Realizing the Promise of Project-Based Learning

Katie Z. Revelle, Crystal N. Wise, Nell K. Duke, Anne Lise Halvorsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As the popularity of project-based learning grows, so does the importance of understanding how this instructional approach can support students’ learning and development. The authors describe a project-based approach to literacy and social studies instruction that research has shown to be effective. Key characteristics of the approach and illustrations of how those characteristics are enacted in a project-based learning geography unit are identified. In the unit, students develop informational reading and persuasive writing skills and learn key social studies content and skills by engaging in the development of brochures about their local community for an authentic audience. The authors also describe how educators can navigate common challenges that can arise when transitioning to a project-based approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-710
Number of pages14
JournalReading Teacher
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 International Literacy Association


  • 2-Childhood
  • Audience ' Writing
  • Choice, preference ' Motivation/engagement
  • Comprehension
  • Comprehension
  • Constructivism ' Theoretical perspectives
  • Content literacy
  • Content literacy
  • Domain knowledge ' Content literacy
  • Informational text ' Strategies, methods, and materials
  • Instructional intervention ' Struggling learners
  • Instructional models ' Strategies, methods, and materials
  • Instructional strategies; methods and materials
  • Interest ' Motivation/engagement
  • Mixed methods ' Research methodology
  • Motivation/engagement
  • Motivation/engagement
  • Purpose ' Writing
  • Research methodology
  • Specific subject areas (math, art, etc.) ' Content literacy
  • Strategies, methods, and materials
  • Text types, text features ' Content literacy
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • Writing
  • Writing


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