The following example illustrates the process of project-based tutoring
Choosing a topic for a project
Eight-year old Jane is interested in exploring folklore from different cultures around the world. She chooses the concept of Fairies for her project. She decides that her final presentation will be a written non-fiction chapter book all about fairies. Jane also has a passion for tinkering with materials that she finds in nature, such as rocks, twigs, and fallen leaves, and therefore makes a plan to build a “Fairy World” based on her research.
The Integration of Subjects
Jane begins the project by developing a driving question that will guide her inquiry. Jane wants to know: what are the different types of fairies? She begins to conduct her research by searching the online catalogue of the public library for books about fairies. She writes the title of each book that interests her, and I check them out and bring them in the next day. As she explores the books, she finds and recordes many answers to her driving question.
- Reading: Jane will read nonfiction and fiction texts as she conducts her research to uncover her guiding question: what are the different types of fairies? As she explores these books, I assess Jane’s reading accuracy and comprehension in order to provide further reading instruction. She will also examine books such as “Nature Crafts for Kids” by Terry Krautwurst to work toward her goal of making the Fairy World.
- Writing: She will develop writing skills by drafting, editing, and revising her non-fiction book about fairies. During this this process, Jane will receive instruction on handwriting, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Jane will also sharpen her typing skills when she conducts internet research for her final presentation.
- Public Speaking: Jane will prepare a public speaking presentation about her project. She will learn how to effectively organize her thoughts before speaking while using oral language confidently and with increasing accuracy.
Math: To build her fairy world, Jane will be exploring various mathematical concepts, such as measuring, number sense, and calculating scale with fractions.
Social Studies: Jane is inspired to seek out where in the world fairies originally came from. Her research lands her in Europe. She uses maps to identify various towns in Ireland, learning a great deal about its history and culture. She includes her findings in her final presentation.
Art: Jane learns how to use materials from nature to build her Fairy World. She makes bamboo whistles, leaf prints, homemade paper, seed mosaics, and snow candles.
Technology: By the time her project is complete, Jane has learned to responsibly conduct academic research on the internet to find information, capture the main ideas, and apply them toward her final presentation. She has also used a digital camera to document her own learning and Adobe Photoshop to edit her photographs.