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Nature-Based Emergent Curriculum: The Power of Place for Planning

Thursday, May 16, 2024 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Nature-Based Emergent Curriculum: The Power of Place for Planning

Presented by Rachel Larimore, Ph.D., Chief Visionary, Samara Early Learning
Moderated by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, Vice President for Professional Learning, Kaplan Early Learning Company

Sponsored by Kaplan Early Learning Company

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Early education program leaders around the world are becoming more enthusiastic about nature-based learning. Many educators find themselves wanting to jump in wholeheartedly. Yet, it’s not always clear where to start or what even counts as “nature.” When planning, we can consider how we bring nature inside, how we accomplish curricular goals outside, and how we connect children’s learning across the three spaces of the Inside, Outside, and Beyond.

This edWebinar first explores the fundamental principles of the nature-based approach. Then, Dr. Rachel Larimore explores how we can live these principles in day-to-day teaching practices—especially if the goal is an emergent curriculum rooted in play and children’s interests. By focusing on the seasonal events that occur in our local place in the world, we can intentionally integrate nature into teaching practice—no matter our current situation. This session addresses the theory and specific strategies related to:

  • Identifying predictable natural and cultural events from year to year
  • Preparing the physical environment to facilitate nature play
  • Making more intentional connections between outdoor and indoor learning
  • Preparing teacher-led activities that build off of children’s experiences and interests

Viewers leave this edWebinar with tangible ideas that can be implemented the next day as well as some ideas that can be worked toward into the future. This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-3 teachers and school leaders.

Rachel A. Larimore

About the Presenter

Rachel A. Larimore, Ph.D. is an educator, consultant, speaker, researcher, and author. Her work focuses on the intentional integration of nature to support young children’s holistic development by learning with nature to expand their worlds and live rich, full lives. She has written multiple books including Establishing a Nature-Based Preschool; Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning; and the forthcoming Evaluating Natureness: Measuring the Quality of Nature-Based Classrooms in Pre-K Through 3rd Grade. Dr. Larimore is the founder and Chief Visionary of Samara Early Learning, an organization focused on helping early childhood educators start nature-based schools or add nature-based approaches into their existing programs. Prior to founding Samara, she spent more than a decade starting and directing one of the first nature-based preschools in the United States.

Laura Wilhelm

About the Moderator

As the Vice President for Professional Learning at Kaplan, Laura Wilhelm, Ed.D. draws on decades of experience teaching young children and early childhood professionals, starting with toddlers in the 1980s, followed by PreK-third grade in urban and suburban schools, and as a university lab school director. Since earning her doctorate in ECE curriculum and instruction in 1999, she has served as a program director, full professor, national validator for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and a site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Programs (CAEP). She enjoys planning professional development, speaking at conferences, leading study tours, visiting early education programs around the world, and returning home to her family. She is the author of The Neglected Child: How to Recognize, Respond, and Prevent (2013); Treasure Baskets: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers (2017); Enticing Environments for People Under Three (2021); and Living Loose Parts: Creatures of Curiosity (coming in 2024), all from Gryphon House.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Classroom Management for Early Learning community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Kaplan Early Learning CompanyFor more than 50 years, Kaplan Early Learning Company has been a champion for play. From our research-based curricula to enriching classroom environments and innovative technology solutions, Kaplan’s products and services inspire a lifelong love of learning in children and educators. We are architects of learning good and defenders of the imagination. We live for inseparable bonds and open minds. We encourage the eager and inspire the inspirers. We transform lives through play.

Kaplan Early Learning Company

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