Course Feature: Child Development


Kiley Minnick, Contributor

Child Development is taught by Mrs. Orange. We asked her a few questions about the course, and she shared the following information with us.

What is the purpose of this class?

Child Development is a year long course for 10th-12th graders.  There are many units covered during this course.  Students work on literacy development at the very beginning of the course and then once per week throughout the entire school year.  They work with preschoolers reading them books and providing activities to spark interest in reading for younger children.  Students also work with infant simulators that offer a real-life experience,  While we work with simulators, we address substance abuse education, prenatal education, childcare skills, infant safety, and shaken baby syndrome.  The simulators help  cover crucial aspects of infant care.  Students also learn about children and gain skills and understanding for interacting with children.  The course also focuses on parenting and building strong families.  Pregnancy and childbirth is also studied where students learn various stages of baby development.  Some other topics include preparing for birth, the baby’s arrival, physical development of infants, and child health and safety.  Infant CPR is also taught during this course. In order for students to truly understand what pregnancy is like, they each wear the “Empathy Belly”, a pregnancy simulation for a short period of time.

What made you want to start this class?

This class was already part of the curriculum.

What kind of assignments and projects do students in the class have to complete?

There are many projects during the course.  Students are assigned dates to prepare a mini lesson for preschoolers and they do that throughout the entire year.  Students also take the infant simulators one weekend where they are solely responsible for parenting the baby.  They complete a packet that includes an essay and various questions related to their experiences as moms.  During every unit, there are projects involved.  For example, during our current unit, students will develop a baby budget and design a nursery.  There are many great learning experiences through the projects we complete each unit.

Do you have plans to add any new projects or assignments to the class later on?

Every year, I try to add new and exciting projects to help students grasp as much as they can about child development.  This year was the first to include CPR.  Students worked with infant simulators to learn how to resuscitate.  I am so excited that we currently house a preschool at our high school so we are now able to work with preschoolers every single week to focus on literacy.  Next year, our child development classes will be offered in the morning and afternoon so that they correlate with the preschool classes.  We will be able to continue to work with them on a weekly basis.


What is your favorite part of the class?

I really enjoy every aspect of the class.  It’s a joy to see my students work hand in hand with preschoolers.  I think it’s a great opportunity for them.  It’s also neat to see them wear the empathy belly and discuss all the pros and cons of pregnancy.  I enjoy getting to teach students skills with the infant simulators.  It’s a really interesting class with lots of fun activities happening all the time.  Students have a lot of input in the class as well and I have incorporated many activities and projects from student input throughout the past few years.

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