Launching the projects

By Heidi Blokland

One element of Project Based Learning (PBL) is an Entry Event to launch the project and get the students excited about what is to come. It can take many shapes and forms.

Recently, a couple of classes launched their spring PBL focusing on some aspect of Psalm 8. We’ve already had our whole school Entry Event in our trip to Countryside Adventures. You can read about that amazing event here:

But now it’s time for each class to begin their portion of the project.

The students in Grade 1-2 entry event began with reading a book called The Curious Garden.

It invited the students to wonder and imagine what a garden could be. The students then took some time to collaboratively answer questions about a garden.

  • What do you need to grow plants?
  • What would you plant in a garden?
  • How does a garden help a community?
  • How can kids be curious gardeners?

The students were engaged, on task and curious.

After working on the questions, one student asked, “Can we plant a garden?” It was exactly the outcome the teacher was hoping for and a launching pad for their PBL.

The students in Grade 5-6 had a bit of a stinkier entry event. They started by talking about garbage. They read a few articles talking about the amount of garbage in the ocean and how garbage winds up inside marine animals. Next they looked seriously at the amount of garbage that the school throws out in one day.

They gloved up and sorted the 3kg of garbage – paper, food scraps, food wrappers, plastic containers, etc.

It was smelly and messy, but they all worked together to sort it out. The next task was to weigh each category of garbage.

They found out that 1/3 of our garbage is food scraps and that another big group is plastic containers.

The students said, “Hey! We can do something about this.” Ideas like composting, encouraging recycling, and making posters were suggestions. It was exactly the outcome the teacher was hoping for and a launching pad for their PBL.

Two successful entry events to instill in our students a desire to learn more and address a need in our community. We hope you stay tuned for more updates about our spring PBLs that will be shared at our Celebration of Learning on May 2 and 3.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”