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PROJECT BASED LEARNING - IDEAS

Financial, Economic, Business, Entrepreneurial Projects

1. The principal asks students to investigate ways to conserve energy use in the school.
2. The Farm Bureau sends a letter that discusses the overpopulation of deer and the increase in related traffic accidents and fatalities.
3. The Town Council asks students for advice about creating a safe, non-invasive place for skateboarders and roller bladers in the community.
4. A travel agent sends a letter that asks the students to advise the tourist board on places of interest to children and their families traveling to the area. Students explore the local highlights, costs and travel schedules.
5. Students become detectives and discover the origins of the clothes in their closets. Resource: The Global Production Game
6. Students become business consultants and are asked, "What kind of businesses would do well in my community?" a. Students analyze the distribution of businesses and residences in their community (Middle grades) -Thinkfinity - b. Build Your Community (Elementary grades)

Numbers, Probability, Cryptography, Predictions Through Graphs, Measures

1. Students create a cookbook with their own pictures that describes and depicts fractions used in cooking and serving, and use multiplication of fractions to change quantities served for each recipe.
2. Students are asked to design a miniature golf course and construct the path for a hole-in-one using reflections and angle measurements.
3. Your civil engineering firm has been hired to design and build a model of a bridge to replace the old bridge in your town. Students are asked "Why is geometry important to building structures?" a. Bridge the Gap Intel Unit b. Bridge Resources
4. Students build Platonic and/or Archimedean solids.  Isotropic.org/polyhedra
5. Students keep track of miles traveled and gasoline purchases for a car owned by their family (amount purchased and cost) over a period of one month. Students enter the data in a spreadsheet and use the spreadsheet to calculate the average miles per gallon after each purchase. Students also calculate the cost of gas per mile for this car for the month.
6. Given a defined area of land, students are asked to design a zoo. Students will research the amount of space each particular animal needs, the food, water and habitat needs of each animal and predict the funds needed to run the zoo.

Science; Physics; Earth & Moon; Energy; Weather

1. Students take on the role of weather reporters to present weather information, patterns and warnings. a. Create a climograph. b. Weather and Water
2. After hearing/seeing a local news report, students posed the question, how safe is our drinking water?
3. Students take on the role of botanists and climatologists to investigate seasonal changes and create class books for the National Arbor Day Foundation.
4. Students choose a myth, urban legend, fairy tale, something they saw in a movie (i.e., could that really happen?) and use scientific and problem solving means to prove or disprove it. See Mythbusters Project.
5. Students become 911 dispatchers receiving calls for help after a storm that has caused wide-spread power outages. See Edutopia Landry LA Project.
6. Students are asked to stage a full circus complete with juggling and tumbling acts. Involves the physics of tumbling and writing speeches for the master of ceremonies. See Circus of the Kids.
7. Students are asked to design a roller coaster. a. Amusement Park Physics. b. Education World Lesson Plan c. Building America's Most Extreme Roller Coaster
8. Students visit a local pond, do a photo story, document changes, brainstorm ideas, choose a solution. Pond Water Habitat Project.

Reading/Language Arts; Effective Communication; Writing

1. The principal asks the students to develop a brochure that will communicate information about their school to the community.
2. A couple of students review books that they have read and liked. Others students become interested and they start a "Book Club" project.
3. How do we persuade others? Students review different means of persuading others and produce writing, audio and/or visual presentation to persuade others. See Digital Storytelling on Voicethreads.com
4. Students explore the cultural significance of masks and investigate the role of masks in various African cultures. a. The Meaning Behind The Masks - Thinkfinity b. Students create an exhibit and present their research. Weberwood Elementary, Kanawha County.
5. Students examine the relationship between characterization and plot using Charlotte's Web. Charlotte's Web: To the Rescue - Intel Unit
6. Students become reporters, write articles and publish a newspaper. Teach 21 Project Based Learning A Newspaper Project; It's News to Me - 4th grade.

Art; Music; Photography

1. The Art League has asked students to design a logo and brand for the upcoming art show. Students incorporate the principles of good design with the basics of marketing strategies as they consider the medium and costs of the promotion. Exploring Design lesson.

History; WV History; Geography; Inventions

1. How does where we live influence how we live? Student communicate with other students from different countries.
2. Students draw a map of their own backyard, the school yard/playground or some other location, including scale and compass markings, and mark a "treasure" on the map; then challenge others to find the treasure using the map.
2. Student have been asked to present at the archeology convention supporting a case for why civilizations such as the ancestral Pueblo, Inca or Aztec civilizations disappear.
3. How did the United States become a world power?
4. How can we make life easier? Students study inventions that make life easier and use their knowledge of simple machines to create new, labor-saving machines of their own. Have inventions helped or hurt and why? - voicethread.com.* The Big Ferris Wheel - Special Report 1893.

Health/Wellness

1. Students research the workings of the eye and how sight is impaired when the lens and structure of the eye do not let light in as intended. Students create a pamphlet on vision problems and work with local ophthalmologists and optometrists to provide a vision screening for the public.
2. Students research the workings of the ear and how hearing is impaired by loud noise. Students create a pamphlet on harmful sound levels.
3. The principal is concerned that students are not receiving proper nutrition because of the large amount of lunchroom waste. How can students advise the principal on lunch menus that will be nutritious and appealing to them?
4. Students investigate the question: How can we educate our community (or school) about treatment and prevention measures for H1N1? For diabetes? (Brochure, video, booth design)

Global Awareness; Global Issues; Change

1. National disasters Students examine UNICEF's global education concepts in relation to humanitarian emergencies and and disaster relief. Humanitarian Emergencies
2. Global Gateway - bringing an international dimension to education b. Stop Disasters Game (Interactive)
3. Students reflect on the role of water in ceremonies and celebrations around the world Celebrating Our Connections Through Water
4. Students identify the advantages of being flexible when visiting or living in a culture different from one's own. The Importance of Being Flexible and Open-minded as a Visitor to Another Culture.
5. Students will learn about the nature of hurricanes. Life in a Hurricane Zone.
6. Recycle: Bright Hub Education.com http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/128399-collaborative-recycled-art-project-hoop-chandeliers/


Foreign Language
1. Students learn and practice greetings used in other countries. a.Thinkfinity - Greeting Friends from Other Places  b. Peace Corps lesson Challenge Game - Traditional Greetings.
2. Students plan a three-day tour of Paris and role play in French some typical encounters and experiences on their imaginary tour. French Connections - Thinkfinity
3. Students present research on how a country's culture and physical geography impact the development/existence of a language. African Language Diversity - Thinkfinity.
4. Students become FFFBI agents and prove their undercover skills. fffbi.com - International Missions.
5. Students evaluate the importance of speaking another language. The Importance of Speaking Another Language.

 

Office of Special Programs
Building 6, Rm 304
1900 Kanawha Blvd
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 304-558-2696
Fax: 304-558-3741