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PBL Camp: Grades 3-5 (Week 1)

PBL Camp: Grades 3-5 (Week 1)

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How will you make the oil spill relevant to your students? This is our brainstorming thread for the upper elementary group. Any and all ideas and thoughts welcome!
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Wayne Tuttle's picture
Wayne Tuttle
intermediate teacher from Casper, Wyoming

I will be teaching 4/5 combo for the first time this year. I think PBL opportunities provide good ways to get a wide-spectrum of students into various standards in relevant ways. Do you team teach or have them all to yourself? Any hints on the combo?

Stephanie Hawkes's picture

Quote: I would like to launch a project in which we use launch pads such as these documentaries and the oil spill media to give students choice in a topic. Then, collaborate with other students to form global teams to research and develop a blog or ning that merges information researched, advocacy ideas, action steps, philanthropy opportunities or where ever the students' passion takes them together. The culminating project could be a digital piece that is aired on the interweb, local television, at Mountain Film. Another idea could be that the culminating project could be submitted as part of Oracle's Thinkquest competition.

Please include me. I teach fifth grade and would love for students to particpate.

Marsha Fischer's picture

I really like your idea of showing kids the two tanks. That helps them really see the good, the bad, and the ugly

Marsha Fischer's picture

In addition to science this year, I will be teaching research skills to 3-5 grades. Any suggestions on projects? I am in Florida and we also deal with sea turtles and other marine life.

Lori Smith's picture
Lori Smith
First Year Teacher in Colorado

HI Wayne,

I will hopefully be teaching in a small (retired) mining community in Colorado and the community has done several reclamation works in the past and i also hope to get students researching local clean up procedures and effects on thier environment.

Wayne Tuttle's picture
Wayne Tuttle
intermediate teacher from Casper, Wyoming


Sounds like we both have some great local resource. Our refinery has now become a golf course. I wonder about the downstream water now. Does it have many fertilizing materials in it? I think oour local situations will be a good way to scale kid up to the larger issue of the Gulf.

Corby Arthur's picture
Corby Arthur
3rd Grade Teacher, Synchronized Swimmer, Swimmer in Los Angeles, CA

Hi Cally,
Yes, I would like to work with you. I'm a bit confused on how to connect to you and the others in your group.


Debbie Torres's picture

The oil spill is relevant to my students because my students and I live 15 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Even though the oil has not reached our beach it is a potential hazard to our beaches and the animal habitats. This is project is easy for my students to connect to because my students usually visit the beach during the school year as well as the summer.

Patricia Doyle's picture

This is a real world learning lesson for students. It is very relevant because I live about 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Although the oil is still north of us, the impact on the fishing community is already being felt. Many students visit the beach regularly. This accident is harming beaches, habitats, and livelihoods. Students will connect to this because they visit the beach and have family members working in industries that are effected by the spill.

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