The 6th Grade Class of 2023 just completed a week-long project-based learning experience, dubbed April Action. Project-based learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.
Sixth graders formed small groups and chose to work on one of three project options. Some groups developed websites, videos or composed correspondences to local newspapers or government offices to raise awareness of a social issue and present solutions for the issue. They researched a variety of topics, including animal abuse, homelessness, global warming, hunger, and poverty. Others chose the “Empathy Project” track and interviewed Lower School students about something that worried them in order to create “how-to” books to use as guides. The third project option, “Design on a Dime,” challenged students to use Google Sketch Up to renovate an existing space in the Middle School. They offered design options for several spaces, including the Harris Reading Room, a soccer field, and classrooms. Students especially enjoyed the independence to choose their topics and collaborate in small groups. The groups shared their projects with peers and faculty during formal presentations on April 6.