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PBL ideas for Language Arts

PBL ideas for Language Arts

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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Good evening! I'm new to group and have been intrigued by the wonderful ideas/resources I've learned about by scrolling though the posts. This year will be my first time really going full-steam ahead with PBL. I'm excited, but I'm also feeling overwhelmed because I'm not exactly sure where to begin. I've done a ton of research this summer about PBL, but I'd like to hear from those who have been there, done that...especially middle school language arts teachers. What types of projects are you planning for this school year?

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sws420's picture

I am in my first year of teaching PBL and am unsure how to proceed with my 7th-8th grade students. I teach advanced students, but do not know what kind of projects to incorporate in the classroom. Any suggestions?

Dianne Guess's picture
Dianne Guess
Fifth grade English teacher from South Georgia

Anything out there for 5th grade English?

[quote]Dear MelH,

Welcome to Edutopia, it's a new school year here too, so we are creating new resources for our community of teachers, educators, and parents etc.

We are just beginning a new Edutopia Wikispace for teachers to share their curriculum and classroom resources and management tools...

Since you are doing Middle School ELA, I can share a wonderful wikispace link exactly from a Middle School ELA colleague in Illinois: Christina Nakazaki. School Literature & Language Arts Wiki by Christina Nakazaki

You can see that she is very organized and has specific lessons and writing

process assignments and handouts already loaded online...

I like her student introductory essay: "3 Things About Me", which is in her "Writing Process Notes and Handouts" section. She has about a dozen other "slideshow" presentations at her wiki to explore and contact her about...

At Edutopia you are not alone, we are working to create Professional Learning Networks online and our wikispace is (literally :-) just beginning...

Check back in the coming weeks to see our links of colleagues growing quickly...and join in...

"Prompt, Pre-write, Rough Draft, Peer-responding, Self-reflection, Editing, Final Proof..." Hand it in... :-)

Always Remember to Stagger the Class Writing Assignments, so you have a Life on the Weekends... :-)

to be continued...


Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Hi Dianne, welcome. This thread is a little old now, and I don't believe most of the original commenters are still participating.

If you start a new discussion though (there's a link to do so in the left sidebar), I'll see what I can do to direct some attention to it.

Tommygirl823's picture

I am extremely interested in incorporating PBL into my 8th grade ELA regular curriculum and advanced curriculum students. In my research,I have seen projects for social, studies and math for elementary aged groups. I am currently working with the novels Monster by Walter Dean Myers (regular curriculum students) and Animal Farm/Anthem (advanced students).

I would like a roadmap of how to implement PBL in my classes.

Rusul Alrubail's picture
Rusul Alrubail
Edutopia Community Facilitator/ Student Voice & Literacy at The Writing Project

Hi there, I found this article that you might find interesting and useful: It discusses a project design around banned books, but of course you can choose any text that you'd like. Another great place to start and does provide a bit of a roadmap is here: this video is a presentation but contains some great points. And lastly, here's Edutopia's PBL resource roundup:
Hope this helps and best of luck!

Heather Wolpert - Gawron's picture
Heather Wolpert - Gawron
Middle school teacher by day, educational author/blogger by night

Hey Tommygirl823!
I'm an Edutopia blogger ( and 8th grade ELA teacher as well. Remember with PBL, you can highlight the roleplaying aspect in order to get kids engaged. So when I'm doing PBL for literature, sometimes I have them roleplay as film critics. We study some of the informational book reviews from differnet newspapers, and we look at film reviews from the late Roger Ebert in both newspapers and blogs. I've even had them look at his twitter feed (still being mantained by his wife.) Anyway, the goal the kids use is to do an "At the Movies" kind of culmination of the literature compelte with a movie trailer of the book (done in iMovie or Animoto or something.) In other words, with literature, I don't necessarily feel the need to focus on the topics within the books themselves as an advocacy guide for the unit, but instead, I focus on organic versions of literary analysis to get them out of the whole 5-paragraph essay rigamorole. Hope that helps! - Heather

Heather Wight's picture
Heather Wight
Generally interested in education

One resource you might want to use to get students to collaborate for project-based learning is It's free up to 5 GB of storage. The site is a lot like Dropbox, but you get an added ability to collaborate, annotate, and discuss in *real time*. You can upload creative files like PDF, video, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. I've played around with it for a creative project at work and love it. I think students would love being able to send immediate messages to each other on the project. Just a suggestion.


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