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 Page- Instructions for Writing Activity Plans (read first)

What is the difference between an activity plan and a lesson plan? 

lesson plan is what is planned for a unit of study with one experience building on another to explore the concepts in the unit over time.

An activity plan is the planning, execution, and evaluation of a single activity.  A lesson plan could have several activity plans within it.

To write an activity plan, one first must have an activity.  There are several variables in choosing activities for a group of children at any given time.

1.  Is the activity age appropriate and developmentally appropriate practice?  Activities must be age appropriate for the predominant reason of insuring younger children are not being asked to use materials which could pose a safety hazard. 

Example:  Offering marble painting to 18 month old children.  The children at this age still put things in their mouths as a way to explore them.  A marble could be a choking hazard for a small child.  An alternative activity that is safe and offers the same rolling painting experience might be to paint with golf balls.

Activities must be developmentally appropriate because we want to provide activities that are not so simple that children would find them to be boring.  However, we also want to provide activities that are within the reach of the children’s learning capacity so as not to cause frustration, failure, and loss of self-esteem and instead encourage more complex thinking skills.  

2.  Other variables to consider:

Would this activity be interesting to these children?  How do I know?  Did I observe a theme in children’s play that is incorporated into this activity?  Can I tie it in to concepts and skills they are already practicing or developing?  Would the children want to do this activity and why?  Is this activity hands-on and playful? Is the child’s play directed by adults or self-directed?  These questions are usually answered through observation of children’s play activity and current themes of interest.


Writing the Activity Plan- Directions…….  FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS

Watch this video:

So the first thing to write on your activity plan are answers that would indicate the Appropriateness of the Activity you are planning for the group.

Identify the age of the children in the group (2 yr olds)  Identify the number of children in the group.  What would be the best format for children to do this activity?  Would it be a large or whole group activity? 

An example of this would be a morning meeting in which the children sit on the rug together to greet and welcome each other through song and rhyme and begin to plan their day. 

Maybe this activity would best be completed in a center with a small number of children participating at a time.  For instance, allowing four children at a time to easel paint.  There are two easels with painting ability on both sides of the easel, therefore, four children could be painting at the same time. 

Perhaps this activity would be better served if the children worked on it individually, for instance, a child working on a file folder game at a table who is matching the patterns of heart cards to the same pattern of hearts on the gameboard (file folder).  This activity will be the basis of the rest of the examples shown in these directions.

Then, identify which learning center or curriculum area this activity would best belong.  Many activities have multi-learning benefits, however, because of the way these materials are being presented and the expected learning outcomes, in which curriculum area would it be classified:  Art, Science, Math, Literature/Literacy, etc.?

Next, what is the Name of the Activity and offer a Brief Description.

It is important that individual activities have individual names for organizational purposes.  If your art activity was called simply, painting, how would you know specifically how the children were painting, what materials are involved, and the skills benefits.  It is too general of a name because children do a lot of painting at school.  What identifies this particular painting activity?  What type of paint are they using?  What are the materials being used?  By calling the activity Painting with String and Yarn, one would be able to know what the children will do through the title.  Then to add a bit more understanding of the activity, write a brief description of the activity. 

For example:  The children will paint with tempera paint on construction paper using various sizes and widths of string and yarn.  (This is it.  You do not have to give more project details in this section.)

The Child Outcomes/Objectives for the Activity.

This section is very important since you will be identifying what  skills, concepts, awareness, or attitudes the children may develop by doing/participating in the activity.  Furthermore, the way in which a child interacts with the skill, concept, awareness, or attitude must be observable to be measured for effectiveness.  We do not use the word “learn” or any other word with a similar meaning, because we can not actually see or hear someone learn.  Therefore, objectives/outcomes of activities must be constructed with specific wording. 

By participating in (or doing) this activity, the child will:                                    (This sentence will always begin objectives/outcomes)

  • (Blooms Taxonomy verb)     specific outcome
  • (Blooms Taxonomy verb)     specific outcome

Then you will list which exact skills, concepts, attitude, or awareness is possible and what in this aspect of the activity does it occur?

Remember, we cannot measure things that we cannot see or hear, therefore, an observable action must begin the descriptive parts of the objectives/outcomes.  A tool called Bloom’s Taxonomy, lists many verbs that provide observable actions which indicate the practice, exposure, creation, etc. of concepts, skills, attitudes, and awareness.


By participating in this activity, the child will:

  • match the patterns on heart cards to identical patterned hearts on the file folder game board.
  • order the cards by placing the patterned heart card on top of the matching heart on the file folder game board.

The verbs used here are from Bloom’s Taxonomy, the first column which demonstrates knowledge.

Space and Materials Needed:

This is self-explanatory.  Which indoor or outdoor space will be used for this activity and list everything that will be needed to do this activity including equipment and materials.  


-inside the classroom

-a table with a chair set away from active play

-Patterned Heart Matching File Folder Game


These are a step-by-step description of the activity.  Order the steps and number them from what is done first through last.  Be specific.

1.  Open Patterned Heart Matching File Folder Game and place on child’s table.

2.  Pull out and scatter next to the game board the matching patterned heart cards.

3.  Leave for open exploration and use.  Check in occasionally to ask questions to extend the child’s use to include more complex thinking skills. 


Establish necessary limits for behavior during the activity.  Anticipate problems that could arise from this activity and consider ways to handle them.  Note:  This is not to control how the child participates in the activity.  It is to maximize the benefits from the play.  An example of a bad guideline would be:  child must sit in chair at the table to play the game.  This guideline implies limitation for child to play game standing next to table.  Why do we need this restriction?

Good Example:

Child might take a heart card away from the table.  Remind the child that the all the games pieces need to stay together so the next person can play the game.  Remind the child that she may continue playing if she would like.

Assessment and Follow Up Strategies:

Were the child outcomes met?  How were they met or not.  What worked well with the activity and what didn’t work?

How could this activity be changed to make it more effective or appropriate?

What activities could I offer that would build on the skills and concepts from this activity?


Children individually used the File Folder Game by sitting at the table and matching the heart cards to the gameboard.  Children examined the pattern on the heart on the card, then scanned the gameboard until they found the matching heart.  Children would place the heart card on the gameboard on top of the corresponding heart.

This activity gave children some alone time to sit and think independently.  I added an envelope to the game to store the cards in so they would not get separated from the gameboard.

A follow up activity might be to offer art materials that have many similar small items and glue and suggest the children create their own patterns with their art


So basically your are making an activity based on this video for 2 year old children. 

Fill out the attachment template page 2 with all information 

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