HOW TO BUILD A FARM? THE USE OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING AND KEY COMPETENCES IN 6TH GRADE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL

E. Segovia Herráiz1, V. González-Castaño2, C. Medina-Pérez2

1CEIP Santísimo Cristo de las Injurias (SPAIN)
2Universtity Isabel I (SPAIN)
In this manuscript we are presenting a proposal for project based learning (PBL) in which we plan to improve the curriculum of Natural Sciences in Primary Education. Project Based Learning is an efficient tool to contribute to the development of the academic success of a student and the improvement of their motivation (Bas and Beyhamn, 2010).

It involves a collaborative group project that sets a goal: the final result. This methodological strategy is based on the main focus of the student, in which they take an active role in their learning. It allows them to investigate, integrate in theoretical and hands-on activities, and to implement the knowledge and the acquired skills given to them (Aliane and Bemposta, 2008).

The educative proposal that is presented is intended for students in 6th grade of Primary Education. The project will consist of 15 sessions of learning that are meant for the students to interact with live animals by building a school farm:
Activity 1: We will carry out a joint meeting between the students and their families where we will explain how the project will be organized.
Activity 2: The main activity will consist on performing a thinking routine, through which we will carry out an analysis of all the parts in the farm, using different graphic organizers.
Activity 3: Its main purpose is to come up with activities in which the students can do research on the animals that will be cared for at our farm.
Activity 4: The activity will consist on designing and carrying out a favorable project plan for the set up of the spaces the animals will accommodate (e.g. dining facilities, straw, transit area…).
Activity 5: The animals will first be received at their arrival to the center and later, will be located in the different authorized spaces at the school.
Activity 6: The goal of this activity is to observe the growth phases in some of our animals and to collect different products that are directly obtained from the animals.
Activity 7: We will undertake the tasks that will allow us to dismiss the animals at the end of 15 sessions.

The specific reference to evaluate the knowledge of the students will be the following evaluation criteria:
1) To know different levels of classification of the living creatures, according to their characteristics and types.
2) To work in a cooperative manner, respecting the care of their personal safety and that of their classmates, caring for the tools and making proper use of the materials.
3) The use of technological devices, respecting the norms of use and safety, as well as maintenance of the work materials. The student should show interest in the observation and the rigorous study of all the animals, as well as showing habits of respect and care towards the living creatures.

In order to complete the evaluation of this proposal, we suggest the use of two tools:
1) a rubric
2) an observation sheet, through which the teacher should record the level of achievement of the students through different learning points.