Getting students to be interested and engaged in their school work can often be a challenge for many teachers. The standard note-taking and memorizing information can become quite boring and tedious for a child. For this reason, project based learning can be a refreshing method of student learning that will entice students to become much more engaged and interested in their school work, and thus give them a better chance of lesson retention and critical thinking.
PBL is a great tool for use at all grade and skill levels. At the elementary school level, project based learning can offer a number of fun and exciting activities and projects that students will enjoy participating in. Such enjoyment in challenging projects will foster a higher level of learning, and will allow the student to gain a true understanding of the project/subject matter they are working on.
From kindergarten through grade 8, project based learning can have major advantages for the students involved. Kindergarten through grade 3 children can participate in activities which promote them to explore themes and ideas, and have a direct involvement in making decisions and finding creative solutions. Grades 4-6 can take the projects further, with more detail and more challenge. Middle school students can participate in projects that study such ideas as water sources, international countries, and other themed topics. They can use a variety of resources to research and gather information on such chosen topics. Those in grades 9 and 10 can get even more detailed in their projects, but for each level the teacher is given a rubric for grading and evaluating student work.
The idea behind PBL is that students are given options and choices, so they are active participants rather than passive learners. Instead of learning about publishing, they become publishers. Other challenges include making comics, time travel and bringing a new product to market. Students are given the opportunity to work with others to gather information in order to problem solve and come up with a solution or conclusion to their task. Project based learning can be a wonderful method for students to learn at any grade level.