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CC Cycle 1 Week 1 Plan for Abecedarian Tutors

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Former abecedarian CC tutor (iijuan12), former history teacher, & currently a Christian homeschooling mama of 9 blessings

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 1 Abc Tutor Plan - My child is using basic shapes and lines to draw a Sumerian sheep during our OiLs art lesson.

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 1 Abc Tutor Plan - My child is using basic shapes and lines to draw a Sumerian sheep during our OiLs art lesson.

This is the plan I used while tutoring a Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 1 abecederian class. I have included all the subjects including new grammar, art, presentations, science, and review game. I also added my weekly parent email. This is not an official tutor plan. It's simply what I did. I'm sharing it so other tutors can use it as a springboard from which to plan your own lessons that are tailored to best meet the needs of your own class.

Introduction & Class Procedures

  • Welcome: Give a great big smile and welcome everyone to their first day of CC!
  • Names: Go around and say names.
  • Where Things Go: Where students will put their things: line up backpacks on backs of chairs, put snacks/water bottles on snack table (or a basket), put presentation materials on presentation table (or in a bin). We will do this in a couple minutes.
  • Listening: What students will do when someone else (the tutor or another student) is talking: Stop, Look, Listen.
  • Raising Your Hand: I have a special signal I want you to learn. Whisper: Abecedarians have a special signal for when they want to say something. [Raise your hand]. What students will do when they have questions, need help, or wish to speak: Raise your hand and WAIT to be called on. The only way for me to know you want to say something is for you to do the special signal. What is it? I only call on students who quietly raise their hands.
  • Review: Ask children to show what they will do if they want to speak. (Raise hands & quietly wait.)
  • Move Snacks: Ask them to point to where their snacks and water will go at the beginning of each class. Have them pick up their snacks and water and put them there and then sit down.
  • Move Presentation Items: Put Ask them to point to where their presentation items will go at the beginning of each class. Have them pick up their presentation items and put them there and then sit down.


***Parent Helper: Help pass out class set of trivium maps, dry erase markers, and small pieces of paper towels to each child.***

  • Blob mapping: Tell them that the next thing they get to do every week is to trace all of Africa. You’ll do this each week as soon as you come in after you’ve put your backpack, snack, water, & presentation item in their places.
  • Model how to do a very fast, rough sketch of Africa on the trivium map using a dry erase marker.
  • Have the children use their dry erase markers to trace around the border of Africa and then erase them.
  • Have the children put the caps on their markers and lay them down.
  • Point out the locations on my map one by one. (I say, “Eyes and pointer fingers up” each time before I introduce the next location.) Each time have the children find the location on their maps using their fingers. They say the location, and I confirm, “Yes, that is…”. Repeat.
  • Show me/Tell me the locations using a dry erase marker: Show me where [location] is. Put a dot on it. I confirm, “Yes, that is…”. [Repeat this for each location.]
  • Put the caps back on the markers, but don’t erase anything yet!
  • Erase Locations: Go through the locations with me while erasing locations one by one using the piece of paper towel. (Do them out of order.)

***Parent Helper: Collect markers and maps and return to tutor bag. Throw away paper towel pieces.***

(*At home we’ll be learning the locations using the songs & hand motions by CCHappyMom . I also found this to be helpful for me and my older children: Mediterranean Sea, sea, sea, looks like a giant ducky – y, -y. Mesopotamia is in the middle. Tigris River is on top. Euphrates River is under. Sumer is the triangle at the bottom/seat. The crescent land here is called the Fertile Crescent.)


