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Project Guides

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.

Each Project 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 list of Illinois Early Learning Benchmarks that are addressed by the project activities described in the Guide, showing how specific activities address those benchmarks

The IEL Tip Sheets on the Project Approach offer brief introductions to the phases and features of project work. Project Guides are intended to provide “the next step” for teachers.