Western Cowboy theme learning activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten.

Western Cowboy Theme Learning Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Cowboy/Rodeo/Western Books

Western DVD

Western Literacy Activities

Sight Word Boot Mats
texas sight words
Setting: Small Group, Literacy Centers
Objective: Sight word recognition
Materials: boot notepad, Sharpie marker, laminating film, magnetic letters.
Directions: Use the Sharpie marker to write your focus sight words on the pages of the boot notepad. Laminate the pages of the notepad for durability. Place a basket or tub of magnetic letters in the center of the table. Students will spell the sight words out on the boots with magnetic letters.

Yee Haw! Game
yee haw
Setting: Small Group, Literacy Centers
Objective: Sight word recognition
Materials: texas cut-outs, Sharpie marker, laminating film, Do-A-Dot markers, recording sheet, plastic container or basket to put cut-outs in
Directions: This game is a modified version of the Bang Game. Write one one word on each Texas cut-out using the Sharpie marker. On one Texas shape write the words “Yee Haw!” with the Sharpie marker. Laminate the Texas cut-outs for durability. Place all the cut-outs in a basket or plastic tub. This game can be played in large or small groups. Give a recording sheet to each student. Have the students sit in a circle and pass the basket of cut-outs around. Each student closes his eyes and removes one Texas, then reads the word written on the back aloud and marks it on his recording sheet with a Do-A-Dot marker. If a student gets the shape that says “Yee Haw!” all the students can shout “Yee Haw!” out loud together.
This game could also be played with letters written on the Texas shapes and recording sheet instead of sight words.

Cowboy Path Game
cowboy path game
Setting: Small Group, Literacy Center
Objective: Sight Words
Materials: Do-A-Dot markers, western path sheet, sight word cards
Directions: Give each child in the small group a western path game sheet and a Do-A-Dot marker. Place the sight word cards in the middle of the table in a basket or container. Each child takes turns selecting a card from the container. The child identifies the word on the card and then marks it on his paper with his Do-A-Dot marker.

Cowboy Sentences
texas sentences
Setting: Small Group, Literacy Centers
Objective: Reading simple sentences, sight word identification
Materials: sentence strips, Sharpie markers of various colors, western clipart, glue stick, lamination film, envelopes, scissors.
Directions: Using your Sharpie marker write several simple western sentences on sentence strips. Glue clipart next to the unknown word to support your students emergent reading skills. Using different colored Sharpie markers place a colored dot on the back of each word. For example, each word in the following sentence would have a red dot on the back: “I can see the cowboy.” and each word in this sentence would have a different colored dot: “The horse is brown.”. Also place a matching dot on each envelope so students can keep the correct sentence pieces together. Laminate the sentence strips for durability and use your scissors to cut the sentence strips apart between each word. Give each student in your small group an envelope with a different sentence inside. Students will assemble their sentences correctly then trade with a friend until they have had a turn to assemble each sentence.

Cowboy Syllables
cowboy syllables
Setting: Small Group, Literacy Centers
Objective: Syllable identification
Materials: 3 cowboy hats OR 3 paper lunch bags, if using paper bags you will need 3 clipart pictures of a cowboy hat, western vocabulary pictures (see resources section)
Directions: Write one number on each hat or bag, 1-3. Seat the students in your small group around a table and place the three bags or hats in the middle of the table. Students will take turns selecting western vocabulary cards, identifying the number of syllables in each word, and placing the word card in the hat with the corresponding number. For example, the word “boot” would go in the hat with the number one written on it because boot only has one syllable.

Western Rhyming
western rhyming

Setting: Small Group, Literacy Centers
Objective: Rhyming
Materials: Western picture cards (see printables section below), pocket die, scissors, recording sheet, Do-A-Dot markers
Directions: Print the western picture cards and cut apart. Place the pictures in the pocket die. Give each student in your small group a recording sheet and a Do-A-Dot marker. Students will take turns rolling the die, identifying the picture shown, and then give a rhyming word. When a student gives a correct rhyming word they can mark the picture on their recording sheet with their Do-A-Dot marker.

Western Chili Sight Words
Setting: Small Group, Word Work
Objective: Identifying sight words
Materials: Empty pinto bean or chili cans- 1 per student in your small group (make sure edges are not sharp or cover edges with masking tape), magnetic letters, magnetic stove burner covers, sight word rings, spoons
Directions: Fill each can of beans with magnetic letters (you will need to strategically place the letters that are in the sight words your students are learning in the cans) Give each child in your small group a burner cover (you should already have these from the previous unit) a can of magnetic letters, a spoon, and a ring of sight words that he or she is learning. Students will use their spoons to fish out magnetic letters to spell words by placing them on their magnetic burner cover.

Western Math Activities

Western Counting
texas counting plates
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: Number identification, number sense
Materials: 10 western themed party plates, Sharpie markers, cowboy hat erasers
Directions: Write the numbers 1-10 on the plates. Students place the correct number of western erasers on their plates.

Western Patterns
western patterns one
texas pattern
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: Patterning
Materials: Patterning grid- one per child (available in printables section below), western stickers or erasers
Directions: Give each child in the small group one patterning grid. Place the stickers or erasers in the center of the table in a container so all students can easily reach them. The students will use the stickers or erasers to create a pattern.

