“Emergent Curriculum” is just what it sounds like. Teachers observe and listen to children for insight into their interests and hypotheses. Projects emerge in the moment as kids make meaningful connections and spark each other’s eager theories.
After reading the book, “Roxaboxen” by Alice McLerran, the first grade class went outdoors to the “Lost Meadow” and created their own world out of rocks, sticks, acorns, and other natural materials. Using shovels, brooms, and hand-made tools (“a measurer”), they added flowers and dreamed up “cookies and stuff” to enrich their imaginative play. Deeply responsive to children’s curiosity, emergent curriculum builds delight, intrinsic motivation, and a long-term love of learning.
The video below illustrates this experience, where students are highly engaged by learning via action.