The Intentional Curriculum: The 3Rs


What are the children exploring in the classroom?  Make a list and be specific about who is doing what.

Why?  What is motivating their interest?  What are they trying to figure out?  Which questions are they asking (verbally or implicitly)?

  • Choose one material or experience from your list (e.g. block building).
  • Try to figure out the children’s underlying interests (e.g. the children appear to enjoy the sound of blocks falling onto the wooden floor).  Use the children’s actual work (e.g. block towers) and/or documentation (e.g. videotape of them block-building) to make your interpretations more authentic. Search for threads that connect this interest to others (e.g. the children also like banging on the garbage can lid to make sounds).
  • Choose an interest to build upon (e.g. sound).


How can we build upon the children’s interest?  Consider:

  • Provocations – How will we inspire further exploration and investigation?  Fill sensory table with objects that make different sounds.
  • Questions – Which questions will we ask the children to further the interest?  What do the blocks sound like when they fall?
  • Environment – Which physical changes can we make in the classroom?  Expand the size of the block area.
  • Documentation – What will we document and how?  Record the conversations of children as they build.
  • Families – How can we involve the children’s families?  Ask if any parents would like to create blocks.

Prioritize and place these possibilities on a weekly schedule.


What happened?  What did not happen?

What will we follow up upon?  What requires further reflection?