Themes and Webbing
Curriculum/Concept webbing experiences; Mind Mapping (or Themes*) are linked by a variety of ideas:
Observations of the children playing and learning – one of the key ways of extending and supporting the children.
Process/Skills based– for example different methods of art and craft can be linked via skills like cutting, brush painting or processes like colour mixing to give children a variety of ways to investigate, practice and explore similar skills and processes.
Knowledge/concept based– Learning experiences linked by Key Learning Area fit into this category such as alphabet books (literacy), working with colour or collage (the Arts), measurement and number etc (numeracy).
Emergent Themes* or Project Work– Children often will find common interest areas and subject matter, these can be developed and explored together for as long as interest is there. (Like dinosaurs, beach, animals, transport etc)
Major events: In most communities and families major events (like birth of siblings or birthdays), cultural celebrations (Chinese New Year, Australia Day, Naidoc Week); religious/common celebrations (Easter, Christmas) and common environmental (seasons of the year) or social events (Mother’s and Father’s Day) draw us all together and are of great interest and excitement to children.
Artificially planning to do these or letting any one theme or concept is not “following the children” nor is forcing ALL children to follow the same interest area, however many of the concepts at the core or the following webs will happen naturally, so these webs can prepare an educator for the directions the play can take (and oh so many directions there are!)
The Thematic Experiences and webbing overviews that will be added to Rose³ represents all of the above categories. Continue to visit the site to see this area grow! Click on the links below to see where the childrens minds can take us!
* (I have thought long and hard about saying the word” theme” as it seems to have become an evil teaching term that conjures up the forced involvement and immersion of the past in product focused activities for the activity sake and not the child’s development…This is not what is meant here! Educators should be able to embrace a theme if the developmental objectives and outcomes for the children are foremost. Many themes are community or family based, such as Mother’s and Father’s Day, Christmas and Easter, so are a great way to involve community into a program as they will have different meaning for everyone. Other topics just seem to eternally interest children like native animals, dinosaurs and insects. Themes do not have to take over the entire program, sometimes all children may be involved at other times only some children will be involved. So I am going to be brave and say Themes and Webbing)