Project based learning and STEM go hand and hand in helping to prepare students to their future. Both challenge students to solve a real problem and to collaborate with others. Project based learning (PBL) experiences can be a lengthy project or a short term activity.
I begin PBL opportunities with a hard hitting question. One that engages the student’s curiosity, life experiences and interests. One of my favorite PBL adventures started with the question, “What kinds of adaptations do animals have to make in order to survive in their given habitat?” It was a great question, because students immediately started citing key vocabulary terms from our recent ecosystems unit. “Mimicry” “Camouflage” “Predators” just to name a few. Proud teacher moment!!!
For the project, I split students into groups of 3-4 and gave each one a picture of a habitat and a short description. Each group had to design a fictitious animal, plant and insect that would survive the environment. It is amazing the creativity that explodes from students when they are given the freedom to guide themselves through PBL.
This life science unit I created for Ecosystems was vital in preparing them for the PBL experience. Ecosystems Unit
We had also studied different types of animals within this unit with comprehension and vocabulary activities. Animals bundle