for Grade 7
Project-based learning pedagogy
Here are different projects done with grade 7 students for a period of three lessons of forty-five minutes each. These thirteen years old youngsters have experimented with different practices and materials while learning French in their fourth year in the program. Every week, students must respond to a new problem individually or collectively that allows them to progress in their project. A class is always formed of two phases, with fifteen minutes of language notions and art theory to half an hour of practice. In the third lesson, students are assessed with a twenty-minute written exam and they finish the unit by presenting their project orally and interacting with the rest of the class.
Most of these simple projects have been designed from scratch, by getting ideas from different sources of inspiration such as the Chinese and French programs, real-world problems, teacher's past projects and students' lives and interests among other references. Besides the challenging questions that drive these projects, topics have to be authentic and the methodology should let students enough voice and choice in creating high-quality products to be exposed. Due to their A2 french level, content complexity had to be slightly reduced. Nonetheless, most of projects have had successful processes and results while others will continue to be improved by the rookie teacher.
Project 1. The lines of an object
Inspired by the bulls of Picasso and the successive stages of abstraction of the animal, students had to choose an object and start drawing all its details, lines and shadows. In the second lesson, they had to simplify their object while showing the different stages of that line deconstruction. In the last lesson, students were asked to debate about whether their drawings could still be more abstract without loosing the shape's meaning.
Posted: September 24th, 2019 – September 28th, 2020
Project 2. The multifunction object
Carelman's catalog of unfindable objects (1976) has enabled students to become inventors of complex objects that have multiple functions. They had to illustrate their object and explain its uses by drawing and writing a short text. All objects put together led to create a new catalog and an exhibition in class.
Posted: October 26th, 2019
Project 3. Imagine a monster
Monsters have always aroused passions and have been a source of literary and artistic creation. Chimeras of ancient mythology, Middle Ages or recent decades have inspired students to metamorphose an animal. Once the monster depicted, they also had to represent the different stages of its transformation. Studying the shape of different animals parts allowed this project to establish a link with the science and French lessons, by aiming to develop a bestiary and to expose the drawings in the school corridor.
Posted: November 28th, 2019 – November 10th, 2020
Project 4. The ocean of plastic
Plastic has many advantages and disadvantages, but since its production and consumption have increased in the last fifty years, oceans have been even more submerged in waste; from plastic bags to glasses and bottles. In regard of this reality, students have reused this material, manipulating it and shaping a three-dimensional icon. Whether working alone or in teams, they presented various results highlighting the techniques of mosaic and collage.
Posted: December 31th, 2019
Project 5. A new alphabet.
Students had to design a new alphabet that could be readable or completely illegible, to apply to a sentence of their choice with which they had to create a poster.
Posted: May 8th, 2020
Project 6. The world upside down.
Students had to imagine a world where there is an upside down situation. Cats have human pets, pencils write with humans, etc. They also had to think how the entrance of that world would look like. This project is part of a series of projects on "changes" (see the last section "workshops").
Posted: May 8th, 2020
Project 7. My daily life in pictures.
Students had to take a series of pictures of their routine during holidays by adhering to four rules: symmetry, repetition, lights and colours. They were later asked to order these pictures in different categories. Few months later, students had to do a similar exercise of composition with already taken photographs of Beijing.
Posted: May 8th, 2020 – November 16th, 2020
Project 8. The design of a pattern
Students had to design a pattern for the school and they had to reproduce it several times. Then, they were asked to apply it to a series of objects such as a T-shirt, a cup, among others, to finally present the school's shop where these products would be sold.
Posted: May 8th, 2020 – December 7th, 2020
Project 9. Information design
Students chose a question related to their daily student life to create, as a group, a data graph that could allow other classmates to interact and answer the question using post-its.