child question

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  1. Observe a child in early childhood (ages 3-6) or middle childhood (ages 7-11) for 30 minutes as they interact with the world around them.
  2. Take detailed notes throughout the 30 minutes period; capture sequences of actions and behaviors to help you write your observation report.
  3. Categorize and discuss observed behaviors and actions through the lens of the developmental domains.


  1. Choose a child (3-12 years old) to observe. Make sure you have parental consent to observe the child for this assignment.
  2. Observe the child playing for at least 30 minutes. Take detailed notes about the sequence of actions and behaviors you see, as they happen.
  3. After the observation is over, review your completed notes and for each action or behavior you observed, determine whether it is a part of the physical, cognitive, or social-emotional domain. A best practice is review and mark your notes using different colored highlighters for each domain. For example, you might highlight all of the actions related to the physical domain in yellow, cognitive in blue, and social-emotional in orange. This helps you to prepare for the next step.
  4. Use your detailed notes to write an observation report (essay format) discussing the child and what you observed related to his/her stage of development in each of the developmental domains. You must use at least 3 terms or concepts from each domain. You will write at least a half page of information for each domain (see formatting directions below).

Observation Report Formatting Requirements

  • All reports must be typed (12-point, single-spaced, Time New Roman font).
  • Your first page must be a Title Page (no page number) with only the required information. In the middle of the page, include:
    • Assignment title, your name, course name, and the date.
  • On the next page, begin your report by introducing your child (5 points)
    • Name of child (can be fictionalized)
    • Age of child
    • Description of the setting and anyone else present
  • After the introduction, you will summarize the observation based on the developmental domains. For each domain, describe at least 3 actions and behaviors you observed. What do they tell you about the child? This should be at least 1/2, but no more than 1 page per domain. Use separate headers for each of the following sections:
    • Physical Domain (10 points)
    • Cognitive Domain (10 points)
    • Psychosocial Domain (10 points)
  • End your paper with a reflection about what you learned during this assignment. This is not what the child learned, but what you are taking away about observation or child development from this assignment. (5 points)
  • Submit your observation notes. (10 points)You do not need to retype your notes. Just scan or take a picture of each page and upload it for credit.

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