Simple Pre-K Curriculum Overview

Simple Pre-K Curriculum Overview
The Editorial Team November 23, 2012

Article continues here

The following is a brief primer of a typical pre-K curriculum. Though formal instruction varies from state-to-state, and subsequently school-to-school, all curriculum is designed to ensure students receive the foundational education needed in progressing grade levels.


  • Identifying numbers 1 to 10.
  • Counting from 1 to 10.
  • Corresponding objects one-to-one.
  • Sorting objects by various attributes (colors, shapes, sizes, etc.).
  • Identifying and creating patterns (AB, AABB, ABAB, etc.).
  • Understanding sizes (small, medium, large, etc.).
  • Specifying shapes (circle, triangle, rectangle, square, etc.).
  • Matching various items (symbols, patterns, shapes).
  • Determining things that are the same or different.
  • Understanding the terms ‘more,’ ‘less’ or ‘same’.
  • Conceptualizing time (night and day).
  • Exploring money through songs, games and free play or pretend play.


  • Familiarity with the alphabet between letter names and the sounds they make.
  • Recognizing their name and learning to spell and write their name.
  • Learning to hold a pencil, crayon or marker correctly.
  • Retell a story in their own words.
  • Draw a picture and explain the story or experience.
  • Answer questions about a story they were told.
  • Repeat and memorize nursery rhymes and finger plays.
  • Understanding the format of reading from left to right and holding a book right-side-up.
  • Building their vocabulary by listening and repeating new words.
  • Practicing visual discrimination by looking at a picture and understanding what it portrays.
  • Sequencing practice about what comes first, next and last.
  • Continue practicing and developing fine motor skills by playing with clay, using scissors, writing with pencils and crayons and building with legos, etc.


  • Exploration with scientific tools like magnets, microscopes, magnifying glasses and prisms.
  • Learn to observe nature quietly on nature walks or gardening experiences.
  • Watch insects and see how they behave.
  • Watch a plant grow, from planting the seed to watering and making a daily note or picture of how it changes.
  • Daily look outside and identify the weather, season and daily changes throughout the year.
  • Learn to measure and mix ingredients for a special snack time.
  • Learn about basic colors and explore mixing colors and mark how they change by drawing pictures.
  • Explore everything using all five senses.
  • Pick an animal to investigate and explore. Study how they live, where they sleep, what kind of food they eat, and even how they groom themselves as well as relationships with others of their kind.

Creative arts

  • Explore various means of art like drawing, painting, sculpting, weaving, collage, etc.
  • Use and explore a variety of materials (crayons, watercolors, textured paint, pencils, markers, clay, chalk or charcoals).
  • Try mixing paint colors.
  • Learn traditional songs and create hand motions or dance movements to accompany them.
  • Explore and use musical instruments like rhythm sticks, xylophones, shakers.
  • Find other materials to practice rhythm and having a visual way to see it through scarves or bean bags.
  • Help the children create a play with a simple storyline or recreate a familiar story.
  • Dramatize Old MacDonald’s Farm and make a barnyard by the children imitating animals.

Social skills

  • Start critical thinking and problem-solving in a social setting.
  • Manage small groups and have the children work together on a simple project where each child has a part to accomplish and put together.
  • Practice manners and say  ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘excuse me’ and basic table manners.
  • Learning to verbally express their needs.
  • Be independent and clean up his or her snack spot, using tissues, putting away napping items, etc.
  • Be able to express their personal information like full name, age, school, and where they live by city state and country.
  • Exploring what kinds of people work in their town and what kinds of jobs they have.
  • Identify types of transportation.

Teaching the curriculum

A pre-K curriculum may not seem overly complicated, but the manner in which it is taught is very important. At this young age, many teachers find the most effective learning tool is ‘play’. Hand manipulatives, songs, and games help children in this age group better connect with the educational goals.

You may also like to read