The last couple of months have been exhausting on a lot of levels as teachers and students shift to online learning. I would venture to guess that everyone is ready for a much-deserved summer break. Teachers looking for creative ways to end the school year may want to consider a “What are YOU curious about?” project. This is a fun way to close out the year with a student-driven investigation.

This project uses the 5Es instructional model–engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate–to guide students through a learning experience focused on a topic of their choice. The goal of this learning cycle is to give students the agency to decide what they want to learn about before the school year officially ends. Once they have decided on the question they would like to investigate, they self-pace through the parts of the project and use the slide deck below to document their learning. This project is designed to drive higher-order thinking, develop research skills, and encourage reflection.

I recorded the screencast below to walk teachers through the parts of this project.

Below is the project template. Feel free to make a copy of the template below and modify it for your students!

If you have a fun end-of-the-year project or activity you enjoy using with students, please take a moment to post a comment and share it!

6 Responses

  1. “GIMME SHELTA” I have instructed my elementary students at the Great Northern to build a shelter…either inside using man made materials…or outside using the materials found in nature! Keep in mind the 7 Principles of out door ethics..they received a document on what these are and Survival Basics! I have received a great picture of shelter!

  2. I really like the idea that “learning starts with a question” excellent ending to an interesting year!

  3. Is this something you would only recommend at the end of the year? Do you think it could be used effectively at the end of each unit? I think once they hit all the required material for the unit, as teachers we could ask them- what is something in this unit you want to know more about or are super curious about? And then have a day where you investigate that topic. Hopefully it would make all the units seem fun and like there is always more to learn!

    • Hi Lauren,

      No, this could work anytime! I wrote it at the end of the last school year thinking it would be a fun student-centered inquiry project. I’ve just revised the title so teachers know they can try this strategy anytime.

      I like your idea to end the unit with this as a way to allow a deeper dive into a topic/question that students are really curious about. I can also see this being something that runs parallel to a unit where students have time to pursue their own inquiry throughout the unit to increase interest and engagement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *