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In this article we’ll take a look at 50 (!!) project based learning activities to engage and excite students and get you started thinking about ways to use PBL as a key component to your students’ education.
Project-based learning (PBL) is an innovative teaching approach that promotes active and hands-on learning experiences. By engaging students in real-world projects, PBL fosters critical thinking, problem-solving skills, collaboration, and curiosity and can truly help to motivate students. To help educators bring this enriching educational technique to their classrooms and into their homeschools and co-ops, we have compiled an extensive list of 50 project-based learning activities. These activities span various subjects, grade levels, and interests, ensuring there’s something for every classroom.
50 Project Based Learning Activities
1. Design Your Dream School: Task students with designing an ideal school, including everything from the curriculum to the physical space. Check out our PBL lesson plans for designing your dream school here!
2. Create a Weather Forecast: Have students research weather patterns and present their own weather forecast, complete with graphics and predictions. PBL weather lesson plan can be found here!
3. Build a Rube Goldberg Machine: Challenge students to create an elaborate machine that performs a simple task using a sequence of complicated steps. Find a PBL lesson plan on building a Rube Goldberg Machine here.
4. Create a Podcast Series: Encourage students to develop a podcast series on a topic of their choice, conducting interviews and sharing their findings. Check out our PBL lesson plan on creating a podcast series for middle and high school students here.
5. Design a Community Garden: Have students design and plan a community garden, considering factors such as space, plant selection, and sustainability. PBL lesson plan on designing a garden is right here!
6. Investigate Ancient Civilizations: Assign students different ancient civilizations to research, then have them create interactive presentations to share their findings. Grab the full lesson plan for grades 6-8 here.
7. Organize a TEDxYouth Event: Allow students to organize and host a TEDxYouth event, wherein they curate and present thought-provoking talks. Get the lesson plan for grades 6-12 here.
8. Conduct a Scientific Experiment: Guide students through the process of designing and conducting a scientific experiment, from hypothesis development to data analysis. Find the full lesson plan for students in grades 4-8 here.
9. Write and Publish a Children’s Book: Encourage students to write and illustrate a children’s book, then help them publish and distribute their work. Grab the full lesson plan for grades 4-8 here.
10. Design a Sustainable City: Challenge students to create a sustainable city plan, considering elements such as renewable energy, waste management, and transportation. Full lesson plan for grades 6-12 can found here.
Love Project Based Learning? Grab the bundle of 50 complete lesson plans here!
11. Launch a Student-Run Business: Support students in starting their own business, teaching them essential entrepreneurial skills like marketing, budgeting, and customer service. Get the lesson plan for grades 6-8 here.
12. Create an Art Installation: Inspire students to collaborate on an art installation that addresses a social or environmental issue, encouraging dialogue and reflection. Download the full lesson plan here.
13. Produce a Short Film: Guide students through the process of creating a short film, from scriptwriting to filming and editing. Full lesson plan can be found here.
14. Plan a Cultural Exchange Program: Encourage students to develop a cultural exchange program with students from a different country, fostering global understanding and empathy. Lesson plan for grades 5-8 is right here!
15. Explore Sustainable Fashion: Have students investigate sustainable fashion practices and design their own eco-friendly clothing line. Grab the lesson for grades 4-6 here.
16. Build a Solar-Powered Vehicle: Challenge students to design and build a solar-powered vehicle, exploring concepts of energy conversion and efficiency. Build your own solar-powered vehicles with this lesson plan for grades 4-6.
17. Create a Humanitarian Campaign: Invite students to develop a humanitarian campaign to raise awareness and support for a social issue of their choice. Get the lesson plan for grades 6-12 here.
18. Start a School Newspaper: Support students in launching a school newspaper, teaching them journalism skills and giving them a platform for their voices. Create your own newspaper with these PBL lesson plans for grades 4-8.
19. Design a Board Game: Task students with designing and prototyping a board game that educates players about a historical event or scientific concept. Design a board game with this lesson plan for students grades 4-8.
20. Create a Virtual Reality Experience: Empower students to design and develop a virtual reality experience that educates and immerses users in a specific topic. Dig into this exciting project with lesson plans for grades 4-8 here.
21. Research and Develop Sustainable Packaging: Have students research and design sustainable packaging solutions for a particular product. Find the full lesson plan on sustainable packaging for grades 4-8 here.
22. Organize a Mock Trial: Engage students in a mock trial, allowing them to explore concepts of law, critical thinking, and public speaking. Organize your own mock trial with this lesson plan for grades 6-12.
23. Design a Community Recycling Program: Task students with creating and implementing a comprehensive recycling program for their community or school. Check out our free PBL Recycling Project here!
24. Develop a Health and Wellness Program: Encourage students to create a health and wellness program tailored to the needs of their school or community. Check out the lesson plan for grades 4-8 here.
25. Launch a Charity Drive: Guide students in organizing a charity drive to collect essentials or raise funds for a cause they find meaningful. Organize your own charity drive with this lesson plan for grades 4-8.
26. Create a Multimedia Exhibition: Inspire students to research and curate a multimedia exhibition showcasing the history or culture of a specific region. Create your own exhibition with this lesson plan for grades 6-8.
