Project Based Learning continues rolling on in my classroom for weeks 3-5. We wrapped up our first project in Health-Religion 7/8 (e-portfolios) and two weeks ago, we were introduced to our second project through a "mystery" presenter. Below is short video from this presentation:
The Next Step: Profile of a Role Model for Volunteerism
- Students will need to create a real or 'imagined' interview with someone they believed is a role model for volunteerism. BEFORE we do this however, I wanted them to see some of my role models and I wanted to explain to them WHY these people are role models for me. We watched a music video by MC Yogi about Ghandi, read Emma Watsons HeForShe UN speech together, and watched a video of Malala speaking at We Day in the UK. I continually responded to our BIG questions when discussing my three role models. HOW do Ghandi/Emma Watson/Malala challenge the world to be better? How do they challenge me to be better?
---------> Student ideas for presentation of this interview: blog, video, podcast, magazine article. They are going to put these up on their e-portfolios from project #1.
If not me, who? If not now, when?
Group discussion time: Students have 'home' groups that they will work with for the duration of this project and they are also encouraged to do their authentic assessment (volunteer hours) with members of their group. These groups were not random, but chosen with student learning profile in mind. They finished off the day by discussing this quote and what it could mean. What I found interesting was the AMOUNT of differences this quote had for each individual student. Some discussed how listening to Emma Watson's speech made them want to act on inequality and not just put up their feet and wait for the world to change. *GASP* Teenager wanting to change the world? Bless their hearts! I have to say this is one of my favourite projects I have ever rolled out with students. I think it's a combination of things: my passion for this area, adjustments made after PBL project #1, and of course the terrific group of students I am working with.
Top 3 List of Awesome Things From Weeks 3 - 5:
1. Student conversations - deep and meaningful discussion about the topic
2. Student ownership of project ideas for role model interview
3. New family groups to work in - fresh ideas and connections in our big group
Three Existing Questions to Ponder:
1. How can I step back even more from the role of "sage on the stage" and move to a mentor focused role for this project?
2. How to sustain student ownership and engagement for long projects?
3. Is there another way to deliver "essential questions"? What other formats are there for PBL? Other structures used for delivery? (need research here)
As a closing thought for this post, I have noticed that I am shifting and changing along with my students. I have started looking at my curriculum differently and thinking differently about planning and delivery of material. PBL has changed my mindset as an educator; I now thinking differently about how I am teaching. I can definitely see the immediate impact on my students and in my classroom but I never anticipated that I would change as rapidly as I have. I am looking forward to another presenter next week from the community and to more amazing conversations with students!
Mrs. Katherine (Kate) Weber