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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

PBL Camp: Grades 9-12 (Week 1)

PBL Camp: Grades 9-12 (Week 1)

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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How will you make the oil spill relevant to your students? This is our brainstorming thread. Any and all ideas and thoughts welcome!

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Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

[quote]I have modified my project and made it much stronger. By doing the research into sources you often find a new direction. So, I will have my students explore how the Internet is changing the definition of journalism and how students have a greater voice than ever. They will examine traditional standards of journalism to news videos, how point of view plays an editorial role, and how news is packaged. They will still conclude their project by making a video, but they will have the tools for creative control.[/quote]

Linda - Be sure you check out the blog we just published on Youth Radio. It's radio not video, but they are offering to run student-produced stories via their network:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/youth-radio-writing-radio-commentary

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

I see a number of folks are brainstorming great ideas!! If you want to participate in the camp, there is still space. Check out the wiki for week 2's activities:

http://pblcamp.pbworks.com

chitchings's picture
chitchings
high school science teacher from Rhode Island

I like this idea as a place to start. Many of my students will not connect to the oil spill since it is not directly related to them. An attention getter is necessary.

chitchings's picture
chitchings
high school science teacher from Rhode Island

I like these ideas but need a more concrete plan and a way to open this as a focus for the year. I don't get to much of this chemistry for a few months.

Ellen Feig's picture

[quote]When you said gaming, I began wondering about integration of Second Life. Has anyone used Second Life (http://education.seondlife.com)in the classroom? I haven't experienced it yet, have just been exploring the possibilities. But, they do have science places in Second Life Education (Conservation Island, Center for Wildlife Studies, etc.). I would love to explore this further and get back with you.[/quote]

I use Second Life a great deal as a tool to teach english in the community college classroom - it allows students to explore areas that they would never be able to.

Ellen Feig's picture

Initially, I thought that the oil spill would not be relevant to an english/literature/composition classroom but after spending a couple of hours researching, I am of a new mind. I have wanted to explore for some time the nature of new media/citizen journalism and believe this might be a perfect PBL. Have the students create discourse on the subject in various mediums (to showcase the different ways to write) - blog, podcasting, videos, Facebook pages, etc. Have them analyze previous literature and media on environmental issues, the nature of gas usage in suburban life (where all have cars) and the affect on their lives. As we are right near the Meadowlands in NJ, it is easy to hit home the importance of environment. Love to hear thoughts from all of you

Cristina Davis's picture

In Texas we have essential skills and knowledge requirements (TEKS) we must cover with various classes. Our Biology TEK 12f is describe how environmental change can impact ecosystem stability. This would be a great way to cover the effects of the oil spill on the ecosystem and how it will affect all organisms etc. A nice way to start is to do a biome study on the wetlands and ocean environments and determine what organisms make their homes there. Then introduce the oil spill and have students predict how it will affect the area. After that bring in the Gulf spill info and the spread of oil and breadth of damage it could cause etc.
Students could work on a project to discuss how they can come up with solutions to minimize damage to the ecosystem and present their research and ideas.

Telannia Norfar's picture
Telannia Norfar
High School Math Teacher

[quote]Initially, I thought that the oil spill would not be relevant to an english/literature/composition classroom but after spending a couple of hours researching, I am of a new mind. I have wanted to explore for some time the nature of new media/citizen journalism and believe this might be a perfect PBL. Have the students create discourse on the subject in various mediums (to showcase the different ways to write) - blog, podcasting, videos, Facebook pages, etc. Have them analyze previous literature and media on environmental issues, the nature of gas usage in suburban life (where all have cars) and the affect on their lives. As we are right near the Meadowlands in NJ, it is easy to hit home the importance of environment. Love to hear thoughts from all of you[/quote]

That is an awesome idea. You can even have them look at suburban vs major metropolitan. The news in both of those areas are very different based upon the population however both are facing the same environmental issues.

Lisa Soper's picture
Lisa Soper
Freshman Biology Teacher, Texas

I would want to start by showing my students video and photos of the devastation the oil spill has had and potentially will have on the species of the area. I want my students to think in long range terms and to not only think about the current effect that the spill is having. Students would be asked what effect they think it might have on the food web of the area. Students would then research articles on the web such as the following article and make predictions of possible future outcomes. http://www.cnbc.com/id/38240735/Scientists_Say_Gulf_Oil_Spill_Is_Alterin...
Students would be asked questions such as, "If the food web is affected,what might happen?", What effect could this have on the evolution of species in the area?" and "How can the Gulf oil spill effect the area we live in?"

Rachel Pickett's picture
Rachel Pickett
10th grade Social Studies

Maybe trace where we get our food from. (does any seafood come from the gulf?)

Also, maybe we could figure out what we use petroleum and oil for. We're starting our year with a resource unit, and we all use petroleum. Which is why we were drilling in the first place.

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