Child Development Lesson 5

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Lesson 5 Assignment: Part 1: Project One Portfolio

Project One Portfolio: Developing a Space for Early Childhood Learning and Growth-Part One (of Three): Map and Essay on Equipping the Environment to Care for Bodies, Nutrition, Hygiene and Movement

Assignment Overview

This is where you create part one of your three-part portfolio. This portion of the portfolio (a map and a paper) will count as your usual lesson assignment. You will turn in the assignment which your instructor will return with comments. After you correct it, you will submit it as part of the portfolio in later lessons.

Remember that you will need to revise this assignment before you submit it with the components that we will develop in Lesson 6 and Lesson 7. You will turn in the portfolio in Lesson 7.

This three-part assignment asks you to first design a map of a child care environment that supports the nutritional, hygienic and movement-based needs of young children. Then, you will write a paper that discusses the child care environment you designed, the reasoning behind your design choices, and the implications of this type of child care setting.


  • One “map” of an ideal early childhood care environment (constructed by the student by hand or with computer software, scanned and submitted with the discussion component).
  • One 3-4 page (750-1000 word) discussion of the details of your child care environment design. Use word processing software.

Assignment Details

Perform the following tasks:

Step 1: Design a “map” of an ideal early childhood care environment. Drawing on knowledge gained through Lesson 5 materials, design a “map” of an early childhood care environment that supports the following aspects of physical development in early childhood:

  • Body growth
  • Motor development
  • Nutritional needs
  • Sleep needs
  • Hygiene needs
  • Special physical needs
  • Safety

Your map should include both indoor and outdoor environmental components. Your map should also provide those who see it with enough detail to understand both the overall physical design of the space and many of the smaller components (e.g. equipment, centers, toys, etc.) that you believe provide developmentally appropriate practices.

Step 2: Develop a detailed description of your map.

Write an essay that guides your audience through the child care environment map that you designed. As you discuss each component of the map, describe both the “what” (the actual elements that the map features) and the “why” (why you chose to include each piece of the map in this ideal, hypothetical classroom). The “why” is most important here, as the ability to discuss and defend your design choices will reflect your understanding of physical developmental needs in early childhood and what addressing these needs looks like in practice. You are expected to support all of your design choices with specific information from Lesson 5 materials and any other research you choose to conduct. Please cite all sources appropriately in your paper.

Consider the following questions as you develop your paper:

  • What design choices did you make and why?
  • How do your specific choices correspond with a researched understanding of the physical development of young children?
  • What details from course materials and any outside research support your design choices?

After you have provided a detailed, supported, critical description of your map, discuss the implications or importance of the child care setting you developed as a whole.

Consider the following questions as you conclude your paper:

  • Why is this type of child care environment important?
  • What might this environment provide for the children who learn and play in it?
  • What might this environment communicate to parents, teachers, and children who spend their time in it?