Explain hand motions* and have children repeat after me. (Go half way through and then start again.)
1 - Age of Ancient Empires (creation – c. 450 AD)
• Ancient: Right palm-left A-hand, begins at chin and moves down in a wavy fashion (as if tracing an imaginary beard).
2 - Creation and the Fall
• Creation: Both arms make a giant circle above the head.
• Fall: Palm-down flat-hands drop down.
3 - The Flood and the Tower of Babel
• Flood: Palm-down 5-hands rise up while wiggling fingers.
• Tower: Palms-facing, flat-hands trace the outline of a tower to the sky.
4 - Mesopotamia and Sumer
Mesopotamia means “between rivers.”
• Between: Right flat-hand bounces between the 1st and 2nd fingers of left hand.
• Rivers: Palm-down R-hands move away from body while bouncing like waves.
5 - Egyptians
• Egypt: Right palm-out X-hand, rests against forehead representing the asp in the headdress of the pharaohs. Turn face slightly to the side to represent Egyptian-style art.
3000 BC (2x)
6 - Indus River Valley Civilization
• India: Right index finger points to the mid-forehead.
• River: Palm-down R-hands move away from body while bouncing like waves.
7 - Minoans and Mycenaeans
Minoans enjoyed bull jumping. Mycenaeans of Greece worked with gold.
• Minoans: Palm-out Y rests on center of forehead (like a bull).
• Mycenaeans: Right index finger points to earlobe. Then right Yhand twists back and forth (representing gold).

  • Sing & do motions 2 times.
  • Sing while flipping through the cards, passing one out to each child.
  • Have them bring up their timeline card and put it on the board as we sing the song together.

(*The Timeline Hand Motions are a great tool and I personally love how they help to jot my memory; however, many of my little abc students usually don't have the finger dexterity yet to master the movements and become frustrated or distracted. In class we do the Timeline Hand Motions this week only. I tell the parents where they can be found if they want to continue using them at home, but we don't use them in class after the first week.)

Math (1s)

(Note: I separated the math this week to spread out the physical activity.)

  • Allow each child a turn to hop up and down 15 times. Tell them we’re going to see who can do it the fastest. Have everyone count together as each child hops.


  • Sing the history sentence and do the below motions while the children listen. (I don't explain it.)
  • Have them sing it with me and do the motions with me slowly two times.
  • Girls sing it with me and everyone does the motions.
  • Boys sing it with me and everyone does the motions.
  • Sing it quietly in a whisper while doing the motions.
  • Everyone sings it together in a regular voice while doing the motions.

1 - Hold up index finger to the sky and bow head
2 - Finger on one hand bows down to finger on other hand
3 - Three fingers form a “W” like “Word,” & cover lips
4 - Rest head on four fingers
5 - Use the five fingers and make a “father” and “mother” using ASL (open hand with thumb touching forehead & then chin). Then slowing swing arm in a circle: Draw hand down and then out across as if showing someone the “land.” Then raise hand straight up toward the Lord when say Lord. Finally hold arm and hand in front of you as if offering someone something.)


  • Motions & chant words: Cheerleader chant: A preposition (clap), relates (clap), a noun (hold out one arm straight with fist) or pronoun (hold out other arm straight with fist), to another word (move both arms across body to other side)
  • Speed up: Recite together saying it as slowly as you can. Get faster and faster each time you chant through it. Be sure to get silly on the 6th time through!
Scroll to Continue


  • Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques. [Use the video below to get the tune.]
  • Each child will get a turn singing into a toy microphone while you sing the song together.

Math (2s)

  • I sing while the children listen.
  • Children sing it with me.
  • Line up children into 2 lines. March around the room singing the twos. Each pair of children gets a chance to be the leader.


  • Read the science sentence while the children listen.
  • Silly voice: Allow children to each roll the silly voice die* & sing them using that silly voice: Squeaky mouse voice, say it like a soldier, cowboy, stick out your tongue and say it, butterfly whisper voice, & T-rex voice. (*I use a foam die from the Dollar Tree, put stickers on it [so I can change out the voices], & write on the stickers.)

(*At home we’ll be learning this using the song posted by Heidi Stauff because my kids like the kittens.)

OiLs sheep drawn by a 5 year old

OiLs sheep drawn by a 5 year old


  • Explain that we’ll be spending 6 weeks on drawing, found in the Foundations Guide. The skills we learn can be fun to practice at home as well. There are 5 basic shapes that an artist looks for, uses, and builds upon. We remember them by using the word OiLs: O for circles, i for dots and line, L for angle lines, and S for curved lines.

