Project-based learning (PBL) is a learning method that combines active student participation in a project, with the skills of inquiry, research, and analysis. It allows students to learn about the world around them by enabling them to research and explore for themselves. It encourages students to ask questions and to find their own answers through collaboration and teamwork. In a PBL classroom, teachers no longer function as lecturers; instead, they act as facilitators in their students’ self-directed exploration of varying topics, from math and science to history and literature. Let’s find out how to effectively implement projects in your ELA classroom and why you should consider doing so.
What is Project-Based Learning?
Project-based learning is an effective and engaging way to teach students. It allows them to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world situations.
Project-based learning engages students in active, hands-on exploration of a topic by requiring them to solve problems using real-world resources and connect what they have learned with the real world.
It puts students in the position of being responsible for their own learning, and it also allows them to see the relevance of what they are studying.
Projects can be used for many different subjects and grade levels, as well as for core content areas including science, math, social studies, and language arts.
17 Project-Based Learning Ideas
Projects are not just limited to classrooms or schools. You can also use them for your business, meetings, or even personal use. Some of the most popular project-based activities are discussed below:
- Planning a vacation trip with your friends is one of the best ways to have fun while learning new things at the same time. You can plan out your itinerary and then prepare accordingly before going on vacation. This will help you stay organized and also keep track of all the important details, like hotel reservations and places that you want to visit during the trip.
- If you love cooking, then planning out a meal plan for your family will be an interesting idea for you! This way, you can save money for groceries and spend less on eating out near malls or restaurants, which often cost more than we think! On top of that, it’s great fun when everyone helps out with making delicious meals together!
- Provide Examples of Past Projects as Models for Your Students.
If you’ve ever done a project-based activity in the past, share it with your students so they know what’s possible. For example, if you’ve created a museum exhibit about dinosaurs, let your students see how yours turned out.
- Use Technology to Help Students Plan Their Projects
There are many free online tools that can help students plan their projects and manage their time effectively while working on them.
- Students can choose any art form, such as painting, sculpture, etc., and create something meaningful using their imagination. They can also create posters on social issues like poverty, pollution etc., which will help them understand these issues better.
- Students can write short stories or poems based on their own experiences or those of fictional characters they have created themselves. They can also write letters to famous personalities such as presidents or celebrities, asking questions about different topics such as career choices etc.
- Organize a field trip to a nearby museum or historical site. Take pictures or videos of the trip and write an article about the experience for the school newsletter or website.
- Plan an event to raise money for charity, such as a bake sale or car wash.
- Write an article on a topic of interest that would be published in local newspapers or magazines (e.g., newspaper editorials, magazine articles).
- Students can create videos about different topics and upload them on YouTube or Vimeo for others to view and comment on them. This can help them improve their presentation skills as well as their communication skills.
- Have students research a topic and then write an article on it. They can use different sites like Wikipedia, Google Scholar, etc. to find information about the topic. They can also use various other resources like books, magazines, and newspapers etc.
- Write a research report on something of interest to you and your class that you have researched thoroughly and present it to the class in an oral report (i.e., give a speech)
- Write an opinion editorial on something that has happened in the news lately (i.e., write an article as if it were printed in the newspaper)
- Write a personal narrative (i.e., tell about yourself) or an autobiography (i.e., tell about someone else’s life)
- Write an advertisement that encourages people to take up an activity like football or basketball as a hobby or sport they can play when they are older
- Create an infographic or poster that explains how to keep your body healthy and fit by eating healthy food and exercising regularly
- Write an original story about a character who has faced some kind of challenge in his/her life, like bullying or bullying someone else, feeling sad because their parents are divorced or dead; etc., and how he/she overcame it.
26 Project-Based Learning Examples
The following are examples of project-based learning in the classroom:
- You need to plan your garden so that it will achieve your desired design goals, and then you can plant and care for it. The success or failure of the garden to achieve its goals during the growing season should inform the next iteration of the design for the following season.
- As an alternative to the current recycling methods. This can be done on a personal, institutional, community, or even citywide scale.
- Looking at the five most widely used social media sites among teenagers, and then using that information to make predictions about future trends and develop a new site in light of those findings.
- Bringing into the spotlight an object or idea that deserves more recognition than it is currently receiving (e.g., music, parks, people, acts of kindness, effort, movies, nature, etc.)
- Combining the fundamental concepts of three different games to make a new one. This would not be done digitally, but rather through annotated planning and ‘blueprint’ design.
- Fixing the issue of bad and/or fabricated news.
- Creating a new form of government (or democracy, in particular) to compensate for a flaw in current democracies (partisanship, non-functioning checks and balances, etc.)
- Assisting neighbourhood businesses in becoming more eco-friendly (e.g., reducing waste).
- Including living relatives’ voices in an interactive family tree.
