Many teachers find it easier to start using the Project Approach when they have some resources and suggestions for how to begin. Others who have experience doing projects with children often report that they would like some help deciding on a worthwhile project topic. Still others say that a short time into their projects, they sometimes find that they have “run out of ideas” for extending children’s investigations.
The Illinois Projects in Practice Web site now addresses those challenges with Guides for Implementing the Project Approach. The Guides are a new set of resources intended to help teachers at any level of experience implement the Project Approach. Instead of “recipe-style” directions, which are not appropriate for projects, the Guides offer suggestions that teachers may adapt to their own situations.
Each Guide will suggest a topic suitable for project work in preschool settings, with an explanation of why the topic is worth studying. All Guides include several components:
- potential strategies for introducing the topic and engaging children’s initial interest;
- suggestions for possible roles for the teacher and activities for the children during each phase of project work;
- a table listing Illinois Early Learning Benchmarks that are addressed by the project activities described in the Guide, showing how specific activities address those benchmarks;
- a list of selected useful Web and print resources for teachers related to the topic; and
- a list of selected children’s literature that can support investigations of the topic.
The IEL Tip Sheets on the Project Approach offer brief introductions to the phases and features of project work. Guides for Implementing the Project Approach are intended to provide “the next step” for teachers.
- Guides for Implementing the Project Approach Investigating Wheels About
- Guides for Implementing the Project Approach Changes in the Trees around Us About
- Guides for Implementing the Project Approach From Door to Door: A Project about Doors and Gates About
- Guides for Implementing the Project Approach All About Gardens About
- Guides for Implementing the Project Approach Things to Sit On About