This practical guide walks educators through the first Phase of a project.

Suggestions are offered for alternative ways to learn about what the students already have experience of in relation to the topic. These experiences are important because they are the basis of what the students already know about the topic, however sketchy, misconceived or partial that knowledge may be.

The sharing of personal stories of experience allows for classroom discussion that raises interesting questions about what it may be possible to find out about the topic during a project. Individual interests and the special expertise of one or two students are noted at the outset.

The teacher develops a list of questions for later investigation. Students speculate on ways to find more information and anticipate some likely answers to questions posed.

This guide also provides strategies for creating an active and engaging learning environment appropriate for project work. The classroom frequently takes on a workshop atmosphere as the project develops.