I have spent tonight hastily formatting Word doc outlines of the projects that I’ll be running with my students for the first half of this term. They look a little prescriptive, and there’s good cause for that. Project-learning and self-directed learning and learning in teams in English will be new to almost all of my students. It’s the beginning of the year. I go slow at the beginning because unlearning traditional modes of learning is hard and it’s important that students aren’t alienated from the learning process too much at the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to freak out a little. I want them to feel uncomfortable and start questioning what the hell is going on. That’s the fun stuff. But I also want to empower them with the new skills required to be successful independent and interested learners. So if you don’t like the way these projects are set up, well, don’t use them. Bag them out in a comment below, it’s cool – I’ve got thick skin.
The project outlines below are for three junior year groups. They could work for any year at all as they are all quite open-ended. My colleague devised the driving question for the Year 9 project as well as the three-tiered product aspect. I’m so stoked that she’s using her creativity to plan epic projects for our students. I can’t wait to learn with her through the project journey. That’s my kinda fun.