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  • I have read more about thematic teaching and I have picked more ways to work with my class.
    For example, there is a routine in my class, on Monday, I am going to consciously have the children run the class with little help just to have an experience of how that will be done. I feel excited about this. Though sometimes, I see some of these things in my class like the children have table leaders and they take charge of their tables and how they behave.
    At class meeting on Friday, the children have the opportunity to discuss and express their view on how the leader has performed. They choose which leader who has done well the most and that leader gets a reward and becomes the star of the week. I am still learning more about thematic teaching, I like the fact that its about the child,, his or her environment and his or her family. I hope to adapt more to this. Thank you for sharing.
    Abimbola Dosunmu.
    Children International School. Lagos, Nigeria.
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  1. 1. Planning an Integrated Thematic Curriculum Unit Who am I in the Lives of Children? Feeney, Christensen, Moravcik Prepared by Dr. Carla Piper
  2. 2. Thematic Planning <ul><li>Organize curriculum around a theme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Umbrella overarching interest area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrates different developmental and subject areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contributes to child’s growing awareness and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Provides opportunities for child to learn by doing and have direct experiences with the world </li></ul><ul><li>Helps children understand that learning is connected to life. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Children’s Experiences <ul><li>Reflect on and recreate experiences through : </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic play </li></ul><ul><li>Block building </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Movement </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring </li></ul><ul><li>Graphing and Mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Children develop skills through: </li></ul><ul><li>Sensing </li></ul><ul><li>Moving </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Creating </li></ul><ul><li>Working </li></ul><ul><li>Playing with others </li></ul>
  4. 4. Select a Topic <ul><li>Look at a child’s life for the theme: </li></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Geographical locale </li></ul>Sense of uniqueness Pride in their families Understanding Community
  5. 5. Appropriate Themes <ul><li>Primary Question: Can I give children direct experience of this topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Should reflect children’s interests, abilities and issues of concern </li></ul><ul><li>Should involve concepts and skills at the right level of challenge for the age group </li></ul><ul><li>Topic should be complex and interesting enough to be explored at some depth </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to focus on topic for several weeks to several months </li></ul>
  6. 6. Criteria for Theme Selection <ul><li>The topic can be taught through direct experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Children can explore it with their senses. </li></ul><ul><li>Concept is developmentally appropriate for young children. </li></ul><ul><li>Concept can be organized to move from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple to complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concrete to abstract </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interesting, meaningful, and worth knowing about. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps children acquire understanding and appreciation of themselves, others, and the world in which they live. </li></ul>Page 346
  7. 7. More Criteria for Theme Selection <ul><li>Many things can be experienced and learned </li></ul><ul><li>Generates a variety of activities and learning in all areas of development and in a broad range of subject areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Harmonizes with program philosophy and goals and is interesting to the staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic in terms of resources (funds, materials, people, places that are available) </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for and encourages family input and participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent with family and community values. </li></ul>
  8. 8. “ Major Understanding” of the Theme <ul><li>The important ideas you wish children to acquire </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm the purpose and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Gather the resources and materials </li></ul><ul><li>Create a mind map or curriculum web </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you want to know? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would you like to learn? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Mind Map Creative Movement Field Trips Dramatic Play Blocks Family Activities Games Songs and Rhymes Books and Poems Art Activities Cooking THEME
  10. 10. K-W-L Chart K What do you KNOW? W What do you WANT to know? L What did you LEARN? Brainstorm!
  11. 11. Outline for an Integrated Thematic Plan <ul><li>Theme: the topic or focus </li></ul><ul><li>Children: age and characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Rationale: Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: 3-6 broad statements of desired ends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major Understandings: 4-6 important ideas you want children to construct </li></ul><ul><li>Books and Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary Building Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Center Planning - Literacy Learning Spaces </li></ul>Part One
  12. 12. Environmental Additions and Trips <ul><li>List of materials to add to each learning center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support awareness of theme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help develop the ‘big ideas’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include ideas for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blocks, manipulative toys, puzzles, games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic play, art, writing center, library, science area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning trips </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Activities <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you introduce the study to children? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What activities will you do to build awareness of the topic? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activities to build understanding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities that encourage exploration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities that build skill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities that develop understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culmination Activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities help children express and generalize what they’ve learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities to bring closure to the unit </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Assessment <ul><li>How do you document children’s learning? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know if children understand the big ideas of your unit? </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photography or video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection of student work samples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A class book, newsletter, scrapbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social event where student work is shared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A sunburst graphic - see page 353-354 </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Sunburst Graphic Curriculum Plan Pages 353-355 Family Involvement Activities Learning Trips Literature Extensions Story Books Fingerplays and Poems Sensory Exploration Dramatic Play Blocks Language Charts Discussions Mapping and Graphing Science Workjobs and Games Child-Authored Books Language Games
  16. 16. Curriculum Focus on Food Cooking Songs, Creative Movement, and Drama Art Reference Books and Cookbooks Big Idea #4 Food can be prepared in many different ways. Big Idea #3 People like some foods and dislike some foods. Big Idea #2 Food comes from different places and we eat in different places. Big Idea #1 Everyone needs food to live, grow, and stay healthy. Animals need food too.
  17. 17. Ideas for Enriching the Environment Art Area Library Reading Corner Blocks Manipulative Toys Dramatic Play Writing Center Puzzles Hollow Box Discovery Table Light Table Sensory Table Open Area
  18. 18. CIRCLE CENTERS <ul><li>Math and Science </li></ul><ul><li>Pretend and Learn </li></ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Writer's Corner (Writing) </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity Station </li></ul><ul><li>ABC </li></ul><ul><li>Library/Listening </li></ul>
  19. 19. Creative Curriculum Centers <ul><li>Blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic Play </li></ul><ul><li>Toys and Games </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Sand and Water </li></ul><ul><li>Music and Movement </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Computers Outdoors </li></ul>