What happens when you let your students come up with the task? A great activity that students have already bought into because they think it’s their idea!
We were teaching social studies to our fourth and fifth graders and were learning about the way of life for the different Aboriginal groups historically in Canada. Our question to our students was, “How can you show us what you have learned?”
Their responses, “Can we make a project? Can we build a tipi? Can I make a poster?”
Of course we did it all. Our students came up with the idea of turning our classroom into a museum (or they thought they did). Each small group was designated a different Aboriginal group and were responsible for creating a museum display to teach the rest of the class about the shelter for their group of indigenous people.
What the students didn’t know, is we had already created a product on Teachers Pay Teachers so other teachers could join in on the fun. You can grab it here if you are interested.
Our students amazed us with their creativity about how they presented their material. We had all sorts of written reports, posters and dioramas. One student even turned their writing into a voice recording and then made a QR code.
This project is not just about making something. It includes a short mapping task so students can show which part of the country their Aboriginal group historically lived in and includes a checklist so students will know which information they should include in their explanation.
The best part was setting up our classroom as a museum and letting other classes come visit while we taught everything we had learned. They were so engaged and can’t wait to do more projects like it. How do you get your students involved in the planning process? Leave us a comment below.