How project-based learning can incorporate science, social studies, literacy, art and communication all in one
Our Mandarin students in Grades 2-3 completed a project-based learning study on landforms. After reading classroom materials about how various landforms such as volcanos, mountains and lakes are formed, students collaborated in teams of four to construct their own national park. Using cartography concepts of scale, legend, and compass direction, our students designed both a two-dimensional and three-dimensional layout of the park. Students constructed the 3D park using materials such as cardboard, clay, paint, and toothpicks.
They had to use their Mandarin literacy skills to write out such things such as directions for visitors to the park, what activities can be done in the park, and what visitors should pay attention to when visiting the park. In the essay shown students wrote about the science behind the natural landform much as a visitor might expect when visiting the information center of a park. This project is an example of the multi-disciplinary learning across science, social studies, literacy, art and communication that comes about when students work together on a meaningful and open-ended project.