This is my first time long range planning for Kindergarten and it has been a learning process!
There is a challenge in maintaining the integrity of a child-centred, play-based classroom while exploring authentic “inquiries” && staying accountable to planning responsibilities and the curricular outcomes.
Teachers in effective Kindergarten classrooms regularly observe, document, and interpret. Through this process, teachers gather information to guide scaffolding and to plan inquiries.
I began by going through my curriculum outcomes across all subject areas.
From there I grouped outcomes by potential topics or inquiry questions.
For example, the following Health, Science, Social Studies and Arts Education outcomes could be combined to develop an inquiry about Plants or Animals; it can involve but is not limited to – how Indigenous artists represent plants and/or animals, outdoor classroom, stewardship, recycling, gardening, farmers markets, farming, habitats, flowers, trees, life cycles, composting, Mother Nature… If students demonstrate an interest in any of these topics; then we could start to ask questions to address these outcomes, such as, How can we take care of Mother Earth? How does a seed become a plant? Why do dogs have fur?
USCK.1 Develop basic habits to establish healthy relationships with self, others, and the environment.
LTK.1 Examine observable characteristics of plants, animals, and people in their local environment.
RWK.2 Develop and demonstrate stewardship of the environment in daily actions, in an effort to promote balance and harmony.
CHK.2 Recognize a wide variety of arts expressions as creations of First Nations and Métis peoples.
Once exploring and organizing outcomes into potential topics; I searched for read alouds and looked for other resources- like printable mini books && ideas for invitations that compliment these topics. Then I also created a sample inquiry plan for each topic containing these resources. These inquiry plans can be easily adapted as needed and will be a great starting point for planning throughout the year.
Here is a sample inquiry plan I created for the mentioned outcomes.
I put the inquiry topics into a tentative order; however, these long range plans are meant to be a “living” arrangement that reflect the students interests, interpretations and curiosities – so although I see the topic of “traditions and celebrations” fitting well in December when we discuss a variety of winter celebrations, if my students are drawn to study Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations in October, if they are pretending “birthday parties” in the home centre, or if they are sharing experiences about Powwows in the summer – then I may need to demonstrate flexibility and creativity! However, if they aren’t yet asking those questions or sharing their insights about “traditions and celebrations” then I will be prepared to guide them into those areas of learning in December as outlined.