Lesson Plan on How to Catch a Mermaid (Reggio New Zealand)

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Kindergarten / ECE Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on How to Catch a Mermaid (Reggio New Zealand), Reggio philosophy

Title: Exploring the Central Themes of “How to Catch a Mermaid” through Reggio Emilia Approach

Grade Level: Kindergarten / Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Curriculum: New Zealand Te Whฤriki
Theorist: Reggio Emilia

– To engage students in a comprehensive exploration of the central themes in the children’s book “How to Catch a Mermaid” through the Reggio Emilia approach.
– To develop students’ literacy skills, creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development.

– “How to Catch a Mermaid” by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
– Art supplies (colored pencils, markers, crayons, watercolors, etc.)
– Construction paper
– Glue sticks
– Scissors
– Chart paper
– Sticky notes
– Digital devices (optional)
– Natural materials (shells, pebbles, etc.)
– Dramatic play props (optional)


1. Introduction (10 minutes):
– Begin by gathering students in a circle and introduce the book “How to Catch a Mermaid.”
– Show the cover and ask students to make predictions about the story.
– Explain that today, they will explore the central themes of the book through various activities.

2. Reading and Discussion (15 minutes):
– Read aloud “How to Catch a Mermaid” to the students, using expressive voices and engaging gestures.
– Pause at key points to ask open-ended questions, encouraging students to share their thoughts and feelings about the story.
– Discuss the central themes of the book, such as imagination, perseverance, and the importance of friendship.

3. Artistic Expression (20 minutes):
– Provide art supplies and construction paper to each student.
– Instruct students to create their own illustrations inspired by the book.
– Encourage them to use their imagination and creativity to depict scenes or characters from the story.
– Walk around the classroom, engaging in conversations with students about their artwork, asking questions, and providing positive feedback.

4. Collaborative Storytelling (15 minutes):
– Divide students into small groups and provide each group with chart paper and sticky notes.
– Instruct each group to create a collaborative story based on the central themes of the book.
– Encourage students to take turns adding ideas and illustrations to the story, building upon each other’s contributions.
– Afterward, have each group share their story with the class, allowing for questions and discussions.

5. Nature Exploration (15 minutes):
– Take students outside or provide a collection of natural materials in the classroom.
– Instruct students to explore the materials and discuss how they relate to the book’s themes.
– Encourage students to create their own mermaid-inspired artwork using the natural materials.
– Facilitate discussions about the different materials chosen and their significance to the story.

6. Dramatic Play (15 minutes):
– Set up a dramatic play area with props related to the book, such as mermaid costumes, fishing nets, and seashells.
– Allow students to engage in imaginative play, reenacting scenes from the book or creating their own mermaid adventures.
– Observe and participate in their play, encouraging language development and social interactions.

7. Reflection and Closure (10 minutes):
– Gather students back in a circle and ask them to reflect on their experiences throughout the lesson.
– Discuss the central themes of the book once again, emphasizing the importance of imagination, perseverance, and friendship.
– Conclude the lesson by reading a short poem or singing a song related to the book’s themes.

– Informal assessment can be conducted throughout the lesson by observing students’ engagement, participation, and understanding of the central themes.
– Document students’ artwork, collaborative stories, and reflections to assess their creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development.

Extension Activities:
– Create a class mural inspired by the book, incorporating students’ artwork and collaborative stories.
– Invite a local artist or storyteller to visit the classroom and share their experiences related to the book’s themes.
– Use digital devices to research and explore real-life mermaid legends or marine life in New Zealand.

Note: This lesson plan is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs and interests of the students. Teachers should modify and adjust the activities as necessary to ensure alignment with the New Zealand Te Whฤriki curriculum and the Reggio Emilia approach


New Zealand


Te Whฤriki (New Zealand)


Reggio Emilia



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