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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 1 Toddlers and Projects: Some Definitions What Is a Project? In early childhood programs we use the word project so commonly that we take it for granted. In particular, we use the term art project to describe a wide range of creative experiences. We could be referring to something as simple as finger­ painting or as complicated as a simulated pirate ship. We could mean something that will hang on the wall, hold plants, appear in a performance once or twice, or simply happen in some way and leave nothing behind. But art project is an educational term and a cultural con- The word project has many meanings of inter- cept we pass on to children reflexively, in no small part est to designers of early childhood curricula: to because we remember doing art projects during our own “project” outward, as in asserting your idea or childhoods. speaking up loudly; to get your idea or needs across; to project images on a large surface Our working model of a project typically contains where all can see; to see your feelings in some or all of the following elements: •• Defining Project others, or vice versa. A project is a common •• It has a start and a finish. undertaking that requires organizing, negoti- ating, and collaborating. To work on a project •• It has more than one step. means to look forward, to predict outcomes, •• It involves planning. to set something in motion and to shape it as •• It involves a goal or a vision of an outcome. it evolves and changes, and, perhaps most of all, to express your inner self in visible ways. It involves tools. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 5