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4. Real-World Connections

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Resources for extending the learning


  • Real-world connections draw from, or upon, actual objects, events, experiences and situations to effectively address a concept, problem or issue.
  • It involves learning allows students to actually experience or practice concepts and skills, as opposed to learning that is theoretical or idealistic.
  • It features learning projects that directly relate to, are relevant to, or provide benefit to students, their families or the community.


  • This approach utilizes concepts, problems, or issues that are similar to ones students have encountered or are likely to encounter in life.
  • It brings the relevance, complexity and motivation of the real world to learning.
  • Sensory experiences are highlighted thereby appealing to and assisting a wide range of learners.
  • Making real-world connections promotes student achievement through the authenticity of the learning.
  • Learning is based on information derived from real-world sources
  • The learning and the results of the learning are directed to audiences beyond the school.
  • It supports character education as relationships between the community, the school and students are enhanced.
  • It generates many issues or questions to pursue through inquiry.
  • Real-world connections provide more opportunities to learn how our communities and society work.


  • Routinely provide students with living and inanimate objects to manipulate and experience such as 3-D models in chemistry, blocks in mathematics and artifacts in social studies. These hands-on learning opportunities are highly engaging and can help students successfully complete complex tasks requiring abstract thought.
  • When possible have the learning process include the making of something useful.  (to eat- biology students make yogurt, to use- social studies students make a paddle, to sell- technology students form a manufacturing company to market & and produce a product)
  • Where appropriate, focus learning on current issues and problems familiar to the students.  Support student action to find solutions or examine relevant case studieswhen circumstances prevent direct student involvement in the issue(s).
  • Provide frequent opportunities in all subject areas for students to collect, manipulate and use real data. 
  • Find opportunities for students to communicate what they learn to audiences beyond the classroom. 
  • Look to the broader community for partnership and mentoring opportunities that will allow students to practice, enhance and apply classroom learning in a real-world setting.