What is Emergent Curriculum?
What a year it’s been! My daughter has gone from a clingy stage where the teachers had to pry her from my arms at drop-off to running off to her friends after a swift kiss good-bye, and me having to pry her from her activities at the end of the day. While I knew the clinginess was just a stage, I welcome this change with open arms. It’s so comforting to know that she’s having that much fun at school.
It’s been so great to see her bring what she’s been doing and learning in school back home. In a week-long project all about space, the kids learned all about planets and made a little solar system. Every trip to the playground or the movement matters zone was a voyage to another planet with a different environment to explore. The class worked together and even made their own spaceship to visit outer space—yes, one that they could all fit into!
Another fun project? They ran their own grocery store. Families donated some used pasta boxes and juice containers from home to help stock their store. The kids made their own money, flyers, coupons, and had a little store front with a grand opening.
Other themes were the rainforest, where they explored the different animals they might find in the rainforest and then started to grow their own plants in the classroom. They treated animals in their very own veterinary clinic. And they even talked about the weather and seasons when we had terrible rain that kept them indoors. There have been numerous topics covering everything you can imagine.
I was curious where all the great themes came from and asked her teachers how she chose them each week. Her teacher said it often stemmed from a book or something that one of the kids asked or talked about in class. For example, if they read a book about animals, and then veterinarians came up, spurring an interest from the children, she would integrate that into an upcoming theme.
I’ve loved it all, and it was so fantastic to see my daughter bring home some of the same activities or learnings from school, even when they explored caterpillars and my daughter requested we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar every morning, noon, and night! She also now enjoys helping us scan our items at the grocery store, which makes our trips so much more enjoyable for everyone!
Editor’s Note: We invite you to come meet Bright Horizons’ engaging teachers and learn more about our world-class curriculum during our Open House events, which are taking place this month. Find an event near you.
The Story Behind Bright Horizons Emergent Curriculum
Watch parents and teachers talk about Bright Horizons® emergent curriculum and how this creative approach uses a child’s own interests to encourage enthusiastic learners in math, reading, and more.
I’m a mom of two, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel, and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do basically all things creative (major DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some of the ups-and-downs of parenthood as my husband, two daughters, two dogs and I explore life as a family!
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