Sample Lesson Planning

TK provides a unique opportunity to plan developmentally appropriate lessons that create a dynamic classroom environment that ensures children’s learning needs are met while helping to instill a love of learning. As both research and experience in the field tell us, acquiring a foundational set of skills and knowledge early on will provide young learners with a strong basis to build upon for success in later grades and beyond. TK bridges the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards, which outline the specific skills and knowledge that high-quality early childhood education programs help children master. To help guide TK instruction, WestEd and the Child Development Division, California Department of Education developed a publication that aligns the Preschool Learning Foundations with the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Find the publication here.

Integrating Instruction

While content areas or domains such as English Language Arts and Mathematics guide your work, young children do not experience the world in these distinct areas. In its Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice, the National Association for the Education of Young Children states, “All the domains of development and learning—physical, social and emotional and cognitive—are important, and they are closely interrelated. Children’s development and learning in one domain influence and are influenced by what takes place in other domains. Children are thinking, moving, feeling and interacting human beings. To teach them well involves considering and fostering their development and learning in all domains.”

Lesson Plans
  1. Lesson Plan Template
  2. Sample Lesson: Off to School
  3. Sample Lesson: All About Me
  4. Sample Lesson: Transportation

The following lesson plan template can help you plan activities that target specific Foundations and Standards, while addressing the interrelatedness of development. For more information on how to utilize the lesson plan template, see the three completed sample lessons below it. Each sample lesson describes a developmentally appropriate anchor text and accompanying concrete activity. They then explain how that text and activity can be used to target various Foundations and Standards in different domains and content areas. Given that “development and learning proceed at varying rates from child to child,”2 each example also describes teaching strategies you can use to support children at varying levels, as they engage in the activities.

Click here to find our two-part webinar series on Small and Large Group Instruction in TK (Sept and Oct 2013)


While you plan instructional activities for your transitional kindergarten class, you will use both the Foundations and the Standards when considering the specific areas of focus in the individual domains and content areas for your curriculum. The sequences of growth that the Foundations and Standards offer give you a framework for both instructional planning and child assessment.

But as the California Preschool Curriculum Framework points out, “Rather than being isolated from learning in other domains, the strategies presented for one domain are connected to learning in other domains.  In deepening understanding of each domain, one can see new possibilities for integrating curriculum planning and connecting children’s learning experiences.”3 You may also find useful the following Sample TK Daily Schedule.






1 Copyright 2009 National Association for the Education of Young Children

2, 3 California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 1, California Department of Education, Sacramento 2010