Project Based Example

Moon Project

The following example shows excerpts of documentation from the Moon Project. This was a science project, but the documentation shows how other subject areas were integrated throughout the lesson.

Heading to the Moon – A Journey for 3 year-olds

We decided we wanted to take a trip to the moon and see the stars. This is how our story goes!

  • We worked together to build a space rocket, painting and preparing it for launch.


This part of the project focused on language (color recognition and vocabulary), spatial relations, research on rocket design, fine motor development, and visual representation.

  • Ember tells us: “We are making a space rocket to fly to space.”
  • Nate says: “The rocket has fire, which helps it to lift off the ground.”
  • Ember: “To the moon and to Saturn.”
  • Our first stop was planet Earth. Ms. Marquis joined in the fun and asked the students to look on the globe and find where they live.
  • Ember: “I live here. This is where mom is.”
  • Kai: “I live here and mommy is here.”
  • Liam: “Where do I live?”


Here we focused on geography, compared characteristics of our earth with those of other planets, and the children began to locate themselves in the context of the larger earth.

  • Saturn has rings, and we needed a way to make this concept real for the children and to help them connect it with their own experience. We pulled them in by bringing hula hoops and letting the children spin them around their bodies.


Here children used their own bodies to represent Saturn. Then they pretended that the hula-hoops were the rings. In doing this, they formed a mental concept of Saturn and its rings, and they practiced gross-motor skills.

  • We worked in the art studio with Ms. Gilda on making paper mache planets.
  • We used balloons and newspaper to create a base for the planets.


Children engaged in engineering designs for planets and for installing them, used math to measure the spatial relations of the planets, and practiced vocabulary for scientific, building, and artistic terminology.

  • Ember says: “Look Miss Valtin, I spelled Earth.”
  • Liam responds: “Can I try it?”


This portion of the project included letter recognition, beginning sounds, forming words, and scientific knowledge about the planets and their configuration.

  • We walked across planet Earth. The children used their own feet to count how many steps it took to walk over the word “Earth.” We found that it took:
  • Kai: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 steps.”
  • Liam: “1, 2, 3, 4 step.”
  • Ember: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 steps to walk across the Earth.”


Here children used practiced counting, one-to-one correspondence, measuring with a tape measure, gross-motor balance, and word recognition.

  • All of the children make almost daily entries in their journals about many of the projects. Some of our 3-year-olds are beginning to form written sentences; others represent their experiences through drawing, and some use written words to label their illustrations. Still others are labeling their pictures with beginning sounds as they are learning to write

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