Thursday, April 24, 2008

Constructivism: Project Ideas



  1. Independent Project - Begin with inquiry and follow the students through a research, implementation and expression phase. This can work well with the Project Social Voice concept, where students engage in authentic interviews, community Needs Assessments and primary source data.
  2. Reflective Portfolios - Allow students to show artifacts of their learning and write reflections about what they learned and how they grew in the process.
  3. Solving a Problem - Using the Problem-based learning approach, students can study a conflict, research the implications of the conflict and develop their own solution.
  4. Poetry Album - Students place themselves into the role of the Harlem Renaissance. As they explore the time period, they create a concept map and write poems connecting the concept of freedom. It becomes a Jazz concept album. If students are musically inclined, they can even experiment with using jazz beats in their poetry and doing a recorded poetry album.
  5. Documentary - Students begin with inquiry, move into research and present their information in the form of a documentary. Working in groups, they create skits and story boards and walk through the stages of production. Encourage students to think critically about the medium itself by asking questions such as, "How do people act differently when they are on film?"
  6. WebQuest - Although WebQuests can be too isolated and fail to engage students, a well-crafted WebQuest will force students to make cognitive connections. One idea would be to take a former event and have students find connections between those events and the current events. (For example, the Cold War and the War on Terror)
  7. Create a Candidate - As students learn about the executive branch, place them in a team of political experts who will create a political candidate who can win. The process can involve interviews with real politicians, exploration of current issues and a group development of a political platform. Students can use spreadsheets to analyze demographic data to predict the likelihood of winning particular states.

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