100+ Project-Based Learning Ideas for Every Age

This blog series was authored by our own A.J. Juliani, Head of Learning & Growth.

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“Everything begins with an idea.” – Earl Nightingale

When I started on my Project-Based Learning journey, I always wondered what other teachers were already doing with PBL in classrooms around the country and world. I remember joining Ning sites and finding other teachers who were doing PBL, it was like a dream come true to chat and discuss and learn.

With the growth of Twitter, blogging, and conference I was able to meet educators from around the world who have inspired me to go deeper into Project-Based Learning. Their ideas were what got me started documenting projects and step-by-step practices that would enhance any PBL experience.

PBL is growing because it engages and empowers students to learn experientially and share that learning in new and unique ways that go well beyond the classroom. Yet, many teachers are asking: How do we plan and implement PBL? How do we “fit it in” our current curriculum? How do we assess it using our current grading guidelines? How do we manage this type of learning?

These are all real concerns and questions that cannot be dismissed. PBL takes time to plan, implement, manage, and assess. Then it takes time to tweak, improve, and highlight.

If you asked any teacher, administrator, parent, school board member, student, or community member to list their top goals for an academic program, you would see achievement, 21st-century competencies, equity, and motivation all at the top.

Project-based learning is shown to work in all kinds of schools, in all different grade levels, with students of varying backgrounds and abilities.

So, if this is what the research says about PBL, then why do we still have so many schools falling into the test prep trap? Why do some many teachers feel like they cannot make the jump into PBL? Why haven’t we seen a nationwide movement towards PBL as a best and effective practice for all students?

It comes back to HOW to do PBL in the midst of standards and curriculum. I’ve put together a free workshop to show you the 5-step process to do just that.

I’m holding three workshops this week (for K-5, 6-12, and school leaders):

You can sign-up to be a part of the training right here! If you can’t make the time, please sign-up so you can get the recording.

Ideas to Get You Started

I’ve listed 100+ PBL ideas below to help get you started on the project-based learning journey. The ideas below that are hyperlinked will send you to the project that is already developed. Those that are not yet hyperlinked are some of our ideas for future projects. I can’t wait to share them out when they are finished. In the meantime, use them to get inspired and give you some ideas to start PBL with your students.

Grades K-2

3. My Name Project
4. Town Hero Project
5. Better Playground Project
7. Catching the Tooth Fairy Project
8. Illustrate A Short Story Project
9. Tear-A-Scene Project
10. Build a Snowman Project
11. The Superhero Project
13. The First National Holiday Project
14. Make Your Own Animal Project

Grades 3-5

17. Life as a Rock Project
18. Natural Disaster Project
20. The Selfie Project
21. Pinball Machine Project
23. The Vacation Project
24. The Habitat Project
27. Create Your Own City Project
28. Carnival Games Project
30. Analog Oregon Trail Project

Grades 6-8 ELA

33. Book to Movie Project
34. The Storyboard Project
35. Press Release Project
36. Book-In-An-Hour Project
37. The Ultimate Debate Project
38. Junk Sculpture Project
40. Podcast Project
41. Live In Your Shoes Project
42. A Character on Social Media Project
43. Lit Circles Talkshow Project

Grades 6-8 Social Studies

46. Digital Voting Project
47. The Making of a U.S. President Project
49. Civil War Tour Guide Project
50. Unknown American Hero Project
51. Fallen Empire Project
54. History Bias Project
55. The Honor Code Project
56. The Cultural Exchange Project
57. The Constitution Right Now Project

Grades 6-8 Science

Grades 6-8 Math

71. Save the Family Business Project
72. Curveball/Whiffleball Project
73. Rollercoaster Tycoon Project
74. Raising of Chicago Project
77. Minigolf Project
78. Battlefield Project
79. Game of Life Project
80. Egg Drop Project
82. Create a Safari Project
83. The Basketball Shot Project

Grades 9-12 ELA

85. Lit Circles Reality TV Project
86. Photo Essay Project
87. The Novel Documentary Project
88. Character Cribs Project
89. Fiction Mirrors Reality Project
90. The Bystander Project
92. Dystopian vs Utopian Project
93. 10 Laws of Power Project
94. Dear Media Project
95. Fake News Project

Grades 9-12 Math

98. The Chunnel Project
99. Election Data Analysis Project
101. Amazon vs Apple Data Analysis Project
103. Google vs Facebook Data Analysis Project
104. Crypto vs Regular Currency Project
106. Making Sense of Nutrition Label Project
107. Rebuilding the Pyramid Project
108. Linear vs Exponential Technology Project
109. The Moneyball Project

Grades 9-12 Science

112. Rubber Band Car Project
113. Flat World Project
114. Rube Goldberg Project
115. Chemistry Mythbusters Project
116. Biology Mythbusters Project
117. Physics Mythbusters Project
118. Envi/Sci Mythbusters Project
119. The Waste Problem Project
120. DNA Barcoding Project
121. Tiny Theme Park Design Project

Grades 9-12 Social Studies

123. Become a Dictator Project
124. Time Machine Project
125. The Hamilton Project (using current language to tell a history)
126. The American Dream Project
127. The Making of a Revolution Project
129. The Role of Art Project
130. WWI Documentary Project
131. WWII Documentary Project
132. Cold War Spy Project

Next Steps

It comes back to HOW to do PBL in the midst of standards and curriculum. I’ve put together a free workshop to show you the 5-step process to do just that. You don’t need to start from scratch, instead, you can get a jumpstart on the process.

I’m holding three workshops this week (for K-5, 6-12, and school leaders):

You can sign-up to be a part of the training right here! If you can’t make the time, please sign-up so you can get the recording.

Are you ready to hit the ground running? Let’s get started!