So you are intrigued by the concepts of project-led learning for your child? What would a year’s set of projects look like for a particular student? I will share with you the layout that my twelve-year-old daughter presented me with and that I worked together in the project-led learning model. This will be her seventh grade year.
First, her choices.
Natural – raising rabbits in the back yard; Physical – play little league baseball; Scientific – particular interesting kits from Pitsco; Mathematical/Logical – designing and building toothpick bridges; Technological – robotics kits; Literary – write short stories; Vocational – learn woodworking skills; Artistic – learn to draw sketches; Social – a country of the world project; Spiritual – go on a missions trip.
(Because I am the writer of Micro-Business for Teenagers, she will be starting her own business on a smaller basis as four of her fourteen projects. That leaves her with one choice from each of the ten categories.)
This is her list, now I have molded it together into working relationships with adjustments that fit the reality of our family situation.
I grouped together Natural, Literary, and Artistic into this layout. We will build a rabbit coup in the back yard and pick a rare and unusual breed of rabbit to buy. We will purchase 2 or 3 rabbits for her to care for. Before she gets the rabbits, she will study what they need and how to care for them. Meanwhile, she will study the life of Beatrix Potter and her animal stories. She will pay close attention to Beatrix Potter’s sketches and style of writing. She will also read Watership Down, to see how small animals can become wonderful heroes in story. We will get a booklet that teaches her how to sketch animals. Her goal will be to write children’s stories about animals, particularly rabbits. She will create her own sketches of her story animals. She will draw and write from her experiences with her own rabbits. She will publish her children’s stories with sketches on the Internet, including on Squidoo.com. She will offer copies of her children’s books for sale as part of her business-based learning.
You should have seen the lights shine in her eyes when I shared this plan with her.
I then grouped together the Scientific, Technological, and Mathematical projects into a series of robotics kits, electrical kits, and toothpick bridge kits from Pitsco with a focus on engineering and design.
In addition, she will go out for little league baseball in the spring. I have woodworking tools and am a woodworker, so I will teach her to make beautiful wooden boxes. She will do the country project, but we will find a girl her age in that particular country for a pen pal relationship. Because a missions trip may or may not work for an eleven-year-old, I will include her in a through-the-Old-Testament devotions that I will give to my whole family. If some sort of missions trip could work out – you bet. In addition, she will most likely continue with her violin lessons.
All of these projects will include study along with the active parts. She will be making photo-journals of her work, some of which will be published online.
She will certainly learn more from this coming year’s schooling than she ever could chained to a desk doing busy-work seven hours a day.
If you need further information about project-led learning, contact us through http://www.YguideAcademy.com/ProjectLedLearning.html We would love to help you develop your project ideas into meaningful learning experiences.