Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

Ideas for Involving Students in Planning a Project
for Places and Perspectives Learning Circles

Group Project Search

Thinking about your geographic location and local history will often generate a number of good project ideas. Begin with your location. Ask your students to list geographic features or conditions that make your city different from the other cities in your Learning Circle (land formations, waterways, proximity to coastlines, climate etc.). Next to each of the items, ask students to list how these geographic conditions affect their lives.

Now use the same list and ask how the features have affected the historical development of your city. Talk about the ways your city would change if it were next to a river, or surrounded by mountains, or on the coast.

This discussion should help students see how all aspects of their lives have been influenced in some way by where they are located. This insight will be of interest to students in other locations. On the network they will be able to find answers to questions about how different geographic locations affect students' lives. Often, this type of brainstorming will help students formulate good questions about people who live in different settings.

The final step is to organize these questions into a Learning Circle project. The students need to discuss (1) the type of information they will want to share about their community and (2) what project information they will want to learn from their peers.


A Project Proposal Competition

This method can provide some unusual ideas that students generate themselves as they think about other places.

Explain the theme of history and geography. Give students a copy of some of the project ideas in this guide and then ask each student to write a one page proposal for a Learning Circle project that he or she thinks would be a good project for the class to sponsor. Tell the students to be as specific as possible. They will need to indicate what information they would prepare for the other classes and what type of information they would like to receive from students in other locations. The proposals can be turned in with the author's name on a separate page. All the proposals can be posted anonymously on a bulletin board so that students can read them. Students can then discuss the ideas and vote on the project they would like to do on the Learning Network. This way the ideas are discussed without the connection to a particular student.

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Margaret Riel, Copyright © 1997, Revised 2002. All rights reserved.