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Activity Based Curriculum - A Planning Approach 2

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Dr. Susan H. Turben, Ph.D.

John Carroll University

An Example of Child-Centered Activity Planning for Integrated Language and Literacy Learning


__ Jot down what children can learn by exploring the organizer
  It is essential to note what children will gain by exploring the ideas and objects associated with a specific organizer, whether it be a topic, theme or unit of study. It is an early opportunity to assess the worth of the organizer with respect  to children’s interest and their learning, language and literacy included.

Simply jot down your immediate impressions in three areas of learning.

__ Knowledge – What children may come to know as a result of exploring the organizing topic or theme;

__ Processes – Language and literacy behaviors children may demonstrate, practice and extend;

__Dispositions – Attitudes and values children may develop about the topic or theme.


When finished, your jotting may look something like Beth’s:

As Beth thought about the potential of seeds as a topic study that may further concept development and broad content goals, she began to write down what children could learn through their inquiry. She first considered main ides, for example:

  1. There are many different kinds of seeds.
  2. Seeds grow into plants with roots, stems, leaves and flowers.
  3. Most seeds need warmth, light , minerals, water and air to grow.
  4. Many foods we eat are seeds.
  5. Seeds need care if they are to grow.

She also thought about language and literacy processes the children could experience and practice, such as:

  1. Using oral and written language to obtain and share information;
  2. Discovering meanings of words and sentences in practical situations;
  3. Recording experience in different ways, for example, writing and sketching;
  4. Doing simple experiments, following directions given in print and picture;
  5. Developing concepts about print-meaning associations, for example, environmental print.

And she considered, too, the dispositions she could foster throughout the study, such as:

  1. A caring interest in the environment;
  2. A willingness to observe and make comparisons
  3. A willingness to “wait” for results;
  4. Enjoying using one’s sense and handling living things.

Some of these were understandings, processes and dispositions Beth had urged before in the children’s activities, and because they “fit” in this particular inquiry, she now chose to reemphasize them once again.

Ask Dr. Susan