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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)

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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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Mike Reilly's picture

Thanks Genn, and my kudos to Jason then. I think if the students chose to do a game, the design and development of it would be up to them as well. Using their tech skills (social networking, etc.), they could create it all. Jane McGonigal's alternate reality work is possible at a very intro level. Some kids would have self-taught skills for interactive media already to enhance the larger game, I'm sure.

I guess this is the point where they choose. My gut tells me to inspire them to do a game, or a series of "Dan Brown" articles, or maybe a true political effort. Seems like it now goes back to the "driving question", and then their interpretation of how to answer it. Maybe it's time to make an official group on this.

Brandy Lovelady Mitchell's picture

My efforts will stem from a career's perspective. I will attempt to challenge students to investigate this situation, pinpoint the professionals that will be needed to assist in this situation and ultimately, students will research the pinpointed professions. I hope to align these tasks with Career and Employabilty standards (Career Technical Education) and Michigan's Comprehensive Guidance Standards.

Zahra A. Belyea's picture
Zahra A. Belyea
9-12 English Teacher, Arlington, MA

I would like to begin the lesson by having the students view and answer questions for a video about the Children's March (http://www.tolerance.org/kit/mighty-times-childrens-march)that took place in the 60's and then use the video as a springboard into the broader question of the impact someone can have no matter how young or small they may be. Then I would like to connect this idea to the disaster in the gulf and illicit ideas from the students about what they think they will be able to do from so far away. (If they can't physically get to The Gulf, what can they do in order to feel connected? To feel like they are making a difference no matter how small?) I was also very interested in what Kyle Meador said about what his students were doing with their research on how the social systems have been impacted by the disaster. In short, I do not have an idea that is completely fleshed out and would love as much assistance as possible. Thank you.

Heather Haberman's picture

Great ideas, thanks! When my classes and I talked about the oil spill in May it seemed that many of my students didn't understand how the spill could affect them here in Nebraska. Some of the kids in this rural agricultual area even saw an up side to the spill in that more people may start eating more beef if the seafood is tainted. I think I'll start the project with a brain storming session on the pros and cons of this spill. Then I'll have my class discuss how we can be impacted by this disaster and possible projects we could work on. I find the students always come up with better ideas than me :)

Jane Neuenschwander's picture
Jane Neuenschwander
Teaching elementary education courses to undergrads at WJU

I think making connections to the local petroleum industry is a great idea!!! Even if you don't know much about it (because you are new to the area)that could be part of the "problem/project." I could see part of the question (or even the whole question) being, "How does the Gulf oil spill affect Lima, OH and our local refining processes?"

Many years ago I taught at Elida MS, so your address caught my attention and interest.


Renee's picture
5th Grade Teacher from Bronx, New York

I agree with Paul Allison. I don't know a lot about gaming but I think gaming is another media that can be used to educate today's youth. I recently read an article and watched a video on the Edutopia site about gaming and its impact on education. At least one or both of these two sites were listed in the article; one site is http://www.gameslearningsociety.org/and the other is www.gamesforchange.org. I hope these sites help.

Solmarie Puig's picture

As a math and science teacher i have a few ideas to work with. In math for example we can work to try to determine the amount of oil necessary to kill one at the time fish, and the compare with the amount in the gulf to make a study about it. In science we can explore the consequences to ecosystems inside and outside the water and how much time can we expect to clean the waters. Let them find the technologies used in other episodes and now.

Gail Lay's picture

Since I teach Nutrition, I was thinking the same as Bobbi. How do disasters such as these affect the food supply? I also teach Family Living and Child Development. How are families affected when their livelihoods are threatened. How will they cope? What resources can they rely on? Depending on what class I'm teaching, I would begin with open ended questions to uncover their concerns and ideas. I'm new at this and am not sure where to go from here.

Linda Hoffman's picture
Linda Hoffman
8th grade multimedia teach from San Antonio, TX

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.

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