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Examples of Projects for Students
Project-based learning (PBL) is a new teaching method centered around the belief that kids can learn better through designing, developing, and completing projects and activities instead of simply remembering and writing about the material. Projects are also a great way to get your class more interested in the material they’re currently studying, as it provides more engagement and hands-on involvement with a topic. Getting students to use what they’ve learned in a practical way is the goal!
There are plenty of other benefits that come with implementing project-based learning lesson plans, such as:
• Promotes critical thinking
• Very student-centered
• Students get to use several skill sets at once
• Flexible and easy to implement with any subject
If this introduction got you interested in project-based learning and you want to get ideas about implementing it for your own class, keep reading. Outlined below are some project-based assessment examples for various subjects, including project-based learning examples for elementary students through high school.
Project-Based Learning Ideas
Project-based learning can be extremely useful when it comes to teaching younger students. Projects are a terrific way to capture their attention since you’re combining the course material with activities, making it seem more like a fun game or social interaction rather than an assignment.
Older students also benefit from projects, as they encourage critical thinking and cross-disciplinary connections. They also help older students prepare for real-world situations where they have to collaborate with others (in college, in the workforce, etc.). Take a look at the project-based learning ideas below:
• Plant and manage a garden to feed the homeless.
• Illustrate the global history of civil rights.
• Make a “day in the life” style documentary about a historical figure or era.
• Develop a plan for surviving on a deserted island, then present it.
• Plan and execute a holiday party in class.
• Create a YouTube channel for the class, where each student has to make a video lesson about a topic they find interesting.
• Do a Kids TED Talk.
• Get your class to start a social media campaign.
• Create a sustainability and recycling program for the classroom一how can the students become more environmentally friendly?
• Make a nutrition guide/pamphlet. Get kids to teach each other about eating right and what foods can benefit our bodies.
The only downside to PBL activities is that they can sometimes be hard to grade. However, there are a few project-based assessment ideas that you can implement in your class. For example, get each student to evaluate their own participation in the project一what knowledge did they have to use, is there anything new they’ve learned, what they liked or didn’t like about the task. Another way to assess if the activity was a success is by getting the students to share their opinions about what their classmates did.
Furthermore, if you want to do several PBL activities throughout the year, it’s helpful to have a project-based learning lesson plan template. This will keep things organized and help you keep track of timelines, due dates, and course material.
Examples of Project-Based Learning Activities
If you work with younger children, especially between the ages of 5 and 10, it can be challenging to get them to pay attention in class and remember the material they’re supposed to learn. This is where project-based learning activities come into play. There are many interactive ideas that you can use in your class to make kids more engaged and dedicated to the learning process.
Here are some examples of project-based learning activities for kindergarten children:
• Create a family tree.
For this one, students will have to work with their parents and take a deep dive into their family’s history. It’s a fun, family-friendly project that gives kids a chance to learn more about their ancestors and connect with their parents.
• Grow a plant.
Taking care of something alive is always a great way to teach kids about responsibility. Along with that, it gives them a way to learn about plants一how they grow, what they need to be able to grow, and how humans can nurture them. Use a tracking calendar so that each student can track their own plant’s growth and give their inputs on what they’re observing each week.
• Design an app.
Nowadays, plenty of kid-friendly software development programs allow children to design their own video games or applications. It’s a fun way to get your class to learn about technology and programming while also tapping into their creativity and imagination.
Here’s a project-based learning lesson plan example for growing a plant:
• Day 1: Explain the project to the students and remind them to come prepared the next day.
• Day 2: Hand out the necessary materials and plant seeds together as a class.
• Day 3: Have the students write down any observations and what they did that day to help their plant grow. (Ex: The dirt is dry/wet. I watered the planted seed and left the pot in the sun.)
• Days 4 to 30: Have the students track their plant’s progress and what they did with the plant each day.
• Day 31: Have the students look at their notes and conclude what their plants need to survive and thrive. Let them take the plants home.
Project-Based Learning Activities for English
Project-based learning activities for English can be especially beneficial for older students. Involved writing/English projects can get a class to start critically thinking about ongoing social and political issues and the literature they are currently studying.
If you’re looking for some project-based learning ideas for high school English, then check out the list below:
• Try the Six-Word Memoir Format.
Six In Schools is a project bourne out of the Six-Word Memoir project and can be a fun and effective project for students to exercise their creativity within the restraint of just six words.
• Get your class to analyze the news.
Challenge your students to consider different news stories and think about the sources of information being used. Part of this project can include making a presentation about the characteristics of disingenuous media stories and their effect on modern-day society.
• Challenge students to come up with a potential solution for an environmental problem.
For example, get your students to consider the climate change crisis and work in a group to develop a creative solution. Have them work on a well fleshed-out proposal for implementing this solution, and then have them present it.
• Start a class blog.
Get the class to start their own online blog, where each week, a different student has to write a piece about any topic they find interesting.
• Write to a famous politician.
Challenge your students to pick a politician and write a letter to them. The subject matter can relate to a social or political issue that is important to them. Send the letters!
• Create a screenplay.
Divide the class into several groups and let each one write a script or screenplay in an assigned genre. The group can act it out after they have completed it.
These five project-based learning ideas for writing and English can help older students improve their writing skills and have fun while doing so. These activities will also help students learn about the guidelines for different types of writing, such as formal wiring, creative writing, critical pieces, etc.
Project-Based Learning in Science Education
A project-based science curriculum is a great way to teach STEM subjects. Experiments are a crucial part of science, and younger students can get a head start on learning about the scientific method with the help of projects. In addition, project-based learning in science education helps students see how their learning material translates to real life. Here are some mid-level project ideas for science that you can try out with your class:
• Growing plants in varying conditions.
This idea was already mentioned above, but applying different conditions to different plants can make this project suitable for slightly older students. You can have students make hypotheses about which plant will grow the fastest and why, and walk them through the scientific method during the different stages of the project.
• LEGO projects.
Building complex LEGO projects is a terrific way to introduce children to engineering. There are plenty of LEGO sets that give kids a chance to create complex systems such as engines.
• Building a robot.
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to make a robot. One is through online automation programs that allow kids to create robots that mimic the actions of an actual human; another is through “build your own robot DIY kits” that guide kids as they create miniature robots.
There are near endless project-based learning examples in science because almost anything can be made into an experiment or project if you apply the scientific method. Assigning fun and fresh projects is an excellent way of getting students of all ages interested in the world of science.
Virtual Project-Based Learning Ideas
If you’re a teacher, you know first-hand how challenging it can be to teach online during the pandemic, especially if you’re dealing with younger students. Kids naturally get more easily distracted while at home, and it’s more challenging to cultivate interest in a subject through a screen. Implementing project-based activities is a must when trying to engage students in a virtual setting. They give students something to focus on and collaborate on with their peers.
Students might appreciate more social activities where they have to work in pairs or groups since being stuck at home already makes them feel isolated. Some examples of virtual project-based learning ideas include designing online tools and apps, creating fun presentations on Google Slides, using AI tools to create art and music, and sharing writing prompts/poem templates in discussion rooms.