Everything Is Curriculum – Even Popcorn!!!
Education is a big deal in my life. And one of my favorite learning models is based on Emergent Curriculum!!! Children are full participants in the Emergent Curriculum, and get to direct learning along their own lines of interest. Today, the children’s focus was on of all things – Popcorn!!!
Today, our young people had an engaging conversation about what to make for snack time. Since every experience is a learning opportunity, I decided to have some fun!!!
The children perused my Pinterest page “Yum” so we could choose a delicious snack. A popcorn recipe got everyone’s vote, and we were off to the kitchen!!!
We popped the plain corn kernels in a plain brown paper bag and drizzled the butter and Starbucks caramel syrup on top. Suddenly, one of the children explained “Let’s put it on Pinterest!!!”
And here it is! An article about the process of a Emergent Curriculum leading up to the final process of posting a recipe pin on Pinterest!
The children carefully chose a tiny tea cup as the container for the caramel popcorn. We took the pictures with my cell phone, forwarded it to email, and downloaded into a graphics program.
What we learned today was tremendous!
The science of popping corn …
A healthy popping method that does not involve oil …
Following directions …
Planning a photo shoot …
Laying out the food for the photo …
Collaborating to create a Pinterest pin …
And best of all … chatting and laughing while we all enjoyed our snack!!!
If I was in more of a serious mood, we could easily have
1) Compared volume of 100 pre-popped kernels versus 100 popped kernels.
2) Explored the history of popping corn, and cultures that have eaten popcorn over the years.
3) Created a chart about how microwaves heat food
4) Compiled a list of literature about popcorn
And the list continues.
Parents who homeschool and who practice attachment parenting will all enjoy this new approach to learning and development. When children participate in creating their own lesson plans, they are more engaged and focused.
The more fully a child engages in learning, the more brain centers are stimulated during the educational activity. More brain centers lead to deeper learning and greater ease integrating that knowledge with other information in the future.
At this point, I must confess. Even though I am a certified teacher with a masters degree in exceptional student education, I still love my years home schooling and offering alternative educational services.
The home school parents I have known and loved are all dedicated, passionate about their children’s education, and philosophically committed to raising children in a socially and developmentally appropriate environment.
So, does a popcorn project seem underwhelming? Ask my grandson … who is jumping up and down about uploading the pin onto Pinterest!!!
Darleen Claire is a Parenting Expert with a background in Exceptional Student Education, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Brain-Based strategies to promote learning and development.