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21st-Century Learning at Home

21st-Century Learning at Home: A Guide for Families and Caregivers of English Learners to Support Project-Based Learning at Home


In this toolkit you will find:

  • Project-based learning tools for families to help children
    who are English Learners to build essential 21st-century skills
  • Instructions, example questions, worksheets, and timelines
    or caregivers to lead activities
  • Additional activities and resources to explore different
    perspectives through storytelling

About the guide:

  • Today’s K-12 English Learners need 21st-century skills to help them succeed in school and tackle real-world problems. These skills include communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Families and caregivers play a critical role in supporting the development of 21st-century skills by connecting with their child’s teachers and school and providing authentic learning experiences at home.
  • One way to learn at home is through project-based learning, where children create authentic products that can be used or presented at home or with their communities. Engaging in project-based learning also helps English Learners develop the four domains of language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • This guide is designed for families and caregivers to support and lead English Learners through projects at home. The activities within the guide promote communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking while engaging with a child’s culture, family background, and home languages. Each project has the following sections: the purpose of the project, materials suggested, questions for children, instruction to complete each section, and additional activities and resources.
  • Children can complete projects individually or in groups, with more adult support for younger children. In this guide, the term “family member” includes parents, extended family, and caregivers, as we recognize that families are defined in many ways.


This guide was developed by the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement (CAFE) center at MAEC. The main author of this guide is Jenny Portillo, MAEC.

MAEC is committed to the sharing of information regarding issues of equity in education. The contents of this document were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program. However, the contents of this document do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Department of Education or federal government, generally.

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