Developing Natural Curiosity through Project-Based Learning is a practical guide that provides step-by-step instructions for PreK–3 teachers interested in embedding project-based learning (PBL) into their daily classroom routine. The book spells out the five steps teachers can use to create authentic PBL challenges for their learners and illustrates exactly what that looks like in an early childhood classroom. Authentic project-based learning experiences engage children in the mastery of twenty-first-century skills and state standards to empower them as learners, making an understanding of PBL vital for PreK–3 teachers everywhere.
Table of Contents
- Developing Ideas for Authentic Challenges, Projects, Learning Experiences
- Strategy One: Map Standards to the Project Challenge
- Strategy Two: Build Classroom Community
- Strategy Three: Make Reading and Writing Authentic
- Strategy Four: Maximize Formative Assessments in Your Project
- Strategy Five: Activate Intrinsic Motivation
- Language Learners: Projects and the English Language and Dual Language Learner
- Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity
- Appendix 1
- Appendix 2
- Appendix 3
Dayna Laur is an independent educational consultant. Dayna leads workshops on PBL, authentic learning experiences, inquiry learning, critical thinking, Advanced Placement, technology integration, 1:1 programs, and STEAM. She trains nationally, internationally, and through online support.
Jill Ackers is a school leader, instructional coach, and teacher who consults for schools and universities all over the world and virtually. She is passionate about curriculum and instruction, leadership, and program design.
Throughout my work with authentic learning experiences, I find that teachers often ask: "Where do I begin?" Dayna and Jill have provided a practical guide for teachers, from basic understanding, to step-by-step strategies, to opportunities for self-reflection. This book will help teachers make authentic learning experiences a reality for their students—resulting in critical thinkers who love learning both in and out of the classroom!
—Melinda Springman, Ed.S., School Principal at South Olive Elementary School in West Palm Beach, FL
Natural Curiosity is a wonderful resource for veteran and novice teachers alike looking to provide their students with authentic experiences through Project Based Learning. The book is filled with step-by-step examples for all age ranges. It walks you through the rationale behind providing students with real life experiences, shows you how to apply them to the classroom, and demonstrates how to create projects that are aligned to standards and rich with deep learning. The five stage process is easy to follow and interwoven throughout the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in or already using Project Based Learning in their classroom.
— Jeff Horwitz, Associate Head of School at Chesterfield Day School in St. Louis, MO
It is a rare book that combines superb writing with the research-supported strategies of expert practitioners. Laur and Ackers walk arm-and-arm with teachers eager to create authentic learning experiences to develop mastery of significant content while enhancing the ability of young learners to develop 21st century learning skills and mindsets.
—David Ross, CEO, Partnership for 21st Century Learning