- Recording the “important” tales of your family’s history, starting with the elderly Assist your family in telling their story by recording everyone’s memories in your own words, and then figure out how to “publish” your book (likely only sharing it with the family itself).
- A beautiful, searchable database of the world’s most interesting ideas.
- Speculating on what a dating app of the future might be like in 2050 in light of expected changes in technology (like biotechnology) and social norms (e.g., gender, sexuality, class, etc.)
- Locating, examining, and depicting recurrent themes in human history, and placing those themes in the context of contemporary society.
- Picking an issue that you say is “important” to you and work to improve or support it in the real world. Afterwards, write down your thoughts on what you learned and how it could affect your strategy moving forward.
- Considering the current state of climate change, one example of project-based learning could be to design a futuristic city for the year 2100 (from scratch), or to re-imagine existing cities and their potential responses to climate change.
- Recording and disseminating the experience and knowledge of those residing in nursing homes. In its place, we have the option of translating niche areas of expertise into generalizable knowledge. Take expertise in, say, robotics or astrophysics or agriculture or music or theatre, and “apply” it to a genuine and real-world situation.
- Analysis of the “anatomy” of popular online content, such as memes or online debates.
- Starting a successful business and documenting actual business metrics like profit, loss cost control, etc (depending on the nature of the product, service, or platform).
- Creatively depicting the last two millennia’s worth of progress toward human and civil rights around the world in a single image, visual, or artefact.
- Making a photo documentary, then a film documentary, then a series of short social media videos.
- You need to plan your garden so that it will achieve your desired design goals, and then you can plant and care for it.
- A group of students is given the assignment to create a website for their class on a topic related to what they’ve learned in class. The teacher monitors the progress of this project and offers guidance when necessary.
- Students are given an assignment to research an issue within society (e.g., homelessness) and present their findings back to the class using evidence from multiple sources (e.g., videos or photos).
- Students can design a project based on their interests, such as designing a website or game that teaches others about the topic they’re interested in.
- Students can work together to create a presentation or other product that incorporates multiple subjects and skills. For example, students may create a presentation about the history of their school or city, including information about its architecture and infrastructure as well as historical events that happened there.
- Students can also develop their own research projects by finding an interesting topic and then doing research on it through books, websites, interviews, etc., then presenting their findings to classmates or family members at home.
13 Project-Based Learning Ideas for English
Projects can be based on different topics, like sports, music, science, history, etc. So here are some of the best project-based learning ideas for English:
- The history and evolution of the English language
- The various types of English speakers and dialects
- How English is used around the world and its variations
- The difference between British and American English
- Misconceptions about English and its speakers
- Why people learn English as a second language (ESL)
- Common mistakes made by non-native speakers of English
- A project that requires students to write a narrative or create a comic strip about the Great Fire of London.
- Students will be required to write an essay on Romeo and Juliet or create a short play based on their own interpretation of Shakespeare’s play.
- Discuss the origins and evolution of the English language, literature, and culture.
- Write about the history of the English language from the time it was introduced to India until now.
- Discuss how English has changed over time, what new words have been added, which are more popular than others, etc.
- Write about how different cultures influenced the evolution and development of the English language, literature, and culture.
Write about how different countries have adopted English as their official language or as a foreign language taught in schools (for example, Japan).
8 Benefits of Project-Based Learning
- It boosts student engagement: Research has shown that students who are engaged in project-based learning have higher levels of motivation and engagement in the classroom compared to those who aren’t. This is because project-based learning requires students to be proactive, think independently, and take ownership of their learning process.
- It develops critical thinking skills: Projects require students to think critically about problems and develop solutions. They also help them develop problem-solving skills through collaboration (especially with other students). By combining these two skills together, project-based learning helps students. develop a deeper understanding of concepts in a way that isn’t possible with traditional teaching methods alone.
- It provides real-world experience for students: Projects allow students to apply what they’ve learned in real-world contexts, which makes it much easier for them to retain the knowledge they’ve gained from class lessons or textbooks since they can easily relate it back to something that they’re familiar with or interested in.
- It provides opportunities for students to develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaboration skills.
- It encourages students to think outside the box and challenge themselves.
- It allows students to demonstrate their understanding through projects and presentations rather than standardized tests or quizzes.
- Projects provide a real-world application of content knowledge. This makes it easier for students to remember what they have learned because they can relate it to something they care about or something that interests them.
- Projects help students see themselves as vital members of society. They provide opportunities for students to make decisions on their own and to collaborate with others. They also allow students to be creative thinkers who can apply what they learn in one subject area to another.
Project-based learning is not always the best choice for all students. It should be used carefully and only when appropriate. Teachers can use project-based learning to meet the needs of high achieving students, but also those at risk of academic failure or struggling with a particular subject. This activity can heighten their interest in that specific subject and help them work more effectively on it. As long as the teacher plans for this beforehand and works daily with the students, all will go smoothly.