The Storybook Journey
Purple Moon utilizes the Storybook Journey Curriculum to engage your child in the journey that is life! The Storybook Journey is an emergent curriculum created by Boulder teacher Sue McCord. It is a learning system that allows children’s interests to guide topics of study through the lens of storybooks, leading to maximum child engagement. Best of all, it encourages children to fall in love with the magic of literature.
Careful observation of children and their topics of pretend play, discussion, and interests allow teachers to choose a book to focus on long-term. The group will then read together, perform, and expand the story according to the children’s interests to all learning areas: dramatic play, motor development, sensory, math, music and movement, science, and artistic expression.
For example, an examination of the book Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, could take the children on a study of different types of owls, feathers, owl calls, other birds, winter, temperature, warm clothes, shadows and light, darkness, quiet, family relationships, nocturnal animals, and animal tracks in the snow. We would have related materials available for investigation and experimentation in all areas of our environment. We might invite an expert on owls or nocturnal creatures to speak with the children. We might create a small winter wooded habitat for creative and imaginative play for the children to recreate the story. We would create owl masks and practice our owl calls and count pine cones or sort feathers. We would take the learning as far as the children are still interested in going, and then as it winds down, we would choose a new book based off of children’s interests.
Learning is maximized as teachers encourage further investigations, experimentation, creativity, and introduce new learning opportunities.
Sue McCord summarizes the curriculum in the following statement: “The Storybook Journey encourages the child to be an active agent and participant in life. It provides a vehicle for the child’s innate and unquenchable drive to understand the world and gain freedom and competence in it. It entices the child to learn to manage feelings and affective response to a sometimes overwhelming and scary world…it plants the seeds of desire to be a “reader” in the children who relive the story through play.”
Art Studio in Each Classroom
Purple Moon gives each child the open opportunity to create with multiple and varied materials available to kids each and every day. We believe that children communicate in many diverse ways- not only through language. We value art for the process, not the product. Some children may find it easier to convey feelings and meaning through paint, sculpture, or pastels. Art is one way to allow children to express themselves through different mediums.