Free Resources and Downloads for Project Learning
Every middle school student in Maine gets a laptop.
Credit: Michael Warren
You don't have to reinvent the wheel to bring project-based learning to your school. Educators from Maine have shared details about their administration, school culture, professional development, and curriculum -- materials you may adapt for your class, school, or school district.
Click on any of the titles below to download a PDF of one of Maine's public schools' resources for success.
[ PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. To download a free version of the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer, visit Microsoft's Download Center.]
Resources On This Page:
- Resources from Edutopia
- Examples of Project Learning/Expeditionary Learning
- Assessments and Measuring Success
- Teacher and School Planning Guides
- Professional Development
- Resources for Parents
- More Information
Resources from Edutopia
Examples of Project Learning/Expeditionary Learning
Planning Using Six-Step Rubric (from King Middle School) (80K)
Elementary School Project -- Farms and Food: This yearlong expedition engaged first graders in an entire year of studying farms and foods. It wove skills of reading, writing, math, drawing, and research with content in science, nutrition, health, and social studies.
Middle School Project -- Fading Footprints: This project is a 12-week interdisciplinary ecology unit centered on the guiding question, How does diversity strengthen an ecosystem?
Middle School Project -- "Soil Superheroes": This project from King Middle School, in Portland, Maine, pairs seventh-grade students with community partners. The students then use technology to show off their understanding of bacteria in an interdisciplinary project.
Project Outline for Students ( 476K)
- Samples of Student Work (comic strips from "Soil Superheroes"):
- The Bacteria Runway Show by Darcy ( 808K)
- D-D at the Monastery by Maddie ( 864K)
- Bacterium for Hire by Noah ( 812K)
High School Project -- "Give Me Shelter": Juniors at Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, explore homelessness by working in teams to make audio slide-show portraits in a semester-long project about housing issues and public policy.
Multimedia Presentation Rubric ( 255K)
Oral History Writing Rubric ( 156K)
Oral History Writing Assessment ( 160K)
- Samples of Student Work:
- "Give Me Shelter" Slide Shows
School Assessment and Measuring Success
Impact of Expeditionary Learning on Student Achievement. This is a list of independent studies of expeditionary learning.
My Voice Student Report (2008). This is a nationwide survey of students based on eight conditions that support student engagement -- belonging, heroes, sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, curiosity and creativity, spirit of adventure, leadership and responsibility, and confidence to take action.
Teacher and School Planning Guides
Graphic: Audio Recording Tips ( 1.1MB)
Maine International Center for Digital Learning: Contains a series of videos for teachers on one-to-one, beginning with the basics: how to find and evaluate information on the Internet, teach students digital literacy, connect with parents through computers, and change curriculum to make the most out of computers.
The Tech Curve Show: Blog, resources, and training videos produced by students that cover specific aspects of using laptops such as the iPhoto application, posting videos, and ethics on the Internet.
Resources for Parents
- Helen King Middle School
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Video: What Is Expeditionary Learning?
- Parent Laptop Agreement ( 116K)
- Laptop Take Home: What You Need to Know (King Middle School 2009-10) ( download from Portlandschools.org)
What do you think of Schools that Work?
Tweet your answer to @edutopia or post your comment below.