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Guide to Contextual Learning Projects

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What is the theme or context for your project?

Contextual learning projects engage students in academic work applied to a context related to their lives, communities, workplaces or the wider world. In the Contextual Learning Portal, common themes include:

  • History
  • Environment
  • Nutrition and health
  • Gardening and food
  • Career exploration
  • School climate and anti-bullying
  • Arts, literacy, books and reading

The context for the project may be a workplace-based, community-based or school-based. Examples include:

  • Writing for a school newspaper;
  • Developing videos, websites, handbooks or brochures about a topic;
  • Developing lesson plans and learning materials for younger students;
  • Participating in an environmental advocacy campaign;
  • Conducting field studies in wetlands or salt marshes;
  • Writing a business plan in a entrepreneurship program;
  • Creating exhibits for a local history museum.

The process of choosing a theme and context for a project can start anywhere. It can start with a set of learning goals (such as a desire to help students explore health topics; get experience in web design; or gain experience writing for various audiences) or it can start with student, teacher or community partner suggestion of a project and a topic of study.