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Learning Plan (Early Childhood)

Topic: Sensory Play/ Drama Date: 12 May 2014 Age group: 3-4 Years
Title of experience: Magic Play dough
Links to the Early Years
Learning Framework:
Outcome 1. Children have a strong sense of
Outcome 3. Children have a strong sense of
Oucome 4. Children are confident and involved
Oucome 5. Children are effective communicators.
being explored:
Respectful relationships
Learning through play
Melting ice
Different shapes, sizes and numbers
Vocabulary, Communication
Rationale: Why did you choose this particular experience? (Community event, child/teacher/family interest, identified as missing from curriculum etc.)

During the first week of my placement I observed that the children really enjoy sensory play and especially play dough. They also love to dance and request
some dancing time nearly every day.

Child/childrens background knowledge: What is your starting point what does the child/children already know, what have they done before, how does
this experience connect to or build on their existing knowledge/interests?

Being a Reggio Emilia based kindergarten the children are very familiar with clay and play dough, as this is part of the philosophy. They also have a musical
movement lesson each week and are familiar with drama play to music. This experience will connect both these interests.
Learning objectives: What will the child/children learn?

Outcome 1: Creative self-expression. Respond to ideas and suggestions from others.

Outcome 2: Children are playful and respond positively to others, reaching out for company and friendship.

Outcome 3: Children combine gross and fine motor movement and balance to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity including dance, creative
movement and drama.

Outcome 4: Children use materials with confidence. Use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas. Explore ideas and theories using imagination,
creativity and play.

Outcome 5: Communicate ideas through art. Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes. Use language and
representations from play, music and art to share and project meaning.

Teacher focus/intentionality: What areas will you concentrate on? e.g. teaching strategies, EYLF practice principles, interests, equity.

I will be concentrating on the childrens interests and skills. Depending on how much they enjoy being play dough I will let them dance and pretend to be
play dough for a short or longer period of time. Through conversation and open-ended questions like What is magic, What shapes do you know. I will
record childrens existing knowledge and through scaffolding and examples extend their knowledge. For example I might have to demonstrate a few shapes
for the children to be able to make up shapes successfully.

Environment and resources: What resources and materials will you need to have collected? Where will the experience take place? Considerations for time,
space and teacher support? How will the environment be prepared?

Large open space (big carpet). CD Player and music. Natural play dough with a little food colouring in the middle, table, cookie cutters, rolling pins, material to
decorate play dough (to extend the play experience after the magic has been discovered).

Assessment strategies: How will you identify what the child/children have learnt and how will you record this?

I will be recording the childrens answers and my observations by writing them down, taking pictures of the shapes the children are making with their bodies
and observing how they interact with each other throughout the whole experience.


1. Children can position their bodies in the different shapes and movements.
2. Children work safely and thoughtfully with each other.
3. Observation of verbal skills, imagination and creativity.
4. Are the children sharing and respectful of other childrens ideas?
5. Are the children responding positively to others?

Plan for all stages
of the experience
(Full day?
Specific time?
e.g. 12-1pm)
Pre-service teachers actions
What will you do during this time?
What prompting questions might you need to prepare?
How might you assess and record learning?
How will you cater for individual differences?
Child actions/tasks
What will the children be doing during this time?

Stage 1
How will you
introduce the
and engage the
interest of the

Discuss the story line of the Magic play dough,
based on the book Dance upon a time: movement
stories for the feet and tongue (Tanya Batt 2004).

Every afternoon the teacher packs away the play
dough and tidies up the room. When the teacher and
the children go home the play dough wakes up.

Observe which children seem interested in the
activity and give them the option to be in the first
group to do the activity. Offer the activity to every

Sitting in a circle and listening to the storyline.

Stage 2
Main body
Describe the
experience: what will
children be doing?
How will concepts/
issues be explored?
List at least three
focus questions
relating your learning
objectives to be
asked of the children.

Ask the children what shapes they think play dough
would make? What movements can magic play
dough do? The teacher can join in with the children
making shapes and then move around the room
commenting on the shapes using descriptive
language. Use music to support dancing and

Bring the children over to the play dough table and
give each of them a ball of white play dough. Let the
children work the play dough as they usually would
and have a conversation about how you believe that
this play dough is magical and special. Watch and
record the wonder and excitement on their faces
when the white play dough suddenly turns into
different colours. Teacher to ask questions such as:
What is magic?, How did the colour get into the
play dough?

Give the children time to experience the play dough
and extend the learning experience by adding cookie
cutters, sticks, rollers and so on.

The children are going to pretend to be the magic play dough
forming different shapes with their bodies. The children can
experiment with different movements: dancing, rolling, stretching
or bouncing play dough.

Each child will have a chance to play with the apparently white
play dough. After a while the colours will appear and children
can experiment and work with the play dough as they wish.

Stage 3:
How will you conclude
the experience?
Reflect on learning
with children?
How will you
encourage a smooth
transition to the next

Generally children will indicate when they had
enough of the experience and once they have
worked with the play dough for a while, some might
decide to do something else. Other children might
get interested and take over to play with the magic
play dough, even though they didnt start the activity
from the beginning.

Once everyone has finished playing, children go and wash their
hands as full of colour. Children to help tidy up area.

Evaluation and self reflection: Did your experience meet your learning objectives? Why/ why not? What aspects of the experience worked most effectively?
What aspects could be improved and how could they be improved? e.g. flow, resources, teaching strategies, environment, assessment of learning.

It was a three-year-old kindergarten group with a very short attention span. The children were interested in making shapes for a little while but then found it
much more interesting and fun to be jumping play dough. There was also a bit distraction in the room, as other children were playing in different areas and
some children decided to leave the activity midway.

The sensory play was definitely their strength and all the children involved stayed for a long time and really enjoyed playing with the play dough. Some
extended the experience and started making cookies out of the dough, dividing it into smaller pieces, counting how many they have and decorating each
cookie individually.

Follow-up: Are there any areas that you would like to follow up on? Emerging interests/concepts to explore further?

Musical movement activities to enhance the childrens attention spam and body control.

Mentor teacher comments:
Rebecca monitored the childrens engagement throughout the activity and
adjusted it depending on the needs of the children very well. She showed
strong knowledge of the EYLF and her experience reflected the interests
and strengths of the children. All in all a very positive first learning
Pre-service teacher final reflection:
I was a little apprehensive at first, as this was my first learning experience, but
after the first few minutes really settled in and enjoyed seeing the children
engage in the activity. They got really focused and I could see how they
extended their knowledge by practising different shapes, discussed their
thoughts about the activity and started extending the play without my input.