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7.7: Integrated Curriculum / Themes

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    It is common for many programs to integrate many aspects of learning with the use of “themes” as a way to weave learning together for children. For some learners, the connection of several learning experiences all related to a common concept can support deeper learning. The most successful themes are those that emerge out of the children’s interest (often called “emergent curriculum” ). Common themes include:

    • My family
    • Friendship and caring
    • Community Helpers
    • Animals
    • Activities (camping, …)
    • Transportation
    • Locations (oceans, mountains, farms,…)


    Pause to Reflect

    What other themes can you think of?

    Often when planning a theme, teachers will use the concept of a curriculum “web” to begin to plan their ideas. Like a list, but in a different format, a web allows teachers to brainstorm related ideas and then to choose the ones that make the most sense to more thoroughly plan for. This process uses both a teacher’s divergent and convergent thinking skills.

    A basic web diagram will look like this:


    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Basic web diagram

    Here is a sample of a curriculum web using this format. Can you think of activities to add?


    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Sample curriculum web


    Pause to Reflect

    What advantages can you find in creating a planning web? How might you incorporate children into helping you web ideas?

    This page titled 7.7: Integrated Curriculum / Themes is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Cindy Stephens, Gina Peterson, Sharon Eyrich, & Jennifer Paris (College of the Canyons) .