What is the Project Approach?

 A project is an in-depth study of a topic or theme where children have opportunities to research something first hand. Then the children are encouraged to show what they are learning in a variety of ways.

There is structure!
You know that I’m am all about following the lead of children. That does NOT mean that a project is unstructured. There is actually a framework that guides the teaching-learning interaction. This framework is flexible.

Projects occur in 3 phases.

Phase 1

Starting Phase
This is when the interest topic is identified. The adult helps the child recall everything he/she knows about the topic. Children also make a list of questions that they want answered.

Phase 2

Investigation Phase
This is when children explore and investigate in order to answer the questions above. This is the longest phase of the project. This can include site visits and expert interviews.

Phase 3

Conclusion Phase
This is when children take everything they already knew (Phase 1) and everything they learned (Phase 2) about the topic in order to show others. This “showing to others” can take many different forms.

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