaching again!
You can use as many or as few units as you want each month, you can start at any time of the year, with any unit, and you will always have plenty more units to choose from if your children want to explore a new topic or need a fresh challenge.
Read on to see how the units work really well to build a curriculum based around literacy.
The benefits of teaching through thematic units
A thematic unit is a programme of learning that includes a wide range of skills and activities, all linked to one central topic.
Thematic units are an excellent way to teach skills and concepts because they match the way we live and work in real life, where things aren’t divided into separate subjects.
Thematic units integrate traditional school subjects in one whole programme of learning. This lets children see links and make connections.
A thematic unit also lets us offer a wide range of activities, so there are things that appeal to all learners. This keeps lessons engaging and encourages our children to try new things, and develop many skills. It also makes them an excellent way to teach mixed-age/ability children together, which makes planning so much easier for us and also benefits our children, as they are able to work-together, build relationships, and share ideas.
Our children also benefit from the depth and breadth of a thematic unit. They can learn much more about a topic if they consider it from a scientific, artistic, literary, mathematical, geographical and playful point of view. Their learning will be so much more practical and robust.
And with your Play Academy membership you’ll be instantly ready to teach your chosen programme of units, with everything planned for you.
Our ready-made thematic units mean you can pick up your chosen kit and teach.
Ready-made literacy curriculum for homeschool or school
Each Five-Day Unit in the Play Academy is planned to give you a flexible curriculum you can use to suit your family / class needs.
The Units are based on a five-day block of lessons that are carefully created to introduce each topic and give a range of activities that develop your children’s knowledge, thinking, creativity and skills.
You can use the Units for one week of learning, Monday to Friday, but you don’t have to. You might like to do one activity a week over five weeks or however best suits your timetable.
You can do one Unit every week of the year or pick a selection of Units to use at certain times over the course of the year.
With your Play Academy membership you’ll receive a Curriculum Year Plan ‘running order’ of the Units. This shows you which Units best suit certain weeks of the year – for example when Christmas is, when Ramadan is, when World Space Week is. You’ll also receive a blank version of this calendar so you can customise and fill in your own plan if you want to.
The Units work individually and can also be combined to build a broader theme over a period of time: a specialist curriculum pathway. For example, you might like to build a theme for your year based on a pathway that focuses on Math & Science, Art, Literacy & Storytelling, Festivals, Identity & Wellbeing or Nature.
Let’s take a look at what’s in our literacy curriculum pathway.
What’s in the Play Academy literacy curriculum pathway?
If you would like to have a literacy focus to your teaching this year, you’ll find the Play Academy has an excellent range of units that you can fit together to create an in-depth and engaging programme for your children.
All our units are based on hands-on learning. Rather than staring at a screen or filling in uninspiring worksheets, the Play Academy gives you easy-to-lead, creative lessons that enable your children to learn through making, playing, doing, cooking, investigating, storytelling, imagining, chatting, thinking and laughing.
Hands-on activities give children a deeper, richer understanding of the subject we are learning about and also lets children develop other vital skills alongside their knowledge including fine motor skills, gross motor skills, team work, problem solving, executive function skills, sequencing, adaptability, wellbeing, and community spirit.
In our literacy curriculum pathway your children can learn with the following units:
:: discover the magical appeal of small worlds and work solo or together to build their own
:: make their own small world on a theme of their choosing
:: develop their imagination, play and language skills with the addition of a loose parts surprise
:: include mark making and writing in their project
:: build in junk modelling to develop their skills further
:: make their own fairy
:: interview their fairy and get to know them better
:: make a house for their fairy to live in
:: create a fairy land
:: talk about magic and what people believe about it
:: make a wand or wishing tree
:: learn about puppets around the world and through history
:: make puppets of their own using a variety of techniques and develop their puppets’ characters
:: build your puppets a home
:: make props to enhance your storytelling
:: build a story with a beginning, middle and end
:: raise the curtain and perform your puppet show
:: bake and taste gingerbread cookies: counting, measuring and developing life skills
:: explore non-standard measuring with gingerbread men
:: make ‘first bite’ surveys and graphs
:: take part in the build-a-bridge STEM challenge
:: make 3D gingerbread houses or gingerbread men art projects
:: learn about dragons around the world and make one of their own
:: talk about where your dragon lives and make a dragon play mat
:: enjoy dragon sensory play, developing your play math with with sensory loose parts
:: create play dough dragons
:: tell dragon stories using our four-part story spinner prompts or write your own non-fiction book using our printable guide
:: learn about dinosaurs and write about your favourite one
:: make a paper plate dinosaur
:: create a dinosaur small world
:: practice asking and answering questions using dinosaur books
:: play dinosaur literacy games
:: have fun with dinosaur sensory play
:: build a book nook
:: tell stories with a storytelling tin or story spinners
:: make your own non-fiction book
:: create a story world
:: play book-themed Guess Who? and math games
:: make book marks
Plus, you will find a wealth of themed reading, writing, language and literacy activities throughout the other units in the Play Academy.
More ready-made thematic units for homeschool
The Play Academy gives you over 50 grab-and-go thematic units which integrate perfectly with your curriculum.
You can start anywhere in the year and with any unit. The Play Academy is designed to be flexible. No child will ‘fall behind’ or ‘miss out’ because children are learning all the time, through everything they do. Our cross-curricular programme of hands-on learning builds deep and wide knowledge and skills, as children learn by doing.
Over the year they will benefit from a balanced and engaging programme that incorporates a full complement of subjects.
Choose from seasonal Units, such as Autumn Equinox, World Book Day, and Halloween, which fit with particular times of the year and timeless units such as Colour and Fairies which can be done anytime.
Science and Math Units include Space, Time, Weather, Circles, and Ice & Snow.
Nature Units include Daffodils, Leaves & Twigs, Sunflowers, and Forest School.
Language Units include All About Me, Small Worlds, and Puppets.
Art Units include Famous Artists, Printmaking, and Art Camp.
Animal Units include Birds & Eggs, Caterpillars and Butterflies, and Dinosaurs.
Festival Units include The Nativity, Ramadan, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Pride, Valentines, Earth Day, Day of the Dead, Hanukkah and Black History Month.
How to download your ready-made literacy homeschool curriculum
Your teaching is about to get a whole lot better and easier!