If you’ve got any upcoming special dates marked on your calendar, you’ve most likely got a preschooler who is eagerly awaiting the nearest approaching event. These marked events are the perfect opportunity to approach the topic of tomorrow and yesterday. If you are ready to teach the concept of tomorrow, I recommend waiting until the special event is occurring the very next day. If you are about to teach the concept of yesterday, wait until the day after the special event.
Tomorrow Will Be…
“Now that we know that today is Tuesday, let’s see what tomorrow will be! I see on the calendar that the next day has a birthday card on it, because tomorrow is Daddy’s birthday! I’m super excited to give Daddy his presents tomorrow. Let’s see what day of the week his birthday is on. I’m going to put my finger on tomorrow – it doesn’t have a number because we didn’t do it yet – and move my finger up, up, up until I get to the top. Let’s see what day of the week we are on… I see that this word starts with W, and I know that W makes the sound /w/, so this day must be /w/-/w/-Wednesday. Let’s put the word card on our chart. The sentence says: Tomorrow will be Wednesday. Read that with me now: Tomorrow will be Wednesday. You totally rock!”
“Now that we know that today is Tuesday, let’s see what day it was yesterday. Today we put up the number 10, and if I look at the calendar I can see that yesterday we put up the number 9. I remember yesterday Emily didn’t have school, and we went to the pumpkin patch and got ice cream together – it was so much fun! Let’s see what day of the week that was. I’m going to put my finger on the number 9 because we put that up yesterday, and follow my finger up, up, up until I get to the top. I see that this word starts with M, and I know that M makes the sound /m/, so this day must be /m/-/m/-Monday. Let’s put the word card on our chart. The sentence says: Yesterday was Monday. Read that with me now: Yesterday was Monday. What a smarty pants you are!”
You don’t have to introduce these concepts using the same special event. I’ve just begun teaching Julia how to identify what day tomorrow will be, and once I can see that she has a grasp on the skill then I’ll introduce the concept of yesterday. :)