Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Passion Project: Making Research Projects More Meaningful

The Passion Project was created out of the need to make our research unit more meaningful and engaging for my middle school students.
With research projects of the past, I felt students just went through the steps, checked boxes, and turned in a so-so product. They had almost zero investment and pride in what they created.  So much so that they didn't care if it went in the dumpster after being graded and displayed!
Knowing that my students needed to make connections with their research in order to make it meaningful, this past summer I revamped the whole unit. I borrowed ideas from Google's 80/20 initiative, Genius Hour, and other school's Passion Projects.
The end result was an 8 week project focused around student's individual interests. It was rigorous and challenging for the students, but meaningful!!  Projects ranged from learning how to play the piano, to cooking, to designing clothing, to developing a website that translated hard to read sports articles into simple, kid friendly stories.
The end results went far beyond what I could have imagined at the beginning of the unit!
She learned how to cook food from her culture.

She learned about animal abuse and how to raise awareness.

He learned how to play the piano.

He learned how to bake a decorate cakes. 

Outline of the project
Week 1: Developing an inquiry based topic {I showed this video to get them started with brainstorming}
Week 2: Proposal Presentation
Week 3-6: Blogging and working on developing the idea
Week 7: Preparing Presentation
Week 8: Reflection

One of the most valuable things I did for this unit was incorporate our media coordinator.  Once a week we had class in the media center where she could be available for help with research and questions.

For Project Presentation Night, we set up in the gym, and parents walked around talking to all the students about the their projects and discoveries.  You can view a little slideshow of that night here!

If you would like the outline and student printables I used for this unit, click here!  
If you have any questions about how to start this in your classroom, please ask!! I'm here to help :)

Happy Teaching,

Post a Comment

On Instagram

© It's Always Sunny in Room 3. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.