The dolls took on a life of their own in a way and the children made sure they were a part of every piece of the daily life. It only made sense to the children for the dolls to have a birthday celebration.
Many believe that the purpose of education is to inspire and support a better form of human beings.
Education should help all people live morally, ethically, peacefully, and productively together in a democratic society.
If we believe this, then shouldn’t our curriculum extend beyond content areas?
This is not to imply that schools should not address content. There was mathematical content, scientific content, language arts content, etc. integrated throughout this investigation.
One teacher made tiny books for the children to read to their baby dolls. The teachers predicted that reading to the dolls could offer another way for the children to care for them.
As the children’s language developed, the teachers documented the words they were saying. The books were created by pairing this newly emerging language, words we knew the children could say, with pictures of those words. This allowed the children to take full responsibility for reading to the dolls, which, we feel, can help them develop self-confidence in their ability to read at a very young age.
The party preparations were a collaborative effort.
Parents, grandparents, and siblings helped to make food and gather party supplies.
News of the baby doll birthday party spread throughout the school, and other teachers and classes of children offered to help with the preparations.
One of the prekindergarten classes made birthday banners and mini baby-sized cookies for the party. One of the school directors had a cake made with a photo of all of the babies imprinted on top.
The party was attended by children, siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers, and directors. During this night, the children cared for their dolls and for one another. All reflected on how the work with the dolls had unfolded throughout the year.