The Whole Child
Let's Talk About It:
abc's of child development
For parents
for early care providers

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Observational activity
Make arrangements to observe in a preschool classroom for at least half a day. Observe the children during free play and try to determine what their current interests are. Listen to their conversation and pay attention to their play. Take notes on your observations.

Plan a group time for this class, taking into consideration what you heard and observed. Integrate this group experience with whatever interests are currently being pursued by the children by planning activities that further explore these interests. Be sure to suit the group time to the developmental level of the children in that classroom. Include the following seven areas in your plan: stories, poetry and finger plays, auditory training, songs, discussion and a cognitive game, and a multiethnic and a nonsexist component.

1. Write a summary of your observations in the classroom including the age group observed, what you perceived their interests to be and why.
2. For each of the seven areas, list the materials you would use and your reason for using them. How would each activity contribute to further exploration of the subject areas that interest these children?

Activities for the classroom
A house close to your children's center recently burned down, and the children are both interested and concerned about what happened. For this reason, you have decided it would be useful to provide some firefighter props to help them clarify their understanding about what happened. You would like to include a number of literacy-type materials along with other equipment. Suggest several items that could be included that might encourage children to engage in emergent literacy-related play.

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