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21st Century Community Learning Centers

Projects or Activities?

Activities Projects 
Ongoing Have a clear timeline, with clear starts and end points
Teacher planned Student directed
Fun Fun, but also challenging
Predictable in outcome Open-ended, with no single correct answer
Like school Centered on real-world issues

What's the difference between projects and activities? With projects, there's an intentional focus on answering a particular question or solving a problem. Consider these comparisons:

  • Open gym is an afterschool activity. A Community Fitness Challenge, in which students set personal fitness goals and teach family members how to play different active games, is a project.
  • Homework help is an afterschool activity. Our Stories, in which students choose books that reflect their heritage and create short videos to tell their own stories, is a project.
  • Trash cleanup is a community service activity. For the Birds, in which students learn about wildlife habitats, then build nesting boxes and bird identification signs for a local park, is a project.

Reflect on This

Think of an afterschool activity you’d like to remodel into a project. How would you make it more relevant to student lives and more connected to the community? Capture your thoughts and questions in My Notebook.

My Notebook

Project-Based Learning

The Notebook is a useful way to jot down notes as you go through the various topics available on the You For Youth website. If you'd like to use the notebook, please sign in if you already have an account or register now to join the Y4Y community!


Project-Based Learning