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Preschool Curriculum Forges a Connection Between Protagonists

by Jennifer Griffith Youngblood
September/October 2008
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/preschool-curriculum-forges-a-connection-between-protagonists/5018353/

In September 2005, a group of preschoolers at the Mentor Graphics Child Development Center in Wilsonville, Oregon, began a journey of imagination that would carry them for the next nine months. The studies that took place were formed carefully around the children's interests, and carried out through the participation of the three protagonists; home, school, and community. The work that follows reached its depth of learning through the authentic art of following the children's lead.

Observation of dramatic play

One morning, a few children noticed some green paint on the floor of our classroom. Drawing upon their previous experiences with green, they immediately concluded that leprechauns must have visited the classroom. This started a series of intense conversations about leprechauns.

Over the next few weeks, the children began acting out scenarios that involved leprechauns, and, eventually, other imagined creatures. The play became increasingly animated as new creatures began to take shape in the children's imagination. The teachers observed this play and documented the progression of the characters. Through conversations between the children and teachers, it became apparent that the children were interested in becoming these creatures that existed in their minds.

Visual representation

The children's first idea was to make masks to represent ...

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