Free Friday is here! Whew! After a long week, it’s about time to get something that will spur you on in those engaging lessons. Today, we’re going to focus on how to use Project-Based Learning to construct a product using a process.
When developing an Arts Integration (or any other engaging, creative lesson), it’s always good to remember that the product from the lesson should be an equal outcome of both the process and the project.
You want to make sure that the process is clear, sequential, and has a stated objective and very defined outcome. The process that students learn through is more important in most cases than the outcome of the lesson. We don’t want students just regurgitating facts – we want them to understand the processes behind manipulating those facts so that they can solve unforeseen problems later on. Developing the process through which students learn the topic should take priority and be thoughtful in its design.
The project is the natural flow to what takes place within the process. The project is the overall activity and engagement piece where true learning occurs. Students must be flexible and adjust during a project, learn how to collaborate and take on leadership and responsibility. These are all 21st century learning skills which create the most meaning for students when introduced within a project. Make sure that the project you develop is going to produce something which can be measured, aligns to your original objective, and has purpose. There’s nothing worse than doing a project “just because”.
The product is what happens when the process and the project are in place. The product is not the result of the project – this is not a flow chart. Instead, the product is the outcome of the marriage of the process through the project. What is produced is something that provides personal meaning for the students in relationship to the topic.
So today’s Free Friday Giveaway is the Process-Project-Product Worksheet. This is a planning worksheet that can help you to visualize the lesson and put it into an action plan so that you can make sure you’re hitting all the key areas in the right order. Enjoy, and Happy Friday everyone!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.