Unit Industry Sector
Education, Child Development, and Family Services

Unit Originally Created By: Mike Morris

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum and Learning Experiences for Children

Part of Course: Child and Adolescent Development Model

Unit Overview / Details

This unit will include examination of resources avail able and selection of appropriate learning experiences for children through school age. Study will  include  learning theories,  age appropriate activities,  and objective writing and lesson development.

The student will select,develop, and teach lessons in the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, art, nutrition,  music  and social science.

Instructional Hours: 20

Instructional Time:

Classroom - Lab
20 Hours


Consumer and Family Studies (CFS) Standards Detail

Students understand the value and methods of providing infants, children, and
adolescents with play and developmentally appropriate learning activities.
5.1 Identify and describe the purposes of play and learning activities to the
physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of children and
adolescents. (ECDFS – F10.5.1)
5.2 Identify factors to consider when selecting, purchasing, or creating play
and learning materials that are developmentally appropriate for children.
5.5 Describe and analyze strategies, equipment, and techniques for helping children
5.6 Describe and demonstrate the caregiver’s role in planning, conducting, and
evaluating play and learning activities that

Content / Concepts

After studying this Unit, students will be able to:
  • develop program goals.
  • indicate who is involved in curriculum development.
  • cite the importance of assessment in curriculum planning.
  • explain the content and process-centered approach to curriculum development.
  • describe factors to consider in curriculum planning.
  • explain how art experiences promote physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth.
  • illustrate the use of themes as a basis forplanning curriculum.
  • write a block plan and lesson plan for one week of a program.
  • explain the advantages of storytelling.
  • list the four types of children’s books.
  • discuss the process of choosing children’s books.
  • outline the steps to follow when reading aloud to children.
  • explain a variety of storytelling methods.
  • explain the advantages of storytelling.
  • describe the stages of play.
  • explain the stages of material use in play.
  • summarize the benefits of socio-dramatic play.
  • prepare the classroom environment and guide socio-dramatic play activities.
  • summarize the benefits of puppetry experiences.
  • make and use three types of puppets.
  • write and tell a puppet story.
  • define manuscript writing.
  • list reasons for encouraging the development of writing skills in preschool settings.
  • explain activities that help children develop writing skills.
  • make letters following the Zaner-Bloser system.
  • outline the sequence children follow in learning alphabet letters.
  • discuss guidelines to use to help children develop writing skills.
  • list objectives of early math experiences.
  • use two basic assessments to determine math skills of children.
  • recognize a variety of items that can be used to promote math experiences.
  • identify math experiences that promote the development of key math concepts.
  • design math experiences that stress specific math concepts.
  • explain what is meant by the term science.
  • discuss reasons for studying science.
  • outline the procedure for planning science
  • activities.
  • list a variety of science supplies and sources for supplies.
  • explain the role of the teacher in guiding science experiences.
  • identify methods for developing children’s understanding of their senses.
  • name and explain various ways to teach science concepts.
  • explain the importance of social studies experiences.
  • outline the role of the teacher in designing and guiding social studies experiences.
  • describe ways to include multicultural, intergenerational, government, ecology, geography, holiday, and current events concepts in the curriculum.
  • explain the value of food and nutrition experiences.
  • conduct positive food and nutrition experiences for children that promote healthy eating habits.
  • give examples of ways to work with parents to best serve hildren’s nutritional needs.
  • list nutritional concepts to teach in early childhood settings.
  • outline the procedure for conducting cooking experiences.
  • select and prepare simple recipes for children to use in early cooking experiences.
  • identify various eating problems encountered in young children.
  • teach children to set a table.
  • explain the benefits of music experiences.
  • design a music center.
  • .
  • outline the teacher’s role in music experiences.
  • demonstrate the use and purpose of rhythm instruments in the program.
  • name a variety of rhythm instruments.
  • list considerations for scheduling music activities.
  • plan a variety of music activities.
  • explain how to teach various movement activities.
  • describe movement activities that promote children’s development.
  • describe the importance of field trips.
  • explain points of consideration for first field trip experiences.
  • list ways to promote safety on field trips.
  • outline the process for selecting a field trip.
  • explain the types and purposes of theme walks.
  • plan a field trip, from pretrip planning to followup activities

Lessons in this Unit

  • Students will learn how program activities and goals should be determined in keeping with developmentally appropriate practices. Selecting developmentally appropriate toys and activities will ensure that a program will encourage development in all areas.  A program with Developmentally appropriate practice is one that uses knowledge about the following: Child Development principles, the strengths, needs and interests of each child within the group and the social and cultural contexts in which children in a given program live.      

    One class period
    55 Minutes
  • Students will extend their knowledge of nutrition for preschoolers in this hands on lab. The students will be preparing easy, healthy snacks and examining the developmentally appropriate practices that would be used with preschoolers in a lab setting. The use of math, language, science and creativity will be integrated in this lesson. Critical thinking skills and following directions will also be emphasized.

    Block Period
    110 Minutes
  • Through a variety of activities, students will be able to explain the important role music and movement play in the development of young children.  Students will participate in a number of musical activities and determine the areas of development addressed in each activity.

    One class period/day
    55 Minutes
  • Students will define creativity, participate in a activities that foster creativity in order to understand its importance in developing problem solving skills, and evaluate activities for their ability to foster or inhibit creative thought, ideas, or expression.

    One class period
    55 Minutes
  • To explore art activities for preschoolers and understand the value of those experiences to their emotional, physical and intellectual development. Covers the purpose of art activities, techniques of working with children during art activities, developmental stages of artistic abilities, emotional and intellectual value. Includes a lab for students to practice the artistic experience.

    First Day - Power Point Lecture
    40 Minutes
    Second Day - Art Lab
    110 Minutes
  • Students will complete this project using the Lakeshore online  classroom designer by applying the design principles learned in the classroom.  They will also learn the state of California standards for child care centers and apply them as they apply to this project. 

    Introduction 1 class period
    55 Minutes
    Computer Lab sessions: 3 Class periods
    55 Minutes