27. Invent a Sustainable Energy Solution: Challenge students to invent a sustainable energy solution, such as a wind turbine or solar-powered device. Grab the lesson plan for grades 6-8 here.
28. Write and Perform a Play: Support students in writing, rehearsing, and performing an original play that tackles a relevant social or historical issue. Produce your own play with this lesson plan for students grades 6-8.
29. Design a Mobile App: Teach students the basics of app development, then have them design and create a mobile app that solves a specific problem. Get the lesson plan for grades 6-12 here.
30. Start a School Garden: Help students establish and maintain a school garden, integrating science, math, and environmental sustainability concepts. Start your own garden with these lesson plans for grades 4-8.
31. Create a Poetry Anthology: Encourage students to write and compile a poetry anthology, showcasing their creativity and literary skills. Create your own poetry anthology with these lesson plans for grades 4-8.
32. Investigate Space Exploration: Assign students different aspects of space exploration to research and present, then encourage a collaborative display of their findings. Explore space with this lesson plan for grades 4-8.
33. Design and Build a Habitat: Challenge students to design and build a habitat for a specific animal species, considering their needs and natural environment. Design and build your own habitat with these lesson plans for grades 4-8.
34. Organize a Historical Fair: Allow students to research and present different historical periods or events through interactive exhibits at a historical fair. Get started on your historical fair with lesson plans for grades 4-8.
35. Create an Environmental Awareness Campaign: Guide students in developing an engaging multimedia campaign to raise awareness about an environmental issue. Check out the lesson plan for students grades 4-8 here.
36. Design a Sustainable Water Management System: Task students with designing a sustainable water management system for their school or community. Get started with these lesson plans for grades 6-8.
37. Explore Genetic Engineering: Have students research and discuss the potential applications, benefits, and ethical implications of genetic engineering. Start exploring with this lesson plan geared toward kids in grades 6-12.
38. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy: Teach students the fundamentals of social media marketing and have them create a comprehensive strategy for a local business or organization. Check out the full lesson plan for grades 6-12 here.
39. Create a Podcast on Social Issues: Encourage students to research and discuss social issues through a podcast series, raising awareness and promoting dialogue. Find the lesson plans for grades 6-8 here.
40. Plan a Field Trip: Empower students to plan a field trip to a location of educational significance, considering logistics, budgeting, and educational value. Plan your own field trip with lesson plans for grades 4-8 here.
Love Project Based Learning? Grab the bundle of 50 complete lesson plans here!
41. Design and Conduct a Poll: Task students with designing and conducting a poll to gather data on a specific topic, then have them analyze and present the results. Grab the lesson plan for grades 4-6 here.
42. Create a Public Service Announcement: Inspire students to develop a public service announcement video addressing a social issue and advocating for change. DIY your video with lesson plans for grades 4-8.
43. Investigate Sustainable Agriculture: Have students research sustainable agriculture practices and design their own small-scale organic farm plans. Get started here with lesson plans for grades 4-8.
44. Organize a Science Fair: Encourage students to plan and organize a science fair, showcasing their own experiments and inviting student participation. Plan your own science fair with lesson plans for grades 4-8 here.
45. Design and Build a Model Bridge: Challenge students to design and build a model bridge capable of supporting a certain weight, exploring concepts of engineering and physics. Create your own model bridge with lesson plans for grades 4-8.
46. Create a Cookbook: Task students with developing a cookbook that highlights healthy, affordable, and sustainable recipes. Full lesson plan for grades 4-8 here.
47. Conduct a Historical Reenactment: Have students research and reenact a significant historical event, immersing themselves in the era and understanding its significance. Try this project with students grades 4-8 with lesson plans here.
48. Create a Community Service Project: Guide students in designing and implementing a community service project that addresses a specific local need. Plan your own community service project with students grades 4-8 with lesson plans here.
49. Design and Engineer a Roller Coaster: Challenge students to design and build a working roller coaster model, considering concepts of physics and safety. Get started designing your own roller coaster with lesson plans for grades 4-8 here.
50. Organize a Science Olympiad: Allow students to plan and host a school-wide science olympiad, featuring various scientific challenges and competitions. Host your own olympiad with lesson plans for grades 4-8 here.
Bonus: PBL Lesson Plan Template
Whether you’re designing a project based lesson plan for your class, co-op, or homeschool family, make it easy with a simple and effective lesson plan template. This template includes a two-page overview of your project, five days of planning, and a ten point rubric all in a simple-to-edit Google Doc.
Project Based Learning Activities
Project-based learning provides students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful and practical experiences that go beyond traditional classroom instruction. These 50 project-based learning activities cover a wide range of subjects and interests, allowing educators to incorporate PBL into their curriculum effectively. By implementing project-based learning in the classroom, educators can foster creativity, critical thinking, and a love for learning, resulting in engaged and inspired students.
– 7 Motivational Activities for Students
– Educational Board Games: 10 Games to make Learning FUN!
– PBL Project Ideas: 10 Real World Challenges
– PBL Lesson Plan Template: The Power of Project Based Learning
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.