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THEMATIC PLANNING Hans Christian AndersenSchool EnglishImmersionProgram
Thematic Planning Organize curriculum around a theme Integrates different developmental and subject areas Contributes to child’s growing awareness and understanding Provides opportunities for child to learn by doing and have direct experiences with the world Helps children understand that learning is connected to life.
Children’s Experiences Reflect on and recreate experiences through: Dramatic play Block building Discussions Art Music Movement Measuring Graphing and Mapping Children develop skills through: Sensing Moving Thinking Problem solving Communicating Creating Working Playing with others
Appropriate Themes Primary Question: Can I give children direct experience of this topic? Should reflect children’s interests, abilities and issues of concern Should involve concepts and skills at the right level of challenge for the age group Topic should be complex and interesting enough to be explored at some depth Plan to focus on topic for several weeks to several months
Criteria for Theme Selection The topic can be taught through direct experience. Children can explore it with their senses. Concept is developmentally appropriate for young children. Concept can be organized to move from: Simple to complex Concrete to abstract Interesting, meaningful, and worth knowing about. Helps children acquire understanding and appreciation of themselves, others, and the world in which they live.
“Major Understanding” of the Theme The important ideas you wish children to acquire Brainstorm the purpose and goals Gather the resources and materials Create a mind map or curriculum web Ask the children: What do you want to know? What would you like to learn?
Mind Map Family Activities Books and Poems Cooking Games Songs and Rhymes THEME Blocks Art Activities Field Trips Dramatic Play Creative Movement
K-W-L Chart Brainstorm! K What do you KNOW? W What do you WANT to know? L What did you LEARN?
Outline for an Integrated Thematic Plan Theme: the topic or focus Children: age and characteristics Rationale: Why? Goals: 3-6 broad statements of desired ends Attitudes Skills Abilities Experiences Major Understandings: 4-6 important ideas you want children to construct Resources: Books, articles, etc.
Adapt your Teaching Environment to Include ALL Children Ask yourself: What goals do I have for the activity so that all children are engaged and learning? What different ways do I need to present information so that everyone understands and is engaged? What kinds of support or encouragement will be needed to engage and ensure learning among all children?
Adapt your Teaching Environment to Include ALL Children Possibilities: Vary your expectations for participation and performance Example: If children are listening to a story and are asked to recall events some may attend to and repeat back key words others may recall the names of characters by pointing to pictures or using signs and gestures even others may predict what will happen next using complete sentences in English
Teaching Environment Present content in multiple formats verbal, print, video, or concrete objects repeating key words/phrases in children’s home language using simple sentences with gestures Use physical cues to focus children’s attention pointing to the picture in the book giving verbal prompts to help children begin a response offering language models for children to imitate encouraging children to keep thinking and trying
Assessment How do you document children’s learning? How do you know if children understand the big ideas of your unit? Documentation Observation notes Photography or video Collection of student work samples A class book, newsletter, scrapbook Social event where student work is shared
How Can you Involve Families? Possibilities: Share information with families through a newsletter written at an appropriate level Have key phrases translated into families’ home languages, and include photographs of children engaged in an activity. Provide multiple opportunities for families to be involved Families could support their child’s involvement by asking specific questions about the activity and/or the book read to the group.