Strategy One: Map Standards to the Project Challenge
Strategy One is all about ensuring the learners use the standards as a way to exhibit their thinking from the lowest to the highest levels as they find answers to authentic challenges. Real-world challenges bring content to life and make the standards relevant to a young learner. While the real-world context may be what inspires an idea for a challenge, without the standards, the project is simply an add-on to the curriculum. Choosing appropriate content and skills, to be addressed during the project process, is the first step in designing an effective authentic learning experience that meets the standards. For Pre-K and kindergarten, the art of designing instruction that is play-based, while still open-ended and cognitively demanding, must involve a process that includes recognizing school and state standards. The chapter focuses on standards from science, math, literacy, and writing.