Third Grade NFL Task Is Prime Example of Project-Based Learning at CMDS

by Lizzie Ruple

Project-based learning is an essential component of a child’s academic development.

CMDS 3rd Grade Math Teacher Lizzie Ruple

It brings to life skills taught in the classroom. While working in groups, students are actively engaged in real-life scenarios. They’re presented with various challenging tasks to overcome using those skills they have learned.

The purpose behind this style of learning is to teach our students how to develop problem-solving skills with their peers. It is an important life skill that students are starting to develop at a younger age while expanding their level of understanding on concepts.

In 3rd grade at CMDS, students use project-based learning in all academic subjects. One of the performance tasks 3rd graders do in math is an NFL project. This project focuses on their understanding of all four mathematical operations to accept the challenge of bringing an NFL team to Memphis while working in cooperative groups.

Students have a budget that they cannot exceed. They design a stadium and uniform, draft players, and find housing. This project works in conjunction with our STEAM Encore classes, where students design and build their NFL stadium.

This blog post shares how to use project-based learning at home to encourage creativity and curiosity with your child.

Giving students the opportunity to investigate and problem solve fosters a higher level of thinking. Through the NFL project, for example, students are able to see how math skills are used in the real world and everyday life. Another example was last semester’s Mad Hatter Tea Party, which concluded the grade’s study of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” 

Project-based learning makes academic concepts more engaging, and produces a deeper level of understanding. It is essential for our students to be prepared in facing real world situations and solve them with confidence.

In Their Words: CMDS 3rd Graders on the NFL Project

“It helps you understand how to spend money and write checks. When you get older, that’s an important skill.” – Nash

“The project encourages us to work well with others and learn to work as a team.” – Mia

“The project allows us to use our imagination to design and build a stadium.” – Samantha

Christ Methodist Day School first opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. We encourage you to come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.


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