Project Led Learning
Project Led Learning, The first project on my daughter Sue's list is raising rabbits. She has been waiting some years for this chance to leverage into reality her desire to have some rabbits. "It's school, Dad!"So how can I make raising rabbits into an educational project that is fun, successful, and a learning experience? First, she must learn a fair bit about caring for rabbits, and we must adequately prepare the rabbit's home before we buy them.
Project Led Learning Purchasing Rabbits
So, I type "raising rabbits" into Google. All kinds of good stuff appear. She will study these and take notes in her "Rabbit Project" journal. I will get a book or two for her. I type "raising rabbits" into Amazon and see several good ones.I will show her where we will build the rabbit hutches and how I intend the general layout to be. She will then design the rabbit hutch. I will help her and make necessary adjustments, but she must research it out herself. She will figure all the materials she needs and their cost.
Project Led Learning Construction
My daughter will then build the rabbit's home. I will assist her as needed, but it is her project. She will study and take notes on rabbit feeding and rabbit problems and all the things that can go wrong with rabbits.
Finally, when everything is ready, we will buy 2-3 rabbits. Because of my interests, I will suggest an unusual breed of rabbit. Sue will communicate with the owners to know what to expect. She may even join that rabbit breed association.
Project Led Learning Equipment
We will buy all the equipment and tools she needs to care for the rabbits, and she will learn how to use them.
When the rabbits come, she is committed. They are her responsibility, and application to the task lies on her shoulders. Once they are in that cage, she cannot "discover" that she doesn't want to take care of them.
While she is doing each of these tasks, she will be recording her time on assignment in a journal. She will be taking notes. She will keep a running record of her observations and how each rabbit fares.
Because she is also doing a project on learning to sketch and a plan on writing short stories, she will study Beatrix Potter's rendition of rabbits into some of the most beloved artwork of all time. This bit of research applies to all three of these projects.
Project Led Learning Reading Material
She will read Watership Down by Richard Adams. And, we will get a book on the genetic study of rabbits in the wild.
So, besides the joy of caring for and interacting with the rabbits themselves, my daughter is reading and writing about rabbits. She is learning practical research for present needs. She is designing and figuring amounts and costs. She is learning about rabbits in history and their natural habitat. She is studying the anatomy and diseases of rabbits and making them better when they are sick. She is investigating rabbits in art. She is operating the tools and equipment needed to care for the rabbits, and she has the continual discipline of caring for those rabbits every single day. No shirking allowed.
Project Led Learning Summary
At the end of a year, she will pull everything together into a photo album of her rabbit project and publish it on the Internet. She will also have her hard copy, which, I suspect, she will keep for many years. This does sound almost like a college course, but I will scale all of this down to the level of a twelve-year-old. All told, she will journal somewhere around 100 hours of total time into this project. It is one that will continue through all twelve months of the year. And if the rabbits produce little ones and they grow up strong and healthy, she may even be able to sell them to some other homeschool child, starting a rabbit raising project. And see a return on the money invested.