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Project Based Learning Examples

Written by SmartLab Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students are engaged in learning through active exploration. In PBL, classrooms are organized so that students work together on real-world tasks or problems.

There are many benefits of project based learning. Perhaps the most notable benefit is that it allows students to learn by doing. When students are actively engaged in projects, they are more likely to retain what they have learned. Additionally, project based learning can help students develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. This form of learning is an excellent way to engage students in learning and prepare them for success in the real world.

PBL can be used in any subject area and is adaptable to any grade level. It is an effective way to engage all learners, including English language learners and students with special needs.

It is important to remember that PBL is not a one-size-fits-all approach – it should be adapted to meet the needs of your students and the curriculum. 

SmartLab Learning understands that no two students learn the same way. They help schools implement standards-aligned, individualized learning solutions that meet the unique needs of every learner through a variety of hands-on, engaging activities.

12 Real World Examples of Project Based Learning in the Classroom

1. One-to-One Computing Projects

One-to-one computing projects are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, each student is given a computer to use for the duration of the project. Students use their computers to research, write, and publish their work. This type of project requires students to be responsible for their own learning and allows them to work at their own pace.

An example of a one-to-one computing project would be having your students create a website where they research the topic, develop the content, and design the layout for their website. 

2. Collaborative Classroom Projects

Collaborative classroom projects are a great way to encourage students to work together. In this type of project, students are divided into groups and each group is responsible for completing a task or solving a problem. This type of project encourages students to communicate and work together to find solutions.

For instance, have your students work together to create a video about a particular topic. Each group would be responsible for researching the topic, writing the script, and filming the video. 

3. Research Projects

Research projects are an excellent way for students to learn about a topic. In this type of project, students are given a topic to research. They then use their research to write a paper or create a presentation. This type of project allows students to develop their research skills and learn about a variety of topics.

For example, have your students choose a current event to research. Once they have chosen their topic, they write a paper explaining their findings. Alternatively, they could create a presentation to share with the class. 

4. STEM projects

STEM projects are an excellent way to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this type of project, students use their knowledge of STEM to solve a problem or complete a task. This type of project encourages students to think critically and apply their knowledge to real-world situations.

Asking your students to design and build a model bridge is an example of a STEM project. They will need to research different types of bridges, consider the materials they will use, and test their bridge to see if it can hold weight.

5. Arts Projects

Arts projects are an excellent way to engage students in the arts. In this type of project, students use their creativity to create a piece of art. This type of project allows students to express themselves and explore their creative side.

For instance, have your students work together to create a mural. They will work to conceptualize the mural, design it, plan it, and then paint it. Art projects provide opportunities for your students to express their creativity and work together as a team. 

6. Community Service Projects

Community service projects are an excellent way to engage students in the community. In this type of project, students work with a local organization to complete a service project. This type of project allows students to learn about the needs of the community and how they can help. Additionally, community service projects can help students develop empathy and compassion for others.

Your students can connect with the local community by working with a nearby food bank to sort and distribute food. This type of project allows your students to learn about the needs of the community and how they can help those in need. Additionally, it fosters empathy for others who are struggling.

7. Technology Projects

Technology projects are an excellent way to engage students in technology. In this type of project, students use technology to complete a task or solve a problem. This type of project allows students to learn about different types of technology and how to use them.

Creating and producing a podcast is an example of a technology project. Students research the topic, develop the script, record, and then publish the podcast. 

8. Field Trips

Field trips are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, students visit a location that is related to their studies. This type of project allows students to see firsthand how their studies relate to the real world. Additionally, field trips can help students develop a sense of curiosity and exploration.

For example, take your students on a field trip to a local museum. This would allow them to see how the exhibits relate to their current studies and apply to real-world concepts.

9. Internships

Internships are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, students work with a business or organization to gain real-world experience. This type of project allows students to learn about a variety of topics and develop important skills, including responsibility and professionalism. 

You may have your students intern with a local business or organization. This would provide them with the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a business or organization. 

10. Mock Trials

Mock trials are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, students act as lawyers and witnesses in a simulated court case. Mock trials allow students to learn about the legal system and how it works. Additionally, these projects can help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Have your students participate in a mock trial. Students will take on various courtroom roles, such as the judge, defense attorney, and witnesses. They will prepare their cases and simulate a real trial. 

11. Student-led Conferences

Student-led conferences are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, students lead a conference with their parents or guardians to discuss their progress in school. This type of project allows students to take ownership of their learning and communicate their progress.

A student-led conference requires students to prepare samples of their learning to show their parents and discuss both their strengths and areas of need.  These conferences help them develop communication and leadership skills.

12. Class Debates

Class debates are an excellent way to engage students in learning. In this type of project, students debate a topic or issue. This type of project allows students to learn about different perspectives and develop their argumentation skills.

Select a topic or issue for your students to debate in class and assign students to be pro or against the topic. Researching and debating fosters their development of critical thinking and communication skills.

These are just a few examples of project based learning that can be done in the classroom and can all be done in any grade level and can be adapted to fit specific curriculum and individual student needs. 

SmartLab Learning’s open-ended projects at multiple challenge levels allow students to shape and expand learning around their own interest, abilities, and learning styles. 

Get creative and think about real-world problems and scenarios that your students might be faced with outside the classroom. There are so many possibilities…with SmartLab Learning, the sky’s the limit! 

Project-Based Learning Lesson Plans

A project-based learning lesson plan is typically more hands-on and interactive than a traditional lesson plan. A PBL lesson plan often focuses on problem-solving and real-world applications, while a traditional lesson plan may focus more on rote memorization. In addition, a PBL lesson plan is usually more student-centered, while a traditional lesson plan may be more teacher-centered.

Where to begin

Creating project-based learning lesson plans can be a daunting task.  When creating your lesson plans, it is important to remember the following tips:

1. Start by brainstorming ideas for projects that align with your curriculum.

2. Once you have an idea for a project, break it down into smaller tasks that need to be completed.

3. Assign roles and responsibilities to each student.

4. Create a timeline for the project.

5. Decide how you will assess the project.

There are many challenges to creating effective PBL lesson plans, but you don’t have to do it alone. SmartLab Learning helps schools and educators design and implement engaging PBL STEAM learning environments that link to core academic content and foster the development of important academic and life skills. The hands-on, authentic activities allow students to construct their own meaning and explore topics in greater depth.

Conclusion

Project-based learning is an excellent way to engage students in learning. By following these tips and partnering with SmartLab Learning, you can create a successful project-based learning lesson plan covering a variety of topics to support your students in developing their skills. PBL can be used at any grade level and can be adapted to fit any curriculum.

PBL you can help your students develop a variety of important skills, including critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. If you are looking for ways to increase student engagement, consider incorporating project-based learning into your classroom.

SmartLab Learning

SmartLab Learning keeps students engaged as they reach their academic goals. Our research-based, comprehensive learning solutions are designed to support you with everything you need so you can focus on your students.

Case Study

Going beyond STEM to teach essential skills

When the team at Jewell Houston Academy, a magnet school in Texas, looked for a STEM program, they wanted one that would not only engage students in STEM careers but could also teach conflict-resolution, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills.

Read about how the SmartLab HQ impacted both learners and enrollment.

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