O - Circles- any round shape not colored in
i - Dots – any round shape colored in
i - Straight lines – any straight line, not matter how thick
L - Curved line – any curved line that is not enclosed
s - Angle lines – 2 lines joined together, like the number 7 or the corner of a square.

  • OiLs – Pass out OiLs cards printed from CCC user nicoleliem. Each child will get a card that has the word circle, dot, straight line, curved line, and angle line along with a few examples. Let each child take a turn going up to the board and drawing their shape on the board. We started with a circle, and a child drew a face. The next child drew dot eyes. The next child drew straight line eyebrows, etc. (They actually did this on their own without any prompting from me.)
  • When looking at a picture, some artists look at the lines, not the whole picture. We’re going to draw a picture from the history sentence we just learned about. Hold up a Sumerian picture of shepherds and sheep and have each child find their assigned OiLs shape on the picture. [I used a picture from Great Ages of Man: Cradle of Civilization by Samuel Noah Kramer (Time-Life Books) which is pictured below.] Remind children to look at the lines, not the whole picture.
Sumerian picture of shepherds and sheep  from Great Ages of Man: Cradle of Civilization by Samuel Noah Kramer (Time-Life Books)

Sumerian picture of shepherds and sheep from Great Ages of Man: Cradle of Civilization by Samuel Noah Kramer (Time-Life Books)

  • Using a pencil (not crayons), draw a sheep together by following the steps from Draw Write Now Book One. I model on the board, step by step, & the children follow each step.
  • If I have a child who cannot follow these directions, I use my finger on his/her paper and show them step by step of where to put the lines & marks, having them follow my finger with their pencil. I also might make two dots & tell them to connect them.
  • *Remind children to look at the lines, not the whole picture. *
  • Have children sign their work.

***Parent Helper: Collect papers & put in children’s folders to be sent home.***


  • Have children collect presentation items from the basket/table.
  • Remind that when someone else is talking, children should: Stop, Look, Listen.
  • Explain presentations: Each week 1-3 minutes. Assigned topic or any topic. Props are always a big help. Each week we’ll work on a new presentation skill. Today’s focus will be, “Speak loudly so everyone can hear you.” What is today’s focus? [Remember to raise your hand to answer.]
  • When presenting: Stand on the X and say your name. ("Hi, my name is...") Tell us 1 or 2 things special about each of the items you brought. Then ask if anyone has any questions: "Does anyone have any questions?" Use the listener’s names when calling on them. The listeners raise their hands. The presenter then asks, "Yes, [name]. What is your question?"
  • Each child gets 1 question token (a foam rectangle with their name written on it).
  • Have children go in alphabetical order. (We rotate each week.)
  • Next week’s optional topic: Learn something about the Fertile Crescent. Maybe use your Lego’s to create something found or grown in the Fertile Crescent. If you don’t like using Lego’s, you can make something out of play-dough or draw it. Learn a little bit about the Fertile Crescent and tell us 3 interesting facts you learned about it.
  • Next week’s skill to work on: Stillness: Show confidence and relaxation by being still.
  • Return presentation items to backpacks.

Bathroom Break & Snack time

Pray. Bathroom break. Get snacks from snack basket and have snack while listening to memory work CD.

