Updated: Jan 12
In essence, project-based learning is an educational opportunity geared towards the learner. In contrast to typical classroom instruction, project-based learning provides the autonomy for students to investigate a topic worthy of in-depth investigation. By creating some manner of final product (i.e. video, model, performance, etc., students get an opportunity to showcase their learning process. Furthermore, students often have more “buy in” or are motivated to higher levels because of the freedom offered to them. Overall, by taking part in investigations, dialogue, peer review, students are continuously building and acquiring additional knowledge.
My students and I spend about 4 months investigating the Holocaust, in a varying capacities. Our journey goes as follows:
1. Ender's Game (science fiction novel as a metaphor for Holocaust)
2. The Diary of Anne Frank (the theatre version)
3. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (movie)
4. Holocaust PBL
The Guiding Task
Planning Their Product
Once their project proposal has been approved, the students set out to work on their chosen endeavor. One thing is for sure, their motivational buy-in for the project is very high. Below, one can see early days of their project's development.
After a week's worth of in class development, the students showcased their products. The key element (regarding their product's purpose) was to make sure that all generations never forget the death of over 11 million people during this horrid time in history. Below, one can see some of the final products.
To read more on this concept, check out Chapter 10: Reach for Greatness, in my book, Teach4Endurance: Surviving the Swim, Bike, and Run in Today's Classroom.