20 of the Best Project Based Learning Ideas for 2020

Blog (3)

New year, new projects! Below is a list of ideas I’m most excited about for projects in 2020. Stay tuned on social media (@rafted_jennypieratt) for more information on each of these proejct based learning ideas, this year. 

  1. Choose your Own Adventure story or video- This is such a fun way to get students excited about writing and you can use any context for it (social studies or science works great!). Check out my thoughts  on how to turn it into a video HERE. 
  2. Eat this not that guide-This can be such a great way to teach informational writing, math and nutrition. Put a twist on it and make a holiday edition -we could ALL benefit from that! Download the project based learning lesson plans HERE and check out this e-course to help you brainstorm other awesome project ideas.  Blog (4)
  3. Pack this, not that Guide – How can we pack lunches and reduce our human impact? Pair that driving question with your engineering standards and BAM you have an elementary project idea.  Check out this post for more ideas on this. 
  4. Recycling Program- Recycling is a great entry point for teachers new to PBL. Stay tuned on the blog for 10 ways to use recycling to teach NGSS and check out this project for more information. 
  5. 2 voice poetry-Such a great way to teach point of view and works great for any ELA or Social STudies content. Learn more  and get the project based learning lesson plans HERE. 
  6. TED talks-YES kids can do TED talks! And I LOVE that it provides some voice and choice for students to research and communicate about topics they are passionate about. Learn how HERE. Ted Talks Logo
  7. Infographics– I love student created infographics using FREE sites Piktochart or Canva. I think it’s an awesome way for students to synthesize research and showcase informational writing in a dynamic way, using technology. 
  8. Podcasts by kids, for kids-There are some great podcasts out there for kids, but what about students actually creating a podcast to showcase informational reading and writing skills, along with oral communication skills. Here is information to help you get started. 
  9. Social Media Campaign-Social media isn’t going anywhere, so let’s teach our students to be digital citizens and leverage social media for good! Students can create a social media campaign as a form of Public Service Announcement-it’s a great, modern way to educate an audience. Take it one step further and turn student work into a published chat book
  10. Walking tour guide -A fun way to teach local history content, geography and informational reading and writing. See how one school did it HERE. 
  11. Interactive kids exhibit -I love the idea of students revamping a museum exhibit to make it more engaging for children. Check out here and here for ideas
  12. Start a business– Talk about real-world application! I have seen students from Kinder to grade 12 start a business. Read more here on how to make it happen.  
  13. STEM through Shoes-Believe it or not there is a ton of STEM involved in designign a shoe. Have you heard of Sneaker Con? It’s a thing! And what a fun idea for an exhibition. More coming on the blog this spring! 
  14. Sports Science-I have learned more STEM than I would have ever imagined through the Blast Motion technology that my kids use on their bats. What a cool way to teach this content to students ! 
  15. Bee sweet-Who doesn’t love bees? There is so much science to be learned from these pollinators. Read more about the project based learning lesson plans  HERE.  July Bee The Buzz (1)
  16. Mixed up animal-There is so much that students of all ages can do with the idea of a mash-up. Download the middle school lesson here and see how it has been modified for elementary here. 
  17. What if?!-I love this beautifully simple question-it sparks so much curiosity. For example, what if the iphone wasn’t created? What if WWI had a different outcome? What if Rosa Parks gave up her seat? Turn it into a story, a video, an art installation. More on the blog this spring! 
  18. Kid Innovators -There is so much out there on real stories of children who innovate and have been change-makers. Students can research, read and apply Design Thinking to innovate something for their community. 
  19. Art as final products– It’s not as simple as it sounds. Art is complex and you can uphold the rigor of art by teaching art theory, symbolism, and messaging. Scaffold your project with Artful Thinking Routines and then take over a local studio for the night to share student work. Don’t forget your artist statements where students make explicit connections to content! Learn more HERE. 
  20. Photo Essays – Such a beautiful way to pay tribute to people and places in your community. Also a great vehicle for narrative writing. Give PicMonkey a whirl and provide your students with some digital art scaffolding for truly beautiful final products. 

Want to learn more about how to build out these project-based learning ideas? Check out Keep it Real with PBL where I walk you through step-by-step how to design a project and provide you with tons of ideas and resources for grades k-12. 

Hashtags: #thebestofPBL #elementaryprojectideas