|Creativity loves constraints!
‘You can’t improvise on nothing, man; you’ve gotta improvise on something.’ Charles Mingus
In all my years of teaching, my favorite part was the project-based work. Projects make English teaching come alive. Projects stimulate the pupils’ curiosity and bring out their creativity and the creativity of the teacher too! Projects encourage imagination, improve the thinking skills through the diverse topics and learning styles they encompass.
The topics I chose for projects in the classroom are relevant, dealing with authentic problems and issues. The pupils are required to do research, to become internet literate, to deal in investigation, information processing and inquiry. These meaningful learning experiences lead to effective learning. A pupil will never forget something that he or she has taken personal pride in creating.
Projects give pupils a feeling of belonging, of being noticed. If the class chooses an umbrella topic, each pupil can find his/her own niche within that topic. For example, if the topic is “dreams”, one can do their project on psychology, another on a survey, another on a dream they had, another on dreams for the future.The teacher should make a point of noting down each of the pupils’ topics so as to be able to pass remarks on the corridor regarding that pupil’s topic. For example, Hey Amir, I read an article about the basketball player you’re doing your project on!
Each pupil has a feeling on “ownership” and expertise in the area in which they have chosen to do their project. While this encourages individual pride in their work, it also encourages pupils to share their ideas and collaborate through a structured group report at the culmination of the project period.