Another supported challenge that Liam had the opportunity to complete during his third grade year was an “official” long-term project.
The project was to research a topic and create a game to present the topic to an audience. Liam chose to research rabbits and make a game called “Hop To It!” to help us learn about his topic.
The aspects of this long-term project that made it a successful experience for Liam were that:
- he was given the opportunity to choose his own topic research
- he had a calendar with clear dates/deadlines for both him and us to follow
- the teacher provided him with a packet to describe each step of the project:
- Step 1: How to Choose a Topic (with graphic organizers and activities to facilitate choosing a topic)
- Step 2: Researching Your Topic (with guidelines for how to make note cards of information and record citation information)
- Step 3: How to Make A Game (with examples of options he could choose, to model what it could look like)
- Step 4: Making Rules for the Game (with information about how to make rules for a game, what to include, and tips for trouble-shooting making rules)
- Step 5: Making the Game Board (with clear expectations/rubric and final recommendations for making it appealing and playable)
The amount of thought and time that went into how the teacher scaffolded the steps and provided clear expectations for his work definitely helped him be successful.
Moreover, because his research was presented in a fun way, he enjoyed each step. In the end, he was able to present his work to his class. He asked everyone to play his game when it came home.
It certainly helped that she tapped into his love for making and playing games.
We learned a lot about rabbits that year.