Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
Do you need innovative ideas for projects that have creative end products to demonstrate learning? Sometimes we just need something to reference for final project ideas.
This blog post is a laundry list of interesting and creative project final product ideas that students and teachers can browse for inspiration.
I have seen students produce some pretty outstanding final products in my 15 years as a project-based educator. Many of those outcomes were produced by experienced project-based learners.
There is a learning curve with project-based learning, and it requires breaking some pretty strong habits that have formed from prior training in more traditional learning environments.
The biggest challenge for me has been getting students to think more creatively and authentically about how to demonstrate and share learning.
Based on habit and ease, students naturally gravitate toward copy-and-paste poster boards and slideshow presentations.
There are many avenues for student choice in project-based learning, and one of those is choice in end product.
There are plenty of options to choose from, it's just a matter of getting students in the habit of thinking outside of the box.
Scroll down for a list of 100+ alternatives to copy-and-paste poster boards and slideshows! This list applies to all ages, just adjust your expectations.
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If you're looking for a general PBL framework or direction for getting started, go back to these project-based learning blog posts: What is Project-Based Learning Anyway? and Implementing the Seven Steps in Project Based Learning. You can also find a list of digital project final products here.
Project-Based Learning End Product Ideas to Demonstrate Learning
Poster Board Alternatives:
1) Create a magazine
2) Write trivia (Kahoot is a great online trivia game program)
3) Make an interactive exhibit
4) Make a board game
5) Engineer a moving model (ex: demonstrating synaptic transmission)
6) Write a song on a project topic
7) Write a poetry book
8) Create a photo journal
9) Make a scrapbook
10) Write and illustrate a comic
11) Paint a mural
If you are looking for a platform where you can organize personalized learning experiences, check out Spinndle!
12) Create a gallery (ex: photography, paintings, drawings, sculptures)
13) Hand-make a craft/artifact
14) Design a lesson plan
15) Make a video tutorial
16) Start a Vlog
My students thrive off of anything video related. They love vlogging, making documentaries, creating video promotions and music videos. Truly anything that can get these 21st-century kiddos on video, they'll take it.
17) Write a blog
18) Make a website
19) Produce a podcast
20) Write a screenplay
21) Create a storyboard
22) Choreograph an interpretive dance
23) Organize a debate
24) Work with local legislators to write a bill
25) Make a calendar
26) Organize a mock trial
27) Make a 3D model
28) Make a documentary
29) Write a newsletter
30) Write a news article
31) Write a lab report
32) Artistically perform (dance, song, etc.)
33) Craft Showcase (Ex: handmade bags, scarves, DIY projects, woodworking)
34) Make a video promotion
35) Put together a career portfolio (resume, work experience, reference letters, evidence pages)
36) Create a piece of artwork that illustrates the project topic
37) Slideshow about an experience (works well for volunteer experiences, field trips, school travel, etc.)
38) Make a quiz
39) Write a book (biography, short story, novel, etc.)
40) Create an awareness campaign poster
41) Create a Facebook page (works well for characters in books, business page, or group)
42) Create a spreadsheet portfolio (appropriate for event planning for example)
43) Make charts and graphs (to illustrate survey results for example)
44) Design a t-shirt (school shirt, shirt that raises awareness on an issue, etc.)
45) Make a "Bloom Ball" (check out this fun example and bloom ball template)
46) Make a physical or digital map
If you're looking for mapping inspiration, check out my blog post on Using Google Maps for Project Based Learning Final Products. Students can use Google Maps for a variety of angles including demographics, storytelling, timelines, and more.
47) Make a puzzle
48) Design an escape room
49) Design a travel brochure
50) Make a business card (Ex: for a character in a book, for a business, for volunteering, etc.)
51) Make a flier
52) Write a journal or diary (on a personal experience such as a health plan)
53) Write an instruction manual
54) Create a theme poster
55) Make a blueprint (floor plan for the setting in a book, one's dream school, interior design)
56) Write a petition
Click here for project-based learning teacher tools and secondary resources. They make learning more engaging for students, teaching more exciting for you, and will save you a ton of time. You can also click the images below for those specific resources.
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57) Write a persuasive speech
58) Write a business plan
59) Record an interview and publish it
60) Create an online portfolio (for showcasing creative and/or professional work)
61) Create a billboard-style advertisement
62) Write and illustrate a children's book
63) Make a concept map
64) Write and perform a monologue
65) Make a simulation (digital, written, performance)
66) Make an animation
67) Create a timeline
68) Make a diorama
69) Make a diagram
70) Write an informative speech
71) Make a fortune teller (a hand-made origami game - one of my students added information about her topic to each square on the game).
72) Make a graphic organizer
73) Make a postcard
74) Compile a book of interviews
75) Organize and host a game show
76) Produce a news segment
77) Put together a time capsule
78) Make a collage
79) Put together learning stations
80) Design a set and give visitors a "tour" (great for a book project, ecosystems project, etc.)
82) Organize an event in the community
83) Create a professional quality infographic
84) Make a music video
85) Put together a handbook
87) Learning activity
88) Child-friendly translation of a convoluted concept
89) Design and make a usable product - Ex: If the topic is on natural disasters, the student might design and build a life-saving device.
Have you gotten your free PBL mini tool kit yet?! Go ahead and grab it!
You'll get a planner, implementation spreadsheet, and portfolio for showcasing experiences!
90) Write a jingle
91) Make a puzzle
92) Design an art installation
93) Create a brand
94) Write a proposal
95) Host a school event
96) Organize a speaker series
97) A "_____ week/month" program/schedule (Ex: theme book club schedule)
98) Host a fundraiser event
99) Create a Pinterest profile and add boards and pins directly related to your topic.
100) Write an editorial
101) Create a memory book
102) Create a memory box (great for experiences - students build a box with visuals that highlight themes of the experience, then they fill the box with relevant information and artifacts from the experience).
103) Make a virtual museum
104) Create a learning activity
105) Design and create a greeting card
106) Write and record a kids show or movie
107) Make a moving model or diorama
108) Make a commercial
109) Host a conversation on Clubhouse
110) Create a Facebook group
111) Create an interactive "tour" using Google Maps.
112) Scavenger hunt
Before you head out, consider innovative final products and widening the scope of the experience for your students.
Non-poster board final products are one of many elements that make project-based learning what it is. But just because you have your students create innovative final products, doesn't make the experience project-based.
I urge you to think about making the experience even more innovative and authentic by making it self-directed project-based learning.
Grab the freebies above if you have not already. Then add my project-based learning tool kit to help you and your students get started on endless PBL possibilities. Check out the video below for details.
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to share your stories of project-based learning successes. I'd love to hear about some final products your students have used that weren't listed here! My eyes and ears are always open for new and exciting ideas. Thanks for reading!
PBL Resources for Student-Led Secondary Students:
Relevant Blog Posts:
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Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.