What Is the Definition of an Activity-Based Curriculum?

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When course material is taught in the form of an activity or hands-on project, the curriculum is considered activity based. The learning takes place as students are working in labs completing experiments or collaborating in group work through games or competitions, according to Study Lecture Notes.

Each activity or project in an activity-based curriculum serves as the means for students to learn concepts and skills. For example, students may be asked to re-enact a movie, story or play to physically and visually learn the plot of the piece. Through actions and physical activity, students are often motivated and enthusiastic about learning concepts versus sitting in the classroom and merely observing a lecture about the course concepts.

Activity-based learning does not always include physical activity. Students can complete a project together by brainstorming ideas, designing a web page and collaboratively writing literature. Students can also complete math problems as a group, identify science definitions and make a diagram of planets together in an activity-based curriculum.

Play-based therapy in early childhood and elementary school programs is also a type of activity-based curriculum. Through play, such as drawing, building, constructing and painting, students have the opportunity to express themselves while learning their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom.