Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dino-rific & a freebie!

 I just finished up a super fun Dinosaur Project with my kiddos. I dabble a bit in Project Based Learning. I haven't quite moved to wall-to-wall PBL...but we do several PBL units each semester. I've been to several PBL trainings, & the two things that stand out most to me that make a PBL unit different than a traditional project are these unique characteristics:
  • allows student voice & choice is integral-- Projects are developed based on students' interests & within the PBL, they should have choice of activities &/or products.
  • involves a public audience (other than their classmates & teachers)-- Students present their work to other people, either in person or online. This component "ups the stakes" & increases student motivation to do quality work. 
I launched this PBL with a letter from our local Children's Museum asking the class to help develop learning activities for children who couldn't travel to the museum.The letter asked that their teacher take pictures or film their projects for submission to the museum (this is where the public audience was built in). It also asked that specific information be included in their project:

  • The name of the dinosaur
  • What it looked like
  • What it ate & if it was a carnivore or herbivore
  • Its life cycle
  • Any other interesting information
A couple of our awesome student-created dinosaur costumes

 My class was SUPER excited about it! Each child choose a dinosaur to learn more about & develop their project. 

We talked about what kinds of things they could do, & they came up with these choices:


  • Puppets
  • Posters
  • Costumes
 

I gave them a Research Guide to help them through the process. (You can grab the freebie by clicking on the picture). We also typed up our research in a Voki....which they absolutely loved! We finished up the projects on Friday, took pictures & filmed for the museum people then we took our show on the road!

Dinos on parade! Didn't they do an awesome job creating their costumes?
We made a dino-parade through a couple classrooms. What fun!

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In other news, my blog was featured this week by Carson-Dellosa as Best Blog of the Week. I am super, super excited!!