MANCHESTER, NH – Fourth and fifth grade ELL students at Webster Elementary School completed a unique project-based learning (PBL) unit this month in which they created original artwork, currently on display through Earth Day (April 22, 2019) at the Mall of New Hampshire, describing ways to improve the environment.
For this project, students in teacher Elizabeth Leone’s ELL class researched animals and the environment, then worked in teams to create the artwork. They worked with local artist Kristine Hass to coordinate the display at the Mall of New Hampshire. The project helped teach students valuable communication and language skills, as well as how to be good stewards of the environment.
Mayor Joyce Craig joined the students for the unveiling of their art exhibit.
This environmental awareness project/exhibit was an amazing project for a couple of reasons. These students are part of a sheltered classroom for newcomers. Many of them came to Webster Elementary School knowing little or no English and for some it was their first time in a classroom setting. But they’ve thrived in this class because of a project-based learning initiative at the Manchester School District.
District-wide, teachers are trained on PBL by the nonprofit PBLWorks on how to implement project-based learning in the classroom. They lead students in real-world projects that promote teamwork, communication and critical thinking. PBL is an especially powerful tool for ELL students because it engages them in the topic and gets them excited about practicing the language through talking with each other, writing about the project, and even presenting in front of their peers.