3 project-based learning ideas to help students ignite their passions

Photo by    NeONBRAND    on    Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” -Aristotle

There is no reason for any student to delay their dream career. One of the best ways for them to get started is real-world passion projects designed to intentionally move them forward in their desired field.

Below are three options for implementing personalized skill-building projects with your students. Each of these can be done informally, as a smaller task or as a larger project.

#1: Connect with a Celebrity Challenge

Check out this article from Tim Ferriss for a unique challenge you can try with your students.

The goal is to get them to start a dialogue with a successful person in their desired field that seems like an impossible task,. Even if they don’t get a response, each student will have gained the experience of courageously reaching out to an accomplished adult.

#2: Daily Journal

Have your students keep a daily journal for one month, documenting their activities in three different categories with a minimum of 1 activity per day:

  1. Learn: Deep learning about their passions and desired industries by reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, and watching videos and documentaries. Recommended minimum of 5x per week.

  2. Practice: Applying their learning by doing. Write, record, take pictures, interview, practice, play, speak, coach, cook, design, create, edit, build, code, invest, start a business. Recommended minimum of 3x per week.

  3. Connect: Connect and develop relationships with professionals in their desired field. Send a cold email or make a cold phone call, have lunch or coffee, invite them to speak at their school, program or organization, job shadow, attend a seminar, conference or other kind of event related to their passions. Recommended outreach of 1x per week.

At the end of the month, have them present what they learned, what they did well and what they can do better moving forward.

#3: Passion Project Showcase

Have your students complete a semester-long passion project. Ideas could include:

  • Start a YouTube channel with 25 videos

  • Create a music album or learn to play a song on a new instrument

  • Compile interviews from 20 entrepreneurs or people in their desired field

  • Start a blog with 25 posts

  • Start a company or a new philanthropy around a meaningful cause

  • Develop a curriculum they would use when they become a teacher

Include the journal from option #2 above as a way to document and track their progress and behavioral changes.

End the project with a culminating showcase where students formally present their accomplishments with some form of media. This showcase could range from a simple class presentation to a formal event where parents and members of the community are invited.

Looking for more inspirational activities? Download our free toolkit!

4 free activities you can implement now to help students think bigger about their future and develop the confidence to overcome adversity. Click here to receive the toolkit!