Enrichment Project Idea List

Although gifted students almost 100% prefer to 'do-their-own-thang" rather than a teacher-driven activity or unit, they often get stymied when told they have to do an independent project for TAG and have to come up with it themselves. This list should help - it is a list of many enrichment project ideas I have compiled from many years of teaching gifted and talented programs. Many students I have taught helped in the creation of these ideas and I thank every one of them! Please understand and help your students understand that projects need not be a 5-10 page research paper on a given topic, but can be much more interesting to pursue. A good project will have a PROCESS, a PRODUCT, and an AUDIENCE as well as a TOPIC that the student loves exploring. Play around with changing these variables to make things more interesting as well as more appropriate to a child's preferred learning style.

This list contains a summary of the main idea of each project. The details are clearly arbitrary. Pick your own or have a child create the appropriate ones for their age and interest level. Each one has details required that may not be listed. Any project a student has already done for another class is not acceptable. It must be something new. Students should choose something they like and have fun with it. Please use these only as starting points and not the ONLY choices.

I am hopeful that teachers of gifted programs and regular classrooms, students, and homeschooling parents may use it to come up with good project ideas. Please share this with your colleagues, friends, fellow parents. Please include the credit and copyright information with distribution.

ENRICHMENT PROJECT CHOICE IDEAS

by Wendy H. Chapman, copyright 2000
Courtesy of www.metagifted.org

  1. GAME - Create a game on a topic with instructions, game pieces and board. Test it on friends.

  2. STRUCTURE - Make a 5 foot tall structure using 7 or more materials.

  3. SCHOOL or TOWN VIDEO PROJECT - make a video on your school or town's history or present

  4. HOW-TO VIDEO PROJECT - create a how-to video to teach how to do something you know how to do well

  5. ANIMAL PROJECT - Write a 5 page report on an animal, a model and a poster

  6. MAGIC CARDS - Make up Magic the Gathering cards - 20-30 professionally done and teach someone to play who doesn't know how

  7. INVENTION - Make and build an invention that improves something

  8. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT - Create a new musical instrument and me up a song using it.

  9. ROBOT - Build a robot that helps around the house

  10. BLUE PRINTS - Design blue prints and build a model for a future house or other building.

  11. PUPPETS - Make puppets and do a show for the class with them.

  12. TOY - Design a new toy. Test it and write up the results.

  13. SPORT - Design and new sport. Test it, write up the results.

  14. COOKING - Make a new food recipe. Taste test it with a group of people Write up results.

  15. MAP - Draw a map of what you think the US will look like in 2250. Draw a large scale map of the US in present and also present and future maps of your state.

  16. PLANET - Pretend you discovered a new planet and its inhabitants. Do a one page news report about it, a model of the planet, model of the aliens, and/or schematics of the planet in space and topographical map of the planet.

  17. ORIGAMI - Make 20 very well done different origami figures and make a directions poster for one of the more complex ones using photos or real life models for each step.

  18. COMPUTER - Create a computer game or program with directions and a picture.

  19. TV SHOW - Make your own TV show or short film.

  20. PET TRAINING - Train a pet to do a new, interesting trick or set of tricks. Show a before, during, and after video of the training process.

  21. MUSIC VIDEO - Create a music video using another musician's music or your own.

  22. ORIGINAL SONGS - Write and record your own original songs (at least 2 or one 5 minutes or more.)

  23. MUSICAL PARODIES - Write new lyrics to 3 or 4 well-known songs.

  24. PLAY - Write a live play/skit and invite other students to perform in it. You direct it and present it.

  25. DRINK INVENTOR - Make up 8 or more of your own drink creations (non-alcoholic). Present the recipes in book form and on overhead sheets along with samples and a create a graph of taste test results done with at least 20 people.

  26. CHAPTER BOOK - Write a chapter book of 10 or more chapters.

  27. MAGIC SHOW - Do a magic show using at least 5 tricks. (Costume required.) Present to at least 3 classes.

  28. D.A.R.E. - Make your own DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program and videotape it.

  29. POETRY - Write a book of 20+ poems you have written with pictures to go with each.

  30. AUTOBIOGRAPHY - Write an autobiography and include pictures. This must have at least 10 major events.

  31. BIOGRAPHY - Interview someone living and with their cooperation create a biography of them with pictures.

  32. TEACHER BIOGRAPHY BOOK - Do a mini biography book of all the teachers at your school and type it up. Get every teacher's permission to use anything they tell you. Put together a copy of the book or each teacher in it.