***Parent Helper: Take pictures of each child holding a "First Day of CC" sign.***

  • ***Parent Helper: While we’re doing science, hide the review game envelopes around the room.***
  • (*Ahead of time you can watch a video of the experiment by CCLivermore Tutor posted below.)
  • Intro: Why do you suppose God created plants? (pretty to look at, tasty food, lovely to smell, shade, oxygen for us to breath, etc.)
  • Where can you find plants? (ground, salty ocean, streams and lakes, mountains, etc.) Plants are pretty much everywhere aren’t they?
  • Did you know that scientists like to group and classify things? They have kingdoms for living things and they like to classify each kingdom into little sub-groups. We'll learn about 6 kingdoms of living things. One of those kingdoms is plants. What are some types of seed plants? Monocot, Dicot, & Conifers
  • Look carefully at your bean. How big is it? What shape is it? Is it hard or soft?
  • Do you see a little dent in the seed? That is called the hilum. It is a seed coat scar and is sometimes known as the belly button of the seed as it is the location of where the seed was attached to the parent plant.
  • The outside covering of the bean is called a seed coat. Is this loose or tight
  • What do you think we will find if we open this seed up? Hypothesis!!!
  • Somewhere on this bean is a little hole in the seed coat through which pollen entered. It is called a micropyle.
  • Now slip off the outer covering of the bean. What is it called again? A seed coat
  • Split the seed…Is there a baby plant inside?
  • All babies need to eat right? How do you suppose this baby plant gets food? Point out the 2 plump oblong halves of the seed. These are cotyledon and they provide food for the baby plant. There is food already stored in these cotyledons but in a dicot (think 2 baby leaves) like this bean the cotyledon will grow with the plant and also manufacture food through photosynthesis.
  • There are 3 other parts of this little plant embryo we can see in this seed. In week 10 our science memory work will point out that leaves, stems and roots are part of a plant. The epicotyl will form the 1st true leaves. The hypocotyl will form the lower stems and roots. The radicle will form the main root. The radicle is the 1st item to emerge from a seed when it is germinating/sprouting.
  • Results: What appears to be a baby plant is found inside the monocot bean seed.

(This script is based on the script from former CCC user rruggles.)

  • Have children make a blob map on a sheet of paper. Look at the example from CCC user amy.snider if you need an example.
  • Review Hunt: Place each of the new grammar subjects in envelopes and then add a few more envelopes with fun actions on them (lead the class in doing a fast dance, lead the class in making a super silly face, lead the class in doing 3 jumping jacks, & lead the class in doing a ninja move). Have each child take a turn finding an envelope, opening it up, and doing whatever is inside. For grammar review, we answered together as a class.

Wow! Today went so well! Everyone was very attentive this week! I am excited about getting to know each of your precious children better this year as we explore Cycle One together!

Everyone did an amazing job with presentations today! Everyone was prepared and participated, and no one broke down into tears. I consider that to be a huge success for the first day!

Memorizing at Home: In order to memorize the weekly facts my family:

  • keeps a photocopy of the facts from Cycle 3 in my vehicle so that we can go over the facts while waiting in the vehicle and pushing swings at the park.
  • plays the CD while eating lunch & sometimes as background music while the children play or while we are driving.
  • sings and does hand motions to review the current week’s facts (4 days a week). I filmed us reviewing our CC material and posted it at .

Would you like a little bit extra? Each week my family enjoys reading books, doing activities, and watching YouTube video clips related to our new grammar. Memorizing the CC grammar is completely sufficient, but if you’d like to add a bit more, here is what my family has enjoyed reading, doing, & watching related to the science sentence: Science Morning Basket & Activities: Classification of Living Things. (This will be used for week 1 & week 2.)

This week I will be praying for each of your children that through our time at CC they will “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

If you ever have questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know!

Learning about taxonomy & dividing things into groups (dumped out from our "junk" drawer) is one of the activities we did while learning more about the science sentence. You can see more at the above link: Science Morning Basket & Activities.

Learning about taxonomy & dividing things into groups (dumped out from our "junk" drawer) is one of the activities we did while learning more about the science sentence. You can see more at the above link: Science Morning Basket & Activities.

What our daily CC review time looks like

© 2018 Shannon


Shannon (author) from Florida on December 02, 2020:

These are lesson plans I use for teaching Classical Conversations, which is a homeschooling program.

Shannon (author) from Florida on October 13, 2020:

This is a lesson plan idea for Classical Conversations.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on October 04, 2020:

Can you please explain what it exactly is for as there are several articles related to this

Marina on September 21, 2018:

That’s amazing! Thank you.

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