Grades 1 to 4

Looking at the Trees Around Us (ages 5 to 7)

From the Child Study Centre at the University of Alberta, Canada, this write-up includes a thorough documentation of the phase-one planning by teachers that sheds light on how the project developed. This project makes use of the local surroundings (in this case, the many different trees on campus) and connects students with the outdoors during the warmer months of September.

My Healthy Self Project (1st grade)

This project is notable for its emphasis not just on physical health but also the mental and emotional well being of children. Developed and implemented in a first-grade classroom at Duke School in Durham, North Carolina, this project includes site visits to a local wellness center, meets a number of curriculum standards and culminates in the transformation of the classroom into an actual “healthy snack shop” run by students and open to the school community.

Pet Project (2nd grade)

This project, developed by Dot Schuler from Grafton Elementary School in Grafton, Illinois, arose from student interest in pets and ended with a real-life pet store in the classroom. Note how the integration of math occurs almost naturally—and how Schuler sets up opportunities to enable this to happen. Also note her diary entries and the importance of reflection in project development and implementation.

North Carolina Folk Life (4th grade)

This multimedia presentation from a fourth-grade class at Duke School (Durham, North Carolina) captures just how much the Project Approach enhances research skills. Note how these fourth graders used their own questions to guide their investigations of a topic that ties local history, folklore, art, music, economics, geography, and more. Also note the use of technology-based research tools.