Early YearsEducationPrimary

The Year 1 Post Office and the Joy of Emergent Curriculum

What is Emergent Curriculum? 

Emergent curriculum is an approach to education that centers around the interests, questions, and experiences of the learners. Unlike traditional pre-planned curricula, emergent curriculum evolves organically based on the needs and curiosities of the children.

It allows for teachers to be flexible, observe children’s interests, and adapt the learning environment accordingly. The learning experiences emerge from the daily interactions and activities, allowing children to take an active role in shaping their educational journey. This approach recognizes that meaningful learning occurs when it matches what each student needs and likes. It makes education more interesting and relevant for the child.

In Year 1, an example of emergent curriculum occurred in November when a child enthusiastically shared that his sister had taught him how to make envelopes. Motivated to share this newfound skill, he spent part of the next few mornings teaching other children how to create envelopes.

During one of these impromptu sessions, the conversation naturally turned to the joy of receiving letters and cards in the mail, sparking enthusiasm among the children. Inspired by this shared interest, we collectively decided to begin a project to create classroom mailboxes.

Before diving into the mailbox project, we read two books about magical mailboxes and explored pictures of creative mailboxes for inspiration. The children then created “blueprints” for their personalized mailboxes and enthusiastically began building them.

To complete the project, we established a mail station in the classroom. This station includes envelope templates, writing paper for messages, and kindness hearts to cut out and write names on. This hands-on endeavor not only embraced the children’s interests but also nurtured creativity and communication skills in a captivating and interactive way.

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