methods of practice

The pedagogical approach of the Children's Innovation Project is driven by inquiry and positions both students and teachers as learners. Through exploration with raw materials, children experiment, notice, wonder, draw, debate and explain their processes of learning with each other. Learning experiences include opportunities to work individually, with a partner, in small groups and as a whole class. The core methodologies of our approach are listed below.

observational drawing

Children learn to draw what they see, not what they think something is supposed to look like. Children notice carefully and slowly in order to focus on line, shape, texture, size, space, orientation and position of individual objects and of parts inside whole systems. Drawing what they observe allows children to look more closely and notice more of what is there (and what is not there). We often ask: "What did your drawing help you notice?"

predict - test - reflect - revise

Children learn to make predictions, test them out, reflect on what happened (or didn't happen) and make revisions as their inquiry continues. This process becomes a seamless part of children's learning experience and is deeply embedded in our lesson design. This is the work of children's play.

discuss - critique - debate

The process of learning (where children predict-test-reflect-revise) is a social process with rich opportunities for children to talk, listen and grow conversations with each other. Specifically, children learn to have focused discussions, listen carefully to give meaningful critiques, and debate ideas in ways that grow learning for all people in the class.


Throughout our work, most activities require teamwork to successfully complete. As children develop their abilities to work together, opportunities for meaningful collaboration become possible.