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Event-based learning: Annotated resource list

The resources described below suit professional reading and discussion for teachers in the early years.

Event-based learning is also referred to as situated or project-based learning.

Resource and description Details and location
The Project Approach

Resources and tools relating to the Project Approach, the site is managed by Sylvia Chard, Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Pinterest: Project Approach

Exciting project-based activities by Stephanie Smith.

New Learning: Transformational Designs for Pedagogy and Assessment

Drs Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope, University of Illinois, USA, provide information, tools and videos to support the design of multiliteracies learning experiences.

Projects and young children

Helm and Katz (2011) highlight the importance of building brain/mind connections in the early years to support beginning teachers to develop projects linked to curriculum learning. In Chapter 1, they link to 21st century skills, e.g. critical and creative thinking.

Helm, J & Katz, L 2011 Young Investigators: The project approach on the early years (2nd edn) Teachers College Press, New York. Chapter 1 available as a PDF from:

Using 'lifelike pedagogy' design for projects

Wardle describes how lifelike project learning is developed using three phases and eight steps — a useful design platform for teachers who are unfamiliar with project-based learning in a classroom.

Wardle, F 2014 'Lifelike pedagogy: The project approach with a Brasilian twist', Young Children, vol. 69, iss. 2, pp. 76–81. Available from:

Case studies of event-based work implementation

A critical look at three event-based scenarios in the early years, investigating:

  • habitat
  • weather, with a literacy focus
  • garbage collection.

Blank, J, Damjanovic, V, Peixoto da Silva, A & Weber, S 2014 'Authenticity and "standing out": Situating the project approach in contemporary early schooling', Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 42, iss. 1, pp. 19–27. DOI:

Project-based inquiry units for children

MacDonell identifies ways to use literature to promote independent learning in the early years. The practical, hands-on activities include sample lessons, content, learning goals, and strategies for teaching and assessing learning.

MacDonell, C 2007 Project-based Inquiry Units for Young Children: First Steps to Research for Grades Pre–K–2, Linworth Pub, Ohio. View, borrow or buy at:
The 'Literacy Playshop'

This framework supports children to engage in creating their own multimedia productions, positioning them as media makers rather than passive recipients of media messages. The book contains case studies, professional development, classroom activities, discussion questions, and technology try-it sections.

Wohlwend, K 2013 Literacy Playshop: New literacies, popular media, and play in the early childhood classroom, Teachers College Press, New York. Borrow or buy at:

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