This blog will discuss topics that can be easily turned into a project that will help students adapt to their new life in Canada. Some topics may not be appropriate depending on the subject matter or the culture/personal experiences of the students. A few of these topics include politics, religion, or music (yes, this may be an issue). Topics that are related to Canadian culture, government, community, and every day activities are usually acceptable. These topics can be molded into a framework that will make for an encompassing learning experience focusing on the four necessary skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
How to Use Project-Based Learning with LINC Students
Offer a choice of topics for the students to review and, further, vote/select on the topic to select. Each topic should give a basic outline of what could be covered and what the learning would be. For example:
Topic: Elections (could be civic, provincial or federal)
- Learning the voting process in Canada.
- Learning about candidates and their platforms.
- Setting up a polling station for all students to participate in the voting process.
This project involves many students, offering many speaking and listening opportunities. When presenting the topic/idea to your class fill in any gaps verbally and have a class discussion on some basic details (how many candidates, how many polls, the value in learning about this process, etc.).
When I did this project with my class, I had one student who had recently received his Canadian Citizenship. He was now able to vote! Through participating in this project, he learnt the complete process (ballots, polls, ID, secrecy, registration, etc.) and reported back (after voting) that he was very comfortable voting for the very first time!
Projects can be scaled from very involved/difficult (like Elections) or simplified to cover only the basics (like no-bake baking). However, the more detailed, diverse and involved your project is, the better your outcomes for student learning and experience. A few topics to consider are:
1- Topic (Election): Outcome (Have an election)
2- Topic (Shopping): Outcome (Build a functioning grocery store)
3- Topic (Baking): Outcome (Making cookie dough / no-bake item)
4- Topic (Events): Outcome (Creating and hosting a year-end party)
5- Topic (Art): Outcome (Private view of an art exhibition)
The scope of each project can be adjusted to suit class size, time allotted and/or student abilities. No matter which project you choose, the students will have fun, build self-confidence and learn new skills.