Designing Effective Projects : Characteristics of Projects
Inside Projects: Foundation Phase


Pond Water and Pollywogs: Grade 2 Life Science Project
Learners rear frogs from eggs, and share their expertise in an informative brochure for visitors at a new amphibian’s exhibit at the local zoo. You may want to print this page as you view the entire Pond Water and Pollywogs Project .

This project is made relevant to learners’ lives by asking the Focus Question: Do frogs fit into where they live? Learners study frogs and create a newsletter about an artificial frog habitat, make observations, and create a slideshow of their findings.

Aligns with Assessment Standards
Project work is central to the curriculum. The topic of organisms and their environment is part of the Foundation Phase life science curriculum for the teacher who originally developed the project. It involves key science processes of observing, creating, and comparing habitats.

Important Questions
The Foscus Question leads to interesting discussions that have relevance beyond the classroom. The theme question, Is there no place like home? helps learners connect their own lives to the content of the project. The Focus Question Do frogs fit into where they live? and the Content Questions such as, What is needed for a healthy frog habitat? prompt learners to think about relevant facts and information that lead to the higher-level questions. Learners have many opportunities to address the Focus Question throughout the project and reflect individually, in pairs, and discuss it with the larger group. This not only gives the learners opportunities to think about the content at higher levels but gives the teacher information on the learners’ understanding of the content and how to direct and redirect discussions and teaching.

Multiple and Ongoing Assessments
Assessment is embedded throughout the project with an observation journal to record ideas through writing and pictures. Learners also respond to questions posed by the teacher in the journal. Many of these questions are Content and Focus Questions. The project rubric is used to assess journals and learners have an opportunity to receive ongoing feedback. The teacher uses a slideshow scoring guide to assess the final product. Learners check on project expectations throughout the project with this same scoring guide.

Authentic Work
The learners make real-world connections through the project theme and Focus Question, which asks them to make observations and comparisons within their own home and frogs’ homes. The project also makes community connections by having the learners visit a local zoo and create a newsletter for visitors.

Demonstrations of Learning
Learners complete several products: a mural or field guide as well as a final slideshow and newsletter. The products are intrinsically engaging and authentic to the task.

ICT Integration and Learning
Learners use ICT to create the newsletter and slideshow presentation, allowing them to share their learning with a wider audience. They take pictures for the slideshow and newsletter with a digital camera, and Internet research informs their learning.

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