  33. VIDEO COMMERCIAL - Make 3 different videotaped commercials for something you design or think up.

  34. ENDANGERED SPECIES MOVIE - Make a movie about endangered species in general or one type of endangered or extinct animal.

  35. TRANSPORTATION - Design a new form of transportation and build a model of it.

  36. SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS - Do something specific to improve the school. First get permission from the principal and PTA if necessary. Examples: Plant a flower garden, organize a group of students to do regular weekly trash pick up from the grounds outside.

  37. WALL MURAL - Come up with a plan of what picture you want to do and a location and get permission from the principal before beginning anything physical. Draw the outline on the wall (Use an overhead projector to project a sketch or cartoon characters, etc.) and paint it. Make sure this project is supervised.

  38. TOOTHPICK STRUCTURE - Build a structure from toothpicks that can hold 10 lbs. or more. You may not use super-glue or wood glue to hold it together.

  39. ELECTRIC GENERATOR - Build an electric generator and be able to describe how it works.

  40. SOLAR - Build a solar powered radio or anything else that runs by solar energy.

  41. FIRE PROTECTION - Design new types of fire protection - including better fire resistant clothing, a new fire alarm, etc.

  42. IMAGINARY ANIMAL REPORT - Create an imaginary animal and write a 5 page report about it as if it was real. Make a model and poster of it. Do a classification chart of it and a food chain chart of where it fits.

  43. VEHICLE - Create a new vehicle or device to help the handicapped.

  44. COMICS - Write a 10 page comic book or series of 10 or more cartoons from scratch.

  45. COMIC REWRITE - Draw or design a comic book to retell a novel or famous short story.

  46. COMMUNICATION - Make a new kind of or method of communication (e.g., telephone, sign language)

  47. LANGUAGE - Create a new language and teach it to the class. If it is just a written language, write a mini translation dictionary for it. If only oral, teach at least 30 words and the alphabet. Or do some combination of both.

  48. VACATION SPOT - Design a new vacation spot - maps, pamphlets, model.

  49. POETRY MUSIC - Write a poem and put it to music.

  50. PEN PALS - Get a pen pal from a different country and exchange 5 letters with them or get 5 pen pals from different states or countries and exchange 1 letter with each of them. (Modify amt if using emails.)

  51. COOKBOOK - Write a cookbook. Demonstrate 5 or more of the recipes.

  52. SPACE TRAVEL - Design ways to make space travel more safe and more fun.

  53. FUN BOOK - Make a 30-50 page fun book with word searches, scramble puzzles and crosswords.

  54. SIGN LANGUAGE - Learn 50 or more signs and teach to a class or to several friends.

  55. OM BOOK - Make a book of spontaneous OM problems and test some of them on an OM team. Set this up with their coach.

  56. SURVEYS - Do several surveys in grades 1-5 or 6-8 and graphs of all the results.

  57. DANCE SHOW - Make up some dances and perform to several grades.

  58. NEW SONG - Learn to play a new song on an instrument.

  59. TEACH - Volunteer teach in a classroom of a younger grade. Offer to assist one period a week for 5 weeks or to teach a lesson to a younger class.

  60. KANJI - Learn to do Chinese or Japanese writing - make a collection of 10 samples.

  61. CHILDREN'S MAGAZINE - Make a children's magazine and have a class read it and evaluate it.

  62. INVENT A COUNTRY - Invent a a new country. Make It's flag and write a five page report. Show where it fits on the globe.

  63. MODEL FLAGS - Make cloth models of the flags of 10 or more countries. Create a flag to represent you or your family.

  64. RAIN FOREST MODEL - Design a model of rain forest include all 4 layers.

  65. PERSUASION - Write 10 letters to companies that do something you find very upsetting such as animal testing to persuade them to stop doing this thing.

  66. BABYSITTING - Write a 15+ page babysitting manual. Take photos of the children you are sitting to include in it.

  67. KNITTING - Knit something like a blanket or child's sweater or doll clothing. Demonstrate how to knit to the rest of the class. (you can do this with any craft.)

