Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects



Project Summary

HELP Index



Student Homepage


This multidisciplinary project can be used effectively in grades 4-5 with students of all ability levels. We expect teachers to modify the expectations and outcomes to match the developmental level of their students. This project is flexible enough to meet an individual teacher's schedule. Access to a prairie habitat enhances the student experience but is not required.

This interactive Internet and hands-on project focuses on a highly engaging problem regarding potential development of a prairie site. The problem is open-ended and lends itself to a variety of investigatory directions. Students solve a problem similar to a wide variety of real-life problems in many communities.

Background information about the prairie study

Step-by-step lesson plan on how to facilitate this unit

Tutorial for teachers new to problem-based learning

Subject/Content Areas:

Biology, environmental science, social sciences, language arts, mathematics

Learner Outcomes:

Through the group activities, students will be able to:

Alignment with National Science Education Standards:


Students write in their journal daily, maintaining a running account of their progress, responding to and reflecting upon their research and the discoveries of others, and documenting their findings. Formal assessments include opportunities for peer and self-assessment and performance rubrics accessible to students online. In addition to these formal assessment options, teachers conduct informal assessment on a regular basis.