I was reading a newsletter I subscribe to today and came across a link to a blog post about using Project-Based writing with “tweens.” This is the article:
This is just the sort of thing that gets me excited! When the kids are enthusiastic and excited about learning, it doesn’t seem like “work.” The learning becomes authentic and meaningful. As a result, the children learn better, with greater depth, and are able to apply their skills.
Another “perk” of such assignments is the curriculum integration. This teacher is working on a writing assignment. But the subject isn’t writing, it’s science. They could be incorporating math skills, as well, as they are researching and coming up with solutions to the question at hand. They’re going to be integrating technology. They’re working with others in cooperative groups. They’re assigned roles and responsibilities. These are students who are working as 21st Century learners.
Are the kids focused on their writing? Yes. But it’s elaborately disguised as an intriguing assignment with all kinds of exciting bells and whistles thrown in. Are they learning to write effectively? Yes. And in such a way that they are more likely to be able to repeat, as opposed to being taught a set of skills in isolation and then having to learn how to apply them.
This is the kind of educational practice our students need, and deserve.