3 Ways to Start Incorporating Project Based Learning in Your Pre-K, Kindergarten, or 1st GradeClassroom

You may be thinking, this project based learning stuff sounds amazing, but where do I start? What do I do about my required curriculum I have to teach? Will my kids learn the same amount as other classes? My answer is YES, they will learn the same amount, if not more, and in a way that will meet your standards and enhance student engagement! Check out these 3 easy ways to begin incorporating this teaching style into your classroom TODAY!

  1. The first thing to do, is start by finding out what your students are interested in. This can be done in conversations, observations, and/or creating a KWL chart. A KWL chart stands for Knowledge, Wonder, and Learned. I typically create these at the beginning of each unit or project with my kinders. Finding out what students already know about a topic and what they are wondering or want to learn is super helpful in planning a project. This will give you a starting point for your project. Letting the students lead the way is the easiest and most helpful thing to do and will lead to more investment and engagement on their end as well.

Spend a week or so gathering interests and ideas for potential projects. You could choose which project to investigate or allow the students to vote on what they want to learn. Save all the ideas you learn from the students as they could become future projects for this particular class1

  1. Take topics from your curriculum and turn them into projects! You may have some required topics and standards to teach in your school and district. Why not make them more fun while learning in a project format! This can be as simple as taking a curriculum topic and asking the students what they want to learn regarding that topic!

Maybe your curriculum has a habitat unit. You could survey or have students vote on a particular habitat they would like to learn about. Then after deciding which habitat, dive even further and ask the students what specifically they are wondering and want to learn about regarding that habitat. This will lead to creating an essential question for your project which will guide how you proceed.

This is a great way to get your students involved in the project creation process while including required curriculum! The best thing about projects is that it is so easy to integrate curriculum concepts all through one topic!

  1. Start expanding your classroom library by collecting nonfiction books over a variety of topics. An amazing component to the learning part of project based learning is children engaging in their own research of topics. What better way to teach children how to research while developing their literacy skills at the same time? – BOOKS! There are so many amazing non fiction children’s books that children can read and deepen their learning about so many topics! Expanding your library to include more texts like these will aide as you implement project based learning and may spark interest in specific topics for your students as well!

Here are some great nonfiction book series to consider adding to your classroom library! You can directly click these photos and add these titles and similar ones to your Amazon cart or wishlist now!

National Geographic Kids

Let’s Find Out Series

Fly Guy Presents

If you are considering using project based learning in your classroom – try these 3 easy and simple tips to get you started! For more information about what project based learning is and the benefits of using it in the classroom, check out my blog, What is Project Based Learning?.

 

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Check out my TPT Store, Kinder Dream Land, for full unit lesson plans for project based learning that are ready to use in your pre-k, kindergarten, or 1st grade classroom!

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