Pre-K to Kindergarten

Dog Project

The account of a dog study undertaken by four and five year old children at The Philadelphia School, which is an urban progressive, independent school educating students in preschool through eighth grade. Using photographs and text, this project book features a detailed account of each phase of the project. Both integral parts of the school’s curriculum, the use of city resources and technology were incorporated in the children’s investigations, fieldwork, and research about dogs. View abstract.

Lunch Project

This project, developed by Dunlap Exemplary Preschool in Des Moines, Iowa, turned a simple, everyday event—lunch—into a valuable learning experience. Note how it builds organically on student interests and integrates learning from a variety of subjects, including math, science, art, health, and nutrition.

Project Katrina

Conducted by the LSU Child Development Laboratory Preschool in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this project emerged in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. It serves as an excellent example of a teaching team turning a challenging local event into a valuable learning opportunity through community involvement and service. Note how the project evolved naturally from students’ needs to make sense of the natural disaster and to tell stories from their own lives.

A Study of Bones

This project, developed and implemented in a bilingual, five-year-old classroom at the Eton School in Mexico City, makes an excellent use of local experts and gives students a chance to try their hands at a number of technological medical tools, while learning about the human body and bones. This project begins with personal stories—and the sharing of objects from home—and evolves to encompass the local medical community. Included are excellent integrations of math, science, language arts, and art.

Chair Project

This project captures the enthusiasm for learning that the Project Approach fosters in children. Written and developed by veteran project-based kindergarten teacher Marilyn Ornstein at Duke School in Durham, North Carolina, this project combines existing materials in the classroom with a few outside objects and experts to create powerful learning experiences for children. Also view the curriculum standards met by this fun and engaging project.

School Bus Project

Another highly-reflective write-up, this example details a project about school buses that grew out of interest in the fleet of school buses (and bus maintenance facility) housed on the campus of a mid-western Christian school. Note how the teacher, Ruth Harkema, makes strategic use of her local surroundings and resources—and solicits help from parents and experts nearby. Also note how she tailors learning opportunities (differentiates instruction), particularly in the representation phase. Be sure to view the excellent memory book of photographs accessible via a link at the top of the project write-up.

Bug Project

From a mixed-age summer camp (ages 3 to 5) known as the Red Room and run by the Center for Young Children, a lab school of the University of Maryland, this write-up explains how the instructors integrated learning standards from the Maryland State Curriculum into a project about bugs. Included is the integration of math, gross motor skills, language arts, science, art, and social studies.

Talking Puppet Project

This project, from a special education class at the Warren Early Childhood Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an excellent example of how to use the Project Approach to meet diverse interests and needs in the classroom. Note how this teacher used a project about puppets to promote language development, self-expression, and creativity.