New Project Spotlight: Elementary and Middle School Common Core Aligned Projects


This week we are excited to introduce three new projects along with three new authors! Our authors hale from across North America – from the sunny California shores to gorgeous Prince Edward Island. We are pleased to have: Azul Terronez from High Tech Middle School, Benjamin Spencer from Beach Elementary School, and Krystal Mills creator of Lessons From The Middle, join the NextLesson author community.

Environment Documentary

Ben’s “Environment Documentary,” fosters academic excellence by teaching students in a way that allows them to not only learn, but to fully embrace all the knowledge they are exposed to. This project aims to build a sound knowledge base in 4th grade Life Science and also covers Common Core standards for English Language Arts. Documentaries have long been a great way to collect and share information with others while also fully exploring a subject in detail. With this project, students learn about different environments and food chains by making their own documentaries. This form of learning not only encourages creative vision, but also enhances essential 21st century skills such as collaboration and project management skills. The project features printable worksheets, background reading and exquisite examples of student work. The culminating event for this project is a fun film festival where students showcase their documentaries and share all their findings with peers.

Independant Reading Plan

Krystal has shared a number of inspiring projects and lessons on NextLesson including the “Independent Reading Plan.” This motivational project takes independent reading to the next level. While the role of independent reading in helping students build strong academic foundations is undisputed, this project integrates this visionary concept with interesting activities that span over a school year. It covers English Language Arts Common Core standards in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade. This project also enhances 21st century skills. Students develop self-direction skills when having to read independently, as well as communication skills when having to present the information they have acquired. Students will be especially receptive to this project as they are allowed to make their own choice of reading material, while still being assigned similar tasks as everyone else. This engages the students’ interest while providing them with all the benefits of reading.

New World Survival Handbook

Azul’s “New World Survival Handbook” gets students to explore the challenges and difficulties faced by the early American colonists when settling in the “New World.” Students learn these concepts in an interactive yet fun way where they are divided into teams and tasked with creating a survival guide, which could have been of use to American colonists at the time. The project covers English Language Arts Common Core standards in 8th grade and meets Social Science standards around the American Colonists. Through group work students enhance collaboration skills, in addition to development of critical thinking processes. At the end, students get to exhibit their work and share it with their friends and peers, through a wonderful book.