Museum Monday: Exhibiting Project Based Learning: A Collaboration Between Local Museums, University Education Students and Elementary Students – #BLOG365 Day 211 #sschat #artsed

Once again, I have to thank National Boards for reminding me of the amazing projects I was a part of over the last 10 years in education.

As I was searching for samples to include in Component 1 I found a presentation I presented with a university partner. For many years our school was partnered with a local¬†university’s College of Education. Each semester students in the Elementary Education Arts Integration course would come over to our school to assist in the development of exhibits. It was a wonderfully mutually beneficial partnership. College students were able to implement arts integration lessons with students in a variety of grades and learn museum learning strategies. Our elementary students loved working with their college buddies and our teachers appreciated the extra hands during exhibit time. The exhibits that resulted from that partnership were creative and innovative. The college students brought new ideas to our faculty for arts integration. Their passion was infectious.

We followed this model:

  • Meet each semester to select grade levels and units of study
  • Brainstorm project ideas with teachers
  • Discuss potential arts integrated lessons for Elementary Education Majors to teach elementary students
  • Evaluate the process
  • Suggestions for improvement
  • Attend museum openings and celebrate


We collaborated on many exhibits including the one below on the human body. I love these models of different body systems. This is the muscular system.


Each unit began with a visit to a local museum where the elementary students worked with their university buddies to evaluate an exhibit, looking at color, design, object placement, and label copy.

The second meet-up was at the elementary school. College of Education students worked with students on an arts integrated lesson and began planning exhibit pieces. At a third and fourth meet-up exhibit pieces were created and label copy was written.

The university students used the book Learning on Display: Student-Created Museums That Build Understanding. They were also responsible for some reflection pieces that were part of their final grade in the college course.

Here are some other fun projects completed in collaboration.


Immigration unit. Students made the rooms and checkpoints at Ellis Island and immigrant figures. Visitors were able to move the figures through the immigration checkpoints.


Florida snakes exhibit. This was a project done with our extended day students. It was the only time we had a separate extended day exhibit. Snakes are made out of clay and placed in diorama boxes.

I’m on the hunt for the museum investigation guide used by students when they visited our museum partners. Check back later. I will include it on the blog.

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