Project-Based Learning This Summer
Here are some of our favorite ideas for project-based learning this summer
Summer is here, and if you need ideas to keep your children learning during the break, we have put together this primer of project-based learning activities for children of all ages.
Project-based learning offers many benefits to students, and it is a great way for children and teens to engage in learning in a fun and interesting way. A student can use the summer holiday to explore interests and subjects that he or she would not otherwise have time for during the academic year. Other benefits include increased retention and improved academic performance.
Project-based learning activities help students avoid the “summer slide” that often comes with many weeks away from the classroom.
Read on for more information on what project-based learning entails, why it is beneficial for students, and useful activities you can create for your children this summer.
Benefits of project-based learning
It might be tempting to sit your child in front of a screen or allow him or her to pass the summer days in leisure. However, studies have shown that occupying children with project-based learning activities has academic benefits.
These benefits include:
Critical thinking skills
This is because project-based learning encourages children to learn through action. They put these skills into practice throughout the activity. In the process, a student will “learn by doing,” so to speak.
Characteristics of project-based learning activities
When brainstorming activities for your child, use this checklist as a broad guideline for creating projects:
Open-ended questions and challenges that require a student to research, respond to, and solve.
Appropriate material for the child’s grade level featuring skills and knowledge that he or she should know and understand.
Emphasizes key skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
It is a good idea to have a reporting system in place where the child will present the project and his or her process and conclusions and the end of the activity.
Ideas for younger children
Younger children will enjoy outdoor activities such as geocaching or scavenger hunts. This is a fun way to get outside, get some physical exercise, and explore your neighborhood or local parks. It is an opportunity for learning how to read a map or GPS technology.
Another activity for elementary-aged children is to research and explore the history and cultures of summer holidays. They can research the holiday’s origins, who celebrates them, and how they are commemorated.
This can be a great opportunity for children to learn about summer holidays that are celebrated by cultures around the world, such as Midsummer’s Eve in Europe or Picnic Day in Australia.
This is also a good time for children to explore diverse U.S. summer holidays such as Juneteenth, Flag Day, Women’s Equality Day, and Helen Keller Day.
Ideas for middle-school aged children
Middle-school aged children often enjoy growing a summer garden. This is a fun and exciting way for your child to put into practice the many aspects of earth and plant science that go into growing fruits and vegetables. With the warm temperatures and summer rains, many edible plants and flowers will grow easily, and it is exciting for students of this age to produce a bountiful harvest.
You can also let your child take the reins on planning a summer vacation or day trip for your family. Give your child a budget and let him or her pick a destination, plan expenses, travel, and all the details.
Many children will be delighted to plan a fun day for the family, and it is an excellent exercise to practice planning and coordinating so many moving parts.
Ideas for teens
Help teens create a genealogy project for recording your family history. This can build your child’s communication and collaboration skills by reaching out to family members to record their stories and ancestry. This is also an excellent way for teens to connect with family, especially as they prepare to enter into adulthood.
Have your teen create a walking tour of your city featuring all his or her favorite places. Make sure that the locations include some historical or cultural value and have your teen present interesting facts about the spots as you go along. This can provide an opportunity not only for research but for presentation skills, as well.
Summer learning at American Heritage Schools
We are offer the Summer Institute Program online – a robust program serving students of all ages, starting from PK3 all the way to grade 12. There is something for everyone – exciting electives, meaningful reinforcement classes, and advanced courses for high achieving students.
Courses are taught by top-notch instructors, all of whom are degreed and certified professionals in their respective fields. Whether your child wants to explore subjects of interest or take advantage of reinforcement courses to brush up on the essentials, the Summer Program makes the school holiday a time of enrichment and growth!
Courses cover a wide variety of subjects, including core academic disciplines (such as reading, writing, math, and science) robotics video game development, pre-professional programs, advanced test prep, fine arts courses, and more.
American Heritage Schools is committed to student development. Please browse through our website to learn more about our school and all of our offerings. Contact us to speak with an admissions officer, so you can see for yourself why we are the best.