This page by: Katelyn Connolly Petteruti

What is an extended project?

An extended project, as a pre-reading activity, gives the students a strong schema to build upon when they tackle the reading assignment.

Why use an extended project?

"It is essential for our students, at least some of the time, to dig deeply into a topic, to reflect, live with, and let important ideas really sink in, rather than always rush from one item to the next on our mandated standards list. The National Science Standards, for example, urge that serious learning in science requires that we cover fewer topics in greater depth, rather than skim through all the possible elements of chemistry or biology or physics. Our need to learn how to pursue information and ideas, to connect pieces of knowledge together, and to apply what they are learning in new situations. Kids tend to remember these big projects long after they have left our classes, when the many facts and details that they learned for the tests have faded from memory. Sure, you may not be able to pursue such projects all of the time (though some innovative schools do just that, for almost their entire curriculum). But if you do trade some of your coverage for a big project, or two, or three over the course of the year, you needn't feel one bit guilty." Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading// By Daniels and Zemelman

How to do an extended project:

There are many different ways of conducting an extended project. The example below is one possibility.


"Isms' a study of various -isms such as sexism, racism, able-ism, age-ism. Each teacher on the team takes several days to provide information and concepts on one of the -isms, so that students gain knowledge about each one. Then each student chooses one aspect of one -ism to study in more depth, and creates a presentation about it. Kids acquire the background knowledge they need, as well as exercising choice about what they wish to learn in more depth.' Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading// By Daniels and Zemelman