Category: Child Development Lessons

Nursery Rhyme Project

Do you remember learning nursery rhymes as a youngster? Many of us do, but a lot of youth today vaguely remember hearing them, let alone recalling them from memory. It wasn’t until I started teaching child development that I realized the full benefits of nursery rhymes on the developing child. Studies show that nursery rhymes benefit children in a variety of ways. Such benefits include teaching children the art of storytelling, brain development and social skills. In addition, they help lay the foundation for literacy skills such as speech, language and reading. I always discussed nursery rhymes and their benefits in class, but now I have an interactive activity to go along with it thanks to Mary Smith of Manila High School, Arkansas. Check out the wonderful project she has designed around this timeless topic!

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Health Challenges: Reducing Childhood Obesity News Report

As part of my unit on nutrition and young children in my Child Development class, I feel very strongly that childhood obesity needs to be addressed. Students need to know that this is an epidemic that is not going away any time soon. In order to understand the causes, concerns and consequences of this issue, I put together the following lesson and activities to help promote awareness to this pandemic disease in the form of a live news report.

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Toddler Unit: Part 2–Emotions

Emotions! We all have them, we all experience them, especially toddlers! So how can we teach our students about toddler emotions in a fun, creative way? Look below to see my attempt at a fun, interactive lesson plan and activities, including a clip from the hit movie “Inside Out”.

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Toddler Unit: Part 1–The Simulation

Many would describe toddlers as terrible, trying, impatient, busy, curious, picky and emotional! While at times those descriptions may be true…toddlerhood (ages 1-3) is all about being curious and becoming independent. It includes a colorful set of changes (especially emotionally) that differ from any other time in life. In order to fully understand the roller coaster range of abilities and emotions these little people experience, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. The lesson and activities in this unit hopefully give your students better insight as to why these little people react the way they do during this challenging, but fun phase of life!

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The Discipline Game

You’re babysitting or you’re a parent and you’ve got a misbehaving child or children on your hands. What’s the best method to handle the situation; guidance or discipline? Sometimes students have a difficult time knowing the best way to handle a misbehaving child. So, this game was created by Laura Vaske of Linn-Mar HIgh School in Marion, Iowa because she wanted her students to be able to think about when to apply certain techniques in misbehaving situations. She also wanted them to think about more than just HOW to implement the technique and more about WHEN to implement a technique. So, check out her game and give it a try the next time you’re teaching about guidance and discipline!

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

When teaching about environmental birth defects, I like to address a 100% preventable, but 100% irreversible birth defect known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Students learn about FASD by participating in a variety of interactive activities.

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Hands Are for Holding, Not for Hurting Child Abuse Activity

Sometimes a teacher needs a variety of lessons and activities to choose from relating to the topics taught in the curriculum for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s because you just want to freshen up your plans or because the amount of time you have to teach something changes. Sometimes, it’s because new resources become available that you “just have to implement”. Sometimes, it’s because you need variety due to the personalities and dynamics of a class. Regardless of the reason, I thought I would share a new little project that I created and did with my Child Development students based on the child abuse topic: shaken baby syndrome.

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Meeting Baby’s Needs: Post Cards from the Heart

Nearing the end of my unit on infants, I was in search of a creative idea that encompassed all that I had covered in regard to meeting the needs of babies. Below is the project I developed, assigned my students and then crossed my fingers. I’m never sure how a totally new project is going to be received, not to mention what kind of work I will get in return. Needless to say I should not have worried as my students, were not only completely engaged, but turned out some creative, well written post cards!

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MyPlate Fairy Tale Flip Books for Children using Flip Snack

The goal of this assignment was for students to write a story or fairy tale that encouraged young children to eat all of the food groups on MyPlate. I really wanted this to be student driven so I introduced the project, shared an example and let the creativity flow. My role was to walk around, monitor progress, address any technology issues and answer questions as they came up. It was kind of like a flipped classroom, although I’ve never technically done this. Anyway, the results were very impressive and students were highly engaged for the entire project!

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Vygotsky’s Learning Theory & Instructional Videos

The first time I ever heard of Lev Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development, I wondered how I would ever teach it to my child development class and have it make sense. Initially, it was a very simple lesson. Over the years it has evolved, but still I felt it needed something. Then, last year Laurie Lee, a FACS teacher from Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Missouri shared an idea she had on teaching preschool aged children how to do things by having her students create instructional videos. Immediately, the light bulb went off in my head and I knew I could tie this to Lev Vygotsky’s theory. So, below you will find the merging of these two lessons. Laurie says she and her classes loved this activity, both because the videos turned out great and anytime students have an opportunity to work with the preschool children it’s always a lot of fun!

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