Children in primary school are curious, inventive and enthusiastic. Allow your students to demonstrate their knowledge and express their creativity by assigning a variety of class projects throughout the school year. Aim to create interdisciplinary projects that push students to use skills from different subject areas and allow for collaborative opportunities.
Science Fair Projects
Science fair projects require students to demonstrate their ability to solve problems, use public speaking skills and create presentations and experiments. Provide a list of science project topics that coordinate with your class curriculum and ask students to pick a topic that interests them. If your class is studying anatomy, offer projects about organs, diseases or nutrition. For more complex projects, permit students to work in small groups. After topics are assigned, discuss the project requirements and timeline.
Competitive Spelling Bees
Spelling bees enable students to work on vocabulary skills in an interactive fashion. Create a classroom spelling bee by generating a word list from class novels and texts. Age-appropriate spelling lists can also be found online. Allow each child the opportunity to spell a word from the list, and eliminate students who do not spell a word correctly until you have a class victor. A classroom spelling bee can lead to a school-wide competition and may lead to local and national competitions.
Service Projects and Volunteering
Encourage students to develop a global consciousness by engaging them in community service projects throughout the school year. Begin with a cause inside the school community. Beautify the school grounds by cleaning litter or planting new trees. Adopt a local cause in your town or state. Students can visit a senior center or volunteer at a soup kitchen. As a culminating activity, ask students to aid those in need outside of the United States. Run a clothing or toy drive to support those in need internationally, or organize a school-wide fundraiser to support a global cause or disaster fund.
Interactive Drama Projects
Drama and role-playing are activities that require students to use skills in literacy, listening, concentration and public speaking. Larger projects include school-wide dramatic performances, encouraging students to memorize specific roles for a play. A social studies project requires students to research their favorite historical figure and perform the role for a presentation. Smaller projects charge students with the task of dramatizing a pivotal scene in a story or important event.
Classroom Arts and Crafts
Art projects and classroom crafts are effective ways to encourage discovery and creativity. Use the school calendar to plan festive activities that provide students with exposure to different rituals and cultures. Have them create skeletons for El Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday to honor the dead. Engage students in a lantern project for the Chinese New Year. Bring the art museum into the classroom by teaching students about portrait art and allow them to create portrait collages using household items such as pasta, yarn and buttons.
- Spellingbee.com: Scripps National Spelling Bee
- Discovery Education.com: Science Fair Central
- Scholastic.com: Scope Writing Contest
- Kids Activities.net: Community Service
- NCTE.org: Informal Classroom Drama
- Childrenstheatreplays.com: Plays for Kids
- Kidactivities.net: Diversity/Multi-Cultural Arts and Crafts
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