Western 1:1 Game
texas one to one
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: 1:1 correspondence
Materials: printable western mat- one for each child in the small group (available in printables section below), cardstock, laminating film, foam die, Texas shaped pasta
Directions: Print the western mats on cardstock and laminate. Give each student in the small group a mat. Place the Texas shaped pasta in the center of the table in a container so it is easily accessible to all students. Each student takes a turn rolling the die and putting the corresponding number of pasta on their recording sheet. When there is one piece of Texas shaped pasta on each space on the mat they are finished.

Western Roll ‘N Stamp
texas roll stamp
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: Number recognition, number sense, one-to-one
Materials: foam die, western roll ‘n stamp sheets (see printables section below), blue and red Do-A-Dot markers
Directions: Students take turns rolling the die, identifying the corresponding number on their paper and stamping that number with a blue or red Do-A-Dot marker.

Western Counting 1-5
cowboy counting one to five
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: 1:1 correspondence
Materials: 1-5 counting grid- one per child (available in printables section below), western stickers
Directions: To play this game each child in the small group gets a counting grid sheet. Place the stickers in the center of the table in a container so all students can easily reach them. The students will place the correct number of stickers next to each number on the counting grid.

Western Board Game
texas board game
Setting: Small Group, Math Centers
Objective: 1:1 correspondence
Materials: cardstock, laminating film, packing tape, western stickers, foam die, western erasers, western clipart
Directions: Affix western stickers to the cardstock playing board to create a path. When the board is complete laminate it for durability. Use the western erasers as playing pieces. Place the playing pieces on the cowboy to start. Students will take turns rolling the die and moving along the path towards Texas.

Fun Western Activities

Materials: green construction paper, toothpicks, glue, pink tissue paper.
Have each student cut the green paper into the shape of a cactus. You can use a tracer, or Xerox the shape onto the paper. Next, break the toothpicks in half and have the students glue to the cactus shape. Give each student a few small squares of pink tissue paper to put on the end of their pencils, twist, and glue onto the cactus shape to make “cactus flowers”.

Materials: blue tissue paper, glue, bluebonnet shape traced or copied on white paper or a green bluebonnet die-cut for each child.
Cut the tissue paper into squares. Next, have students glue the glue the tissue paper squares to the bluebonnet shape to create the flowers.

Materials: white regular size paper plates (the cheaper the better), gray construction paper, glue, crayons.
Cut each paper plate in half to create the armadillo’s body. Cut strips of the gray paper into squares and have the students glue onto the body to create the armadillo’s armor. This could also be done with elbow macaroni spray painted silver if you have the time and energy. Next, copy the pattern for a head, legs, and tail onto gray construction paper and have the students cut out and glue to the armadillo. Students can add facial features to the armadillo with crayons.

Deep in the Heart of Texas
Materials: Texas shaped macaroni, available at some grocery stores in TX, food coloring, rubbing alcohol, outline of state of TX on large construction paper, red die-cut hearts, glue, small photo of each child.
Dye half the macaroni red and the other half blue using the food coloring and the rubbing alcohol and set out to dry overnight. When dry, have the students glue the macaroni around the outline of Texas in a red/blue pattern. Next, glue the red heart in the middle of the state and add the student’s photo to the middle of the heart. Caption these “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. This makes a great display during open house or Texas Public Schools Week.

Texas Flag
texas flag
Materials: red construction paper, blue constructions paper, glue, Xerox black line copies of Texas state flag, white die-cut star
First, cut the paper into squares. Have the students glue the squares onto the appropriate sections of the flag. When finished, glue the star in the correct spot. You could also do this with project with squares of tissue paper.

Paper Plate Cowboy
Materials: cheap, white paper plates, red construction paper, brown construction paper, multicultural crayons or paint, regular crayons, glue.
Copy a pattern for a cowboy hat onto the brown paper. Have each child color or paint his or her face on the paper plate, add facial features with crayons. Next, cut out the brown hat and glue onto the top of the plate. Fold the red construction paper in half diagonally and cut on the fold to create bandanas, glue to the bottom of the paper plate and fold the ends around the back if necessary.

I Feel Like a Cowboy Class Book
cowboy book
Materials: camera, cowboy hat, stick pony, paper bag vest, bandana, cardstock.
Take a picture of each student dressed in the hat, vest, and bandana “riding” the stick pony. Print each picture and glue each one to a piece of cardstock. Add this caption on the bottom “I feel like a cowboy when ______” . Ask each student when they feel like a cowboy and fill their responses in the blank for them. Finally, laminate and bind your class book. This activity is a companion to the copy and color book “Cowboy Roy”.

Western Day!
cowboy day
Materials: note to parents, Texas shaped tortilla chips (available at HEB stores or Central Market), queso dip, green Gatorade, extra cowboy hats and bandanas.
Each year we have a Western Rodeo Day for the grand finale to our Western unit. We start by sending a note home to the parents explaining the day and guidelines to follow for making their very own recycled stick pony. On the day of the Rodeo students bring their creative ponies to school and are allowed to dress like cowboys. We have stick pony races, drink “cactus juice” (green Gatorade) and have Texas chips and queso. I have a supply of bandanas and cowboy hats on hand for those who forget theirs. We have a sing along around the “campfire” (lights off, use flashlights, sit in a circle). You could also have a chili cook-off to spice things up!

FREE Western Printables

Western Resources

Photo Credit at Top: © sixdays / Dollar Photo Club

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