  68. PIANO - Write some piano music and perform it for a group.

  69. PIE MAKING - Learn to make the perfect pie crust. Make a new kind of pie and bring it to class with the recipe.

  70. CIRCUIT BOARD GAME - Make a professional looking circuit board game with at least 10 connections.

  71. CIRCUIT MODELS - Make a model of each type of circuit using batteries and min light bulbs. Write a report describing each one.

  72. CRAYONS - Invent a new crayon color and contact several companies to ask them to make it.

  73. READING GOAL - Set a high reading goal and keep a record of how much you read. Reach the goal and then do a poster summary report of each of your 5 favorite books or 5 book reviews (good or bad) of those read during the goal.

  74. OCEAN STUDY - Learn about the ocean. Make an ocean food chain poster and either a 5 page report or a wave machine AND a model of your favorite ocean animals.

  75. MARITIME ZOO - Pretend you can create a zoo of all different ocean animals and decide which ones you would like in it. Include at least 30 with several that hardly anyone knows about.

  76. WEB SITE - Make your own website about anything you like. Include several pictures. Include something uplifting and a part that teaches Something.

  77. VOLLEYBALL NET - Make a volleyball net out of 6 pack rings from soda.

  78. HOUSE MODEL - Design a futuristic house and make a model of it.

  79. TRASH STRUCTURE - Design a 3-5 foot tall structure made from trash or other discarded materials. It should hold together. Paint it. Write a story about the character.

  80. BALSA - Build a weight bearing balsa wood structure. Try to get it to hold more than 50 lbs.

  81. ENGINE - Make an engine that runs.

  82. EDUCATIONAL BOOK - Write an educational book that is more than 15 pages and has fun activities to teach about a topic you enjoy. (e.g., some fact pages and some games - crosswords, etc. all about the same topic.)

  83. HOT AIR BALLOONS - Make 5-8 mini hot air balloons and a directions poster on how to make them. Write a fact sheet about real hot air balloons. Try to come up with more than one way to make mini models of them.

  84. SIGN LANGUAGE STORY - Learn to read a children's book in sign language and present it to the class.

  85. SIGN LANGUAGE SONG - Learn to sign a song and teach it to a group or teach to a group of friends to present back to TAG.

  86. ROBOT - Make a robot that does something such as a motion sensor, a timekeeper or a typer robot.

  87. KEYBOARD DESIGN - Make 3 different patterns of how to design a new keyboard that would be easier to learn to type with.

  88. ELECTRICITY - Make an electric project, something that requires electricity and has a circuit that when complete does something interesting.

  89. GAME SHOW - Make a game show - try it with several classes.

  90. STORY WRITING - Write a 10 page TYPED creative story and share it with all classes of two grades.

  91. TRIVIA - Create a trivia game with a set of at least 50 cards and answers.

  92. TOY - Invent a new toy. Draw up an advertising slogan and poster and live commercial that explains it. Present it.

  93. NEWSPAPER - Make a newspaper about our school and run at least 5 issues. (This can be a team project.)

  94. FUTURE SCHOOL MODEL - Make a model of a school of the future. Explain how it is different from today's schools. Do an oral report and written summary.

  95. FAMOUS BUILDING MODEL - Make a model of any famous building - e.g., Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, World Trade Center, White House)

  96. PHOTO EXPOSE' - Make a collection of photos all about one topic and summary about what you studied. (40 studied - may be two related topics.)

  97. TRAVELOGUE (REAL) - Make a journal of a trip you went on. Tell what you did each day. Make sure you have a visual picture/postcard/newspaper to accompany every day and especially every event. Write a 3 page summary and recommendation of the neatest thing you did on vacation.

  98. TRAVELOGUE (FANTASY) - Same as above, but with a trip you would LIKE To Take to a real or imaginary place. You may find magazine pictures for your visuals or draw them.

  99. MERRY-GO-ROUND - Make a carousel model that works. To be more interesting, use different types of animals than horses.

  100. WATER WHEEL - Make a mini working water wheel.

  101. SCIENCE - Find a really interesting science experiment. Practice it at home. Bring in materials and demonstrate to TAG and/or to your homeroom. Discuss with your teacher ahead of time and IF possible bring enough materials so the whole class can do the experiment. Direct or assist the whole class lesson.

