One of the buzz phrases floating around the education world over the last decade or so is “student centered learning.” Student centered learning is when the focus is on the students and not the instructor; the instructor still serves a role as facilitator, but the students are doing most of the work by creating a product or presentation. Direct instruction or lecturing has become an unpopular approach to teaching. Though direct instruction is appealing for the sheer amount of information one can deliver in a limited period of time, the quality of this learning experience is questionable. In my opinion a good classroom has a combination of both approaches. Concepts are introduced in a lecture style lesson, but to reinforce the skill students are provided with opportunities to be constructive. Here are some creative project ideas that you can implement in your classroom. Leave comments sharing with others how you’ve implemented project ideas in your classroom.
1. Advertisements: create an advertising campaign to sell a product. The product can be real or imaginary. Try using this to teach persuasion, as an assignment for speech class, or to reinforce skills learned in a consumer class.
2. Album Covers: create artwork for an album. The album may be connected to a skill (such a multiplication) and should demonstrate or explain how that skill is used. Or the album cover may be connected to a novel and the art work might present a relevant theme in the story. Another use would be to have students create natural disaster album covers in a science class where the cover would depict and explain the event.
3. Autobiographies: write the story of your life. This assignment may help you teach autobiography or reinforce a broad range of writing skills.
4. Awards: create awards to present to historical figures, scientists, mathematicians, authors, or characters from a novel.
5. Banners: create an informational banner. Students could create time lines of the American civil war or the Spanish alphabet.
6. Bar Graphs: create illustrated bar graphs. These may be used to explore data sets, use statistics to support a point, or illustrate a growth or change in a market.
7. Biographies: write the life story of someone else. It could be a friend, family member, historical figure, or a fictional character.
8. Blogs: create blogs for literary characters or historical figures. Create an actual blog for free or just have students write and organize articles on white printer paper if the internet is not available.
9. Blueprints: create blueprints or floor plans of a scene described in a novel, an historic setting, or an earthquake proof bridge or structure.
10. Boardgames: create boardgames where students review course concepts. Game play should be based around answering review questions correctly.