An effective approach to teaching children requires learning through purposeful experiences. At Grace Primary School, our educators focus on being responsive to children’s interests by creating meaningful and relevant learning experiences through the use of Project Based Learning (PBL).
What is Project Based Learning?
Brimming with natural curiosity, early learners are highly motivated to learn about things that spark their interest. PBL directly taps into this trait.
PBL is centered around in-depth investigation on a real-world topic that students desire to learn about. Students and teachers collaborate together to determine what topic they will investigate, what resources they will use, and how they plan to share what they’ve learned with others.
By giving students hands-on experiences with first-hand investigations and research, PBL develops skills our youngest learners will use throughout their entire lives.
The Project Based Learning Approach
PBL benefits students because it encourages them to actively seek knowledge. Young children stretch themselves to ask questions, make plans, and follow through on their ideas.
In Primary School, teachers typically base their PBL curriculum off of units or themes. After a teacher launches a PBL unit, students are encouraged to investigate their topic and are provided with a variety of first-hand, authentic resources to research new information. These resources can include visiting experts, books and video clips, as well as “field-site” visits to places of interest on campus.
Primary School teachers are able to integrate content knowledge such as early literacy, mathematical understanding, and scientific exploration into PBL through the use of these traditional and non-traditional resources.
Students show what they learned through representation. They also explain how they solved a real-world problem once the unit has come to a close.
Our goal is to help students understand the importance of what they’re learning and to drive their own learning journeys.
Project Based Learning in Action
From Twos through Prekindergarten 4, all Primary School students experience PBL in a variety of ways.
During a PBL unit on clothing, students hosted a clothing drive. For a recycle unit, they reused materials for a purpose.
PBL can also promote cross-age relationships. For example, Prekindergarten 4 classes made cat climbing tree structures for the Threes classes because their PBL unit was about pets. The Threes classes received tiny stuffed cats and used the structure to play with them.
This year, Prekindergarten 4 students studied trees for their PBL unit. During the completion of the unit, each child showed what he/she learned about trees by creating a representation. The students could choose to create a book, a poster, or a 3D depiction of a type of tree.
Grace Primary School students experience remarkable benefits by learning through inquiry, investigation and research. PBL teaches our students how to learn and helps ignite their love of learning.
About Grace School
Grace School is a private school in Houston, Texas serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based, STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.