A key element of creating a project is setting that hook that will get your learners excited about the task at hand. The Entry Event is that hook.
The Entry Event are experiences you will create as the facilitator to do two things:
- Get the learners excited and engaged in the project
- Present the learners with the key details and expectations they will need to start working on the project.
Quite often the best Entry Event is one that is authentic. Connecting to your local community or to an experience is one of the best way to get learners engaged in their learning. How often have we heard the question, “why does this matter?”, a well crafted Entry Event answers that question many times over.
When creating your Entry Event, consider the following:
- What content/standards do you need to cover?
Be clear in your Entry Event about the content that is being covered. Clear expectations around learning will focus them as they start the project.
- What partner/experience exists that could connect with that content?
This is where you need to stretch your creative muscles! Consider experts in your area (lawyers, medical professionals, writers, local politicians, etc.) to come in as a speaker or to make a video stating what they need help with in their profession. Also consider how learners might help solve problems in experiences in your community. Museums, zoos, protected ecosystems, city government field trips or lab investigations may serve as great inquiry-based ways to launch a project.
With individuals, places, and experiences, think about how they could connect to your content and your project:
- What do learners need to know to get started in their learning?
- Clear expectations are key to learners mastering content within your project. Adding "breadcrumbs" or new vocabulary and concepts that students will be unfamiliar with is a great way to elicit a list of "need to knows" from learners.
- What is “the ask?” In other words, what are learners being asked to find out, do, complete?
- What are some key logistical “need to knows” for this project?
- Be sure to take in logistical considerations that learners will need to know as they start the project. When is the final product due? When are speakers attending class? When are rough drafts/benchmark assignments due?