Experiential Learning


"Learning by doing is one of the main reasons 4-H has been so widely recognized and respected in the field of informal education. It engages the learner, encouraging him/her to think more, work hard, and ultimately learn more thoroughly than with traditional teaching methods. The Fantastic Food curriculum follows a model known as the experiential learning process. Experiential learning is more than just doing activities. It involves discussing the activity, drawing conclusions from the activity, and applying them to the real world.

Activities in the youth manuals are designed to help the 4-H'er work through the entire experiential learning process as they do the activity and record their answers.

How It Works

1. Experience - Begin with a concerete experience. This can be an individual or group activity that involves "doing something."


2. Share - Next get the group or individual to talk about what they experienced when they were doing the activity. Share reactions and observations. Talk freely.

Sharing questions:

3. Process - Discuss how questions are created by the activity.

Processing questions (use information generated from sharing questions):

4. Generalize - Find general trends or common lesson in the experience. Identify the important points that apply to the "real world."

Generalizing questions:

5. Apply - Talk about how the new information can be applied to everyday life or sometime in the future.

Applying questions


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