  102. COLLECTION DATABASE - Get a collection or bring in one you already have of something like rocks or stamps, etc. You must have at least 30 items in your collection. Write a report or give a clear oral report using samples from it as examples, then make a computer database (list) of every item in the collection and a short description of each.

  103. WOODWORK - Build something out of wood. Maybe get permission from the shop teacher and do during school time or after school. Explain how it is made.

  104. WOODEN TOY - Make a wooden toy with a working moving part.

  105. DINOSAURS - Choose a type of dinosaur and create model of its bones and another of the body. Write a report on it. Do a food chain poster using other dinosaurs.

  106. CERAMICS - Make 3 or more fired clay or ceramic figures.

  107. SPARKLE JARS - Make a sparkle jar (the kind where you shake them and it looks like snow) and a 5+ page story to go with it.

  108. TERRARIUM - Make a terrarium with live plants and fake animals.

  109. CANDLES - Make candles (wax, beeswax, oil, sand, ice) and teach how to make them.

  110. FLOWER PRESSING - Do at least 5 different flower pressings and make pictures from them.

  111. QUILLING - Do a large quilling picture or 3 smaller ones.

  112. QUILT - Make a quilt. You can get friends to make patches and then put it together. Be able to teach how to make a quilt.

  113. WRITING UTENSIL - Make up a new type of writing utensil. It has to work.

  114. SOAP SCULPTURES - Make 5 or more soap sculptures. Write a story about these characters you've made.

  115. SOURCES OF LIGHT - Invent a new light source. It has to work.

  116. PET FUN BOX - Make a fun box for a pet like a guinea pig. Write a 3 pg report about your pet.

  117. MARIONETTE - Make a marionette (sting) puppet and do a puppet show with it.

  118. SHADOW PUPPET SHOW - Create a shadow box and several shadow puppets and a little show to go along with it. Present to a class.

  119. WEAVING - Make a small weaving loom and weave a scarf or picture on it.

  120. PHOTO STORY - Take pictures to create a story. Write the story using the pictures.

  121. DRESS UP BIOGRAPHY - Study someone famous or historical. Write a short biography of them. Dress up as this character and tell his/her story as if you were them. Share with a group.

  122. STRING ART - Make a string art picture from a kit and then another from your own design. Be able to show us in TAG how you make string art.

  123. SLIDE SHOW - Take slide pictures, write commentary and do a slide show about conserving/saving the Earth. (This could be done with digital pictures presented on a website, too.)

  124. CREATE A CONTEST - Create a contest for your class or your school. Figure out rules, where to collect entries, who will judge and how, and prizes. Get permission from teachers involved and principal.

  125. YOUR CHOICE - If none of these appeal to you, make up your own project idea or combine several idea and write it up as a proposal to your teacher.


HALF PROJECTS

You would have to do two of these projects to count for the full project assignment.

  1. LIFE COLLAGE - Make a collage about your life.

  2. STUFFED ANIMAL - Make a stuffed animal.

  3. DRAWINGS - Do 10-20 good drawings. Show to the group.

  4. SCAVENGER HUNT - Make up a scavenger hunt for the class to do.

  5. JEWELRY - Make some jewelry like a necklace, a bracelet and pair of earrings or pin. Wear them to school.

  6. HAIR - Make a new hair holder thingie - painted barrettes or new invention - wear it or get a friend to wear it.

  7. SHIRT - Paint a shirt artfully and wear it to school (make sure it's appropriate.)

  8. POSTER - Make a 5 foot tall or long poster/mural that teaches something

  9. FRUIT JOICE - Mix up new fruit juice mixes and taste test them with 10+ people.

  10. WORDS - Invent new meanings for 20 words and make sentences to go with them for examples.

  11. PAPER MACHE' - Make a paper mache' model of something.

  12. FLIP BOOK - Make a flip book.

  13. FOREIGN LANGUAGE - Do a chart of foreign language translations.

  14. PAINTINGS - Do 3 nice paintings.

  15. PARTIAL FULL PROJECT - Any of the whole projects done with a piece missing would be considered a half projects. All projects are negotiable.

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