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Kindergarten language arts unit gets royal treatment

From classroom to kingdom for a day

Caledonia — Dutton Elementary kindergarteners recently became royalty for the day to celebrate the end of their kings and queens reading unit. 

Students dressed in costumes, crowns and capes and a special surprise waited for them after completing their unit test. 

“We’re going to have a special snack and lemonade in tea cups,” kindergartener Olivia said. 

Her teacher, Victoria Young, dressed in a royal purple gown for their tea party, where they were to enjoy pastries, juice and real tea for those who wanted to try it. 

Young also created themed lessons for the day, including crown decorating and a dragon hunt. 

“We’re going to fight some dragons!” Kindergartner Roderick exclaimed during a brain break video Young played for her class. 

The royal party continued next door in Whitney Thomas’ class. Several students wore icy blue and silver outfits like Queen Elsa from the movie “Frozen,” and everyone carried a letter poster to spell words by working together. 

Thomas called out three- and four-letter words and the students arranged themselves in order to spell each one correctly. 

Kindergarten teacher Victoria Young dressed up alongside her students for their royal tea party

Sovereign Curriculum

Both kindergarten classrooms’ activities were part of a Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum unit. Dutton kindergarten teacher Amanda Austhof explained some of the unit’s learning goals.

“Students study how to describe what a king and queen are and what they do, identify and describe royal objects, describe a royal family and identify advantages and disadvantages to being part of a royal family,” she said. 

On the day of her class’ tea party, kindergartner Brinley said she was dressed up because “princesses are royalty, like kings and queens.” 

“They rule over all the land,” she said. 

Added classmate Lexi, “Kings and queens keep their kingdom safe.” 

Kindergartners took their new knowledge of monarchies and applied it to the characters’ experiences in stories and songs like “King Midas and the Golden Touch”, “Old King Cole” and “Sing a Song of Sixpence.”

With fairytale stories like “The Princess and the Pea,” “Cinderella” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Dutton kindergartners learn to identify character development, setting and plot. 

“Our students should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the stories and poems we read in class and recall key plot details,” Austhof said. 

Kindergartner Archie said his favorite part of learning about kings and queens was reading “The Princess and the Pizza” in class. 

Other tea party activities for each class included learning about table manners and how “the polite thing to do is to wait for everyone to be served food and drink before eating and drinking your own,” Austhof said.

Her class also learned how to waltz and how the dance differed from the dance moves they are familiar with. 

“They agreed that they did not think royalty would be hitting the Griddy or doing the chicken dance.” 

Read more from Caledonia: 
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Hard hats today, accessible spaces to come

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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