George Lucas Educational Foundation

PBL and UBD in English/Lang. Arts-For what?

PBL and UBD in English/Lang. Arts-For what?

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Hi there-

I am teaching at a charter school as an 11th grade English teacher. I haven't taught English in a few years and I am grateful to be at this school as I think it has a bright future. My question is this: My school is a firm believer in UBD and PBL as standard practices for our school, but what exactly should I be teaching my kids based on this? What really do they need to know as they move into the working world? My school leader stresses real world applications for the students, which I agree with, but having been away from this for a bit, I've gotten a bit bogged down trying to figure out exactly what my end game should be. I enjoy my subject, and I want to use the summer to come into next year fired up and doing the best job I can for my kids. Any advice?? Thanks!

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Jennifer Kingsley's picture

The best place to start might be with the Common Core standards for 11/12 ELA. Look for those standards that require demonstration of understanding. For example, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9 gives the standard: Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American Literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics. This would be a great standard to use as you start to plan your PBL. There is a natural tie to History as well. You may want students to select a theme or topic and time period from history and then select literature and other texts from that time period and topic or theme to read, compare, and create some sort of end-product.

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