Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherfan, Apr 8, 2008.
Apr 8, 2008
What is it and how is it used? Any one have any sample lessons?
Is this the same as project approach? This is the idea that a lesson is based on children's interest. Ex child looks outside and see a cat the child wants to know more about cats and the teacher develops a lesson plan to help the childs interest. The do research and lessons.
I do what I would consider project based learning. My curriculum is not planned ahead of time (except for our very first unit as the school year begins) and I use the interests of the kids to create the curriculum (making sure specific skills are taught during the year as well based on our school continua.)
It's flexible and relates to the "real world" in some way OR is driven by what the students are interested in learning.
Right now my students are preparing to restore some forested areas on our campus that have been infested with ivy and replacing it with native plants. This actually was THEIR idea. I had used that plot of land for some field science earlier in the year, and it came up that ivy shouldn't be there... which is true. We raised money this year to buy plants and tools. We will start our restoration project after the break (next week.) This will include lots of research of native plants. I also think we will make some kind of book about it.
I'm not sure you can find sample lessons, necessarily. It really needs to come from what's around. Older students at our school were studying Africa this year and learned about the war in Darfur in the news. They ended up meeting some refugees and did a big project about refugees... but this only happened because it's a current issue.
My class is OBSESSED with the elections. I wouldn't teach the election process unless it was an election year, or the kids seemed to have an interest in it. We've been studying the elections for awhile, and it has led to US history (particularly the revolutionary war and founding fathers.)
Anyway, I basically just take what they are talking about, and if I think it will go somewhere we study it.
Other schools that do project based learning (like ELOB schools) plan the whole year in advance with an essential question, like "where does our water come from?" They would spend the whole year studying water, and probably have a culminating project like cleaning up a marsh land, or doing something with the watershed.. I ST in a school like this and they do AMAZING projects. I think this model, and what I do would both be considered project based learning. But we call what we do, "responsive" teaching.
You can also do project based learning, where the grade simply comes from a project and you don't give tests. Some people consider that project based as well.
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