In my work designing projects with teachers across the country, primary grade Teachers always have the toughest time wrapping their minds around what PBL looks like for their age students. Common questions include: How do I manage the project with 5 year olds? How do I teach basic literacy skills? What if they aren’t ready to work in groups or speak in front of people? All of these are important questions! And oftentimes I have found that the greatest gift I can provide these teachers is the gift of a model project designed just for their grade level. Here are 2 of my favorite Kinder projects:
Project Title: Be Sunwise!
Such a relevant project looking at Tracking UV to help us make good choices to protect ourselves against the sun. We integrated Mystery Science, ELA district initiatives, Sunwise activities, and awesome field work via Sun Bum, John Wayne Cancer Foundation and local Lifeguards. Students will create a final, digital poster using Canva (with the help of teachers!), wear stickers at school to prompt their community to ask them about being sunwise, set up norms and logistics for 2 Sun Bum stations at their school, and contribute to the school weather broadcast.
Project Title: Keep Making Lake Green!
This project built off of the kinder project last year, which developed a school recycling program. Kinder students learned about what recycling is, how it works and why we do it (directly addressing NGSS). They created informational PSAs, visited every classroom at the school to present their program logistics and then started a fully functioning recycling program for their school. This year the teachers decided to put a twist on the project and focus just on plastic markers. Turns out Crayola has a wonderful program that is going to help teachers by providing shipping of collected materials off for recycling. What an empowering experience for these students!
Some other helpful resources for primary project planning include:
- Check out this google doc where I have been collecting Kinder and 1st grade project resources.
- I LOVE this video of a kinder student presenting at an exhibition.
- Get started with your project planning using CraftED’s project planning workbook and E-course, then bring Jenny onsite or schedule a virtual meeting for 2 hour rotations of project coaching.
- Follow CraftED on Instagram for daily project ideas like these!
- Inform your parent community with CraftED’s newly released PBL Parent Quick Guide.