Here is an example of planning, following the children's interests, leading to a rich integrated curriculum covering a range of topics including: literature, history, geography, public speaking, and writing.
We started the day by finishing the book about Nellie Bly by Joan Blos. The class discussed some of the modes of transportation Nellie used on her trip around the world in 1889. Then we unrolled maps of the United States and the world.
One child ask if he could show on the map a trip he had taken out west. Children started raising their hands to tell about trips they had taken. They pointed out places on the map they had visited, and told about transportation they had used, and how long it took them to get to their destinations.
The children were so excited to tell their stories that I decided to extend the activity with a writing project. Each child wrote about a trip they had taken, or imagined taking.
Here are a few examples of the writing.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, as part of our author study, I was trying to set up a trip to U-M's Special Collections Library. The trip will be this Friday morning. As we see some of the books by Joan Blos we will learn about a