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Activity-Based Curriculum - A Planning Approach 3

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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


__Brainstorm and select several activities children can do.

To pursue their interesting ways that both satisfy and stimulate learning, young children need structure. Teachers can provide the structure children need by selecting activities which complement children’s choices yet assure an integrated system of exploration. Several things should be kept in mind when selecting these activities:

__ They should be related to the topic, theme or unit serving as the organizer.

__ They should be related to one another

__ They should build on one another so that knowledge, processes, and dispositions are developed.

__They should provide chunks of time for whole group, small group and individual activity.

__ They should include a balanced range of media related to the topic or theme; for example, children’s literature (stories, informational books, poems,  
      songs, and rhymes), audiovisual resources (including computer software;) and related play objects and props.

It is helpful to visualize this integrated system of activities as a spiral-like construction.

The topic or theme as the organizer defines and guides the activities we choose to do as well as those children suggest. Whether planning activities for a few days or several weeks, the organizer assures that the activities we do with children are related to one another.

But the fact that activities are related is not a sufficient condition for learning language and literacy. If the learning process is to occur, then the organizer itself must be held together by the knowledge, processes, and dispositions children need to meet, the practice and to internalize. 

Ask Dr. Susan