To celebrate the launch of Project fourth edition, author of Projects with Young Learners, Diane Phillips considers the benefits of using projects in the upper primary classroom.
What don’t children like?
If I asked you to list some of the thing that children don’t like you might say: – learning stuff of no immediate or obvious relevance e.g. grammar rules or lists of vocabulary; having to read about topics they have no interest in; being told to ‘be quiet’, to stop talking to their friends; being passive; never being asked for their view or about topics they know about; never seeing an end or a point to the work they have to do; always being told what to do!
Yet, this is exactly the way many classrooms work.
What do children like doing?
One way to get children doing what they like while still learning is through projects. Children enjoy using their imagination – making up characters, stories; being creative – making things, drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing, using multimedia; finding out about interesting stuff; sharing, chatting, working together; talking about themselves, their friends and family, their interests; making choices, deciding for themselves, trying new things out; showing off!
What are Projects?
Experiential learning or ‘learning through projects’ is a tried and tested way of motivating children – by doing what they naturally like doing and avoiding what they don’t like.
It’s an approach founded on sound pedagogic principles. It addresses the needs of the ‘whole child’ to develop a number of different skills
- the intellectual skills
- physical/motor and ICT skills
- social skills
- learner independence skills
Children are given an opportunity to produce work which is personal and individual, which reflects their own ideas and interests, and their opinions are asked for and valued.
It gives the children an opportunity to bring their knowledge of the world into the classroom and can be cross-curricular – linked to other subjects the children are studying in school. Continue reading