Monday, August 27, 2018

Project Based Learning-Creating Books!

**This is a class assignment for a certification I'm getting*

"I'm getting married in white culottes, never working in an office, and I want to be outside." This was my fourth grade checklist for the adult version of me. Thank goodness the school system I was slotted into had a track that held Project Based Learning (PBL) up as a virtue. 

This is my all time favorite Ted Talk. My desire as a teacher is to teach my students to take their peer reviews and teacher feedback not as criticism, but provisions to get them to, "Embrace the Shake." Within writing, this means finding their voice and way of communication that meeting the requirements and yet remaining true to themselves. Some students melt under the fire of critiques. I want to foster a classroom that constantly, embraces the shake, and works through our weaknesses to turn them into strengths.

Image result for refugee camp

PBL encourages the strengths and stretches the weaknesses of each student. In any PBL, there will be sections students enjoy and other sections they merely get through. My hope with this PBL, is that they will learning not only to improve their writing and research skills, but also learn about the world outside of their own.

PBL-Refugee Camp Book

Project Theme and Goals: 

This is an English class project for secondary students. The students will be empathetically researching the lives of children in refugee camps. As a group of 4 they will put together a collaboratively written book of short stories that will touch on key areas of a refugee’s life. 

Before starting, each member of the group will read a different book written by a refugee. They will share with their group things they learned in that book. As a group, they will need to do thorough research on a specific people group who are currently living in a refugee camp. 

The objective for this project is to get the students to understand the lives of other students who are struggling with different and yet, maybe, similar issues. Also, to get them to think through how studying literature can help a group of people in need. The end resulting book should have an underlying theme, tying the entire project together. For example, the theme of hope or family. Another objective is to learn about all the elements, processes, and staging in publishing a book. This needs to be a professional quality book that we would see on Amazon. 

While I am looking for a professional, end product, I am also looking to challenge their perspectives along the way. The entire process of researching and understanding refugees, receiving peer feedback, and teaching editing should foster humility in my students.

While PBLs can be fun and creative, they still need feedback. I've outlined a detailed rubric and monitoring plan here.

Here's a link to another PBL I did. We are walking through Joseph Campbell's, Hero's Journey. 

I love Campbell's discussion about the process a hero goes through in a story. In the classroom, we would walk through C.S. Lewis', The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The links are here for a unit lesson plan.

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