| The developmental goal of the Fours curriculum is to foster a joy for learning through individual and collaborative discovery. At this age, children are egocentric and have an innate curiosity that drives them to investigate their world. Through imaginative play and work with open-ended materials, they take their real-world experiences and recreate them together in the classroom. This helps them interpret their world, acknowledge other points of view, and actively participate in their environment. Their play is their work and their work is their play. |
In the spring, the Fours social studies curriculum emerges from the students’ interests. For example, one year the Fours embarked on a study of stores. Students visited an oatmeal store where they interviewed the owner and explored the shop, taking notes of their observations.
When they returned to the classroom, they reflected on their experience by block building and creating a puppet show in groups. One group of students surveyed their classmates on their oatmeal topping preferences and created a graph to illustrate the results.
By creating the puppet show, the Fours learn to collaborate and take turns, which fosters a sense of citizenship. They have the experience of both sharing their own creative ideas and listening to others’ ideas. Topics that are explored in the curriculum are also expanded upon in classes taught by specialists in science, math, Spanish and the arts. For example, the Fours embrace autumn by collecting leaves at a local park.
Soon after this trip, the children use their bodies to express concepts of falling, spiraling and floating in their movement class. Here, the Fours learn to appreciate individual choice and to creatively interpret their experience on the trip. (Insert photo of Fours at Movement doing leaf exploration) By applying their learning to their play activities, students are given myriad opportunities to combine citizenship and creativity.