A rich task is a ‘mini’ project that allows the children to use the skills they have been taught previously in exciting, real life contexts. We have found that a well-written rich task will enthuse all the children, regardless of their ability. In fact many pupils who may struggle with reading or writing do very well in rich tasks. Equally, because the children can use their own initiative, our more able pupils also achieve well. In a rich task learners are able to use their own initiative, to work to their own strengths, and to explore a topic in depth.
Rich tasks in school are designed to:
- Use pupils’ previous skills and knowledge;
- Encourage collaborative and team work;
- Encourage problem solving;
- Develop pupils creative skills;
- Allow pupils to have some choice in the way that they approach learning;
- Have a real life context.
The teacher usually ‘stands back’ during the rich task sessions. They only offer support if the children need it and they tend to ask many ‘open ended’ questions to encourage the children to develop their ideas as much as possible.
The end product could be a PowerPoint presentation, an interview, an actual product, written work, a film or an event. Often the children will be given the choice of how they would like to present their work so each team will have a different product.