Project-Based Lessons Are Important in Developing Reading Competencies

How good of a reader are you? And how well-developed are the reading competencies of your students?

Project-based lessons can enhance students reading competencies.
Image by FotoRieth from

Today I had an epiphany about reading competencies at work. I was doing a creative project with a bunch of 8-graders. The project was not my invention, so I will not take credit for that. The idea was, that the students should build a theater stage model in cardboard. Then, they had to decorate the stage. For this, they had to rely on the directions in a manuscript. They had received step-by-step instructions beforehand.

All my students (and some of my colleagues) failed to read and follow the instructions.

Reading Competencies Are Fundamental

This made me realize how important these kinds of creative processes are. Especially for developing reading skills. Whether it is cooking in the school kitchen or doing handicrafts. If you cannot read instructions and follow them step by step, you have a problem.
This problem will follow you around in many other areas as well. Both in school and in later life. It is why so many students struggle with text problems in math. They lack the necessary reading competencies.

Creative subjects and project-based activities are important.
They can help to strengthen reading skills by providing real-world context. We need more of it, not less. This way, reading competencies can get reinforced manifold.

Relevance Reinforces Learning

Reading competencies are extremely important. If not the most important. This lesson serves as a vivid example to me.
We know that relevance is an important factor in learning. Project-based learning approaches play a vital role. They strengthen the relevance of the subject matter. It is why I am an avid supporter of project-based lessons.
Besides that, I had great fun helping the students along That is also important.
They all managed, in the end, by the way.



I am from Germany but have spent more than half of my life in Denmark, and other places abroad. I have a background in teaching, both youngsters and adults. I am interested in a wide field of things, which I love to teach and write about. Sustainability, technology, politics, social change, and mental health are just some examples.

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