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Introduction to DAP

Main Core Tie

Early Childhood Education I
Strand 1 Standard 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills



Marilee Webb


This lesson introduces Developmentally Appropriate Practices. DAP is introduced through a lecture that is developmentally inappropriate, followed by activities that teach the same information in a developmentally appropriate manner. Through this method, they will not only understand what DAP is, but also have experienced it.




• Lecture notes • 3 apples that are red, green and yellow • knife • paint and paper • recipe for applesauce (or applesauce/applejuice) • lemon juice solution • butcher paper up for graffiti • Definition of DAP

Background for Teachers


This lesson includes not only lecturing about what developmentally appropriate practice is, but also allows the students to experience it. The "hands-on" portion of the lesson requires some set up. (gathering together materials, etc) The teacher should also have an understanding of DAP and DIP and the differences between the two. A helpful reference for review is the NAEYC "Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs" revised edition. This book will give you the definitions, examples, and stories needed to lecture successfully.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After this period, students will not only have learned about the importance of Developmentally appropriate experiences, but will also experience the difference between this approach and a lecture, as performed by the teacher

Instructional Procedures

• Intro Activity: Lecture about apples. See the attachment. This is to demonstrate the opposite of DAP. Just read all of the information, and have them pull out a blank sheet of paper and have them take notes. Warn them that they will have a test on it and it will be tough, so they need to really pay attention. Use the most boring voice that you can. Have no interaction with the students. Try to make them bored. • Teach using DAP: See the attachments. 1.Comparisons: Have them turn to a partner and make a list on the back of their paper, comparing all three apples—similarities and differences. Then have a class discussion. 2. Brainstorming: Have the class talk about everything that they know about apples. Diagram that on the board, split into categories. 3. Ways of cutting: Demonstrate cutting an apple. See if they can guess beforehand what happens when you cut one vertically instead of horizontally. 4. Art: Have them each get a piece of paper and stamp using apples. They can cut a slice and then use that shape for the print. 5. Food: Make Caramel Apples or Applesauce (talk to teacher about what works best) or just eat applesauce or drink apple juice. 6. Science: Apples in a lemon juice solution so that they don't turn brown. • Graffiti: Have a huge piece of butcher paper up on the cupboards. Have everyone come up to the front and write down the differences that they see between DAP and just lecturing. Write down how they felt, how fun it was, what their reaction was, etc. • Lecture: put up overhead on what the definition of DAP really is. (see lecture attachment) Have them take notes. • Review

Assessment Plan

Make sure that the last five minutes of class that they know what DAP really means.

Created: 06/24/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018