****Before deciding there is not enough time in the week to implement something like this, read through the description again and think about all the important LIFE-LONG research/study skills your students gain from completing their Passion Projects. It also empowers them and helps them gain SELF-ESTEEM. With just a few small blocks of time during the week and some parental encouragement and support, this has become one of my favorite and the most rewarding pieces of my curriculum - worth every minute of classroom time devoted! If there is any doubt still or any questions you have about implementing this into your classroom, feel free to message me!
Passion Projects are meant to encourage students to research and explore topics of interest to them. Whether it’s exploring an interest or working with a new skill or material, project ideas stem from passions in the students’ own lives. Topics can range from dogs to soccer to the Underground Railroad, or a science experiment. I have even had a student research a fashion designer and design and sow a dress inspired by that designer!
More importantly, aside from learning something new, Passion Projects provide the students with an opportunity to learn how to tackle a long-term, multi-faceted project! They complete a proposal sheet explaining their research question or topic, their steps for research, and a proposed presentation plan. Students are encouraged to draft a list of questions they have about their topic and begin gathering research materials. After students find answers to their questions they organize and prepare their presentation in order to share what they have learned with their peers.
Passion Projects are meant to be fun and an introductory means of exposing young students to research and applying more independence to academic work. Teachers do not correct these projects or formally evaluate them; however, we learn much about the students’ work skills and strategies from observing and guiding the students as they work. When students need guidance teachers are available, but we try to keep these as independent as possible in order to allow for student exploration.