Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog #13

My area of specialty is English and Language Arts. I feel like this entire class was one giant assignment that was realtable to my specialty. However, if I were to make a suggestion for a specific blog post to focus more towards English, I would suggest that future EDM310 students be asked to find some blogs and/or youtube videos that show PBL being used in an English classroom. Here's an example of what it may look like.

Linda Torp and Sara Sage wrote an article on the website for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development talking about what it would look like to use PBL in an English classroom. The neat thing about this article is that they seperated examples into grade levels from elementary all the way to university level. I focused on the high school section since that is the grade level I would like to work with.

In this section, Ms. Thorp and Ms. Sage talked about a a teacher who did PBL lesson based off of To Kill A Mockingbird. This is the prompt the teacher gave:

"Students are members of the Alabama Historical Society, which has been contracted to research a family's background during the time period of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. What was going on in the family during the time period of the novel? How reliable is the information the historical society uncovers? If controversial information about family members arises, who needs to know—or not?"

This sounds like a really fun project! In fact, the teacher even shares what she saw her students experience during this project:

"I think the kids were more into what they were doing; it seemed more relevant to them, especially with the social studies teacher [an expert on the 1930s] coming in and talking with them. . . . What really grabbed them . . . was when I brought the guy in who said that the original person the students were researching had lynched his grandfather. So then it became more of an ethical problem—the kids had to go back to their problem statement and decide: “Maybe we shouldn't even be doing this.” Before that, it was: “Okay, we'll do this; we'll do all the research and make all the pictures.” But when [that ethical dimension] came in, they were like, “Wow!” It really blew them away." That is what PBL is supposed to look like! Ms. Thorp and Ms. Sage go on to explain other PBL lessons that have been shared with them. I really enjoyed this blog because of the many examples of the benefits of PBL in an English classroom.

A video I found examplifying PBL in an English classroom is called, Project Based Learning and Common Core Standards - Kelli Marvin, Lancaster City Schools. Ms. Marvin does a project based off of
I love English!
Othello by William Shakespeare with her AP Senior English class. Since the play is about reputation, she starts the project off by having the students divide themselves into groups stating weather or not they think reputation is important. She then asked each of the groups to make an iMovie defending their stand. At the end of the project, the students had to present their movies to an audience of high schoolers. At the end of the presentations, the audience did an evaluation stating whether or not they were convinced.

This project has so many great components! From the introduction activity to the peer evaluation, this PBL lesson is definitely one that all English teachers should do. The students in the video talked about how much they learned from the lesson and how unique it was. This is definitely something I may try to incorporate into my future classroom.

1 comment:

  1. Very good! This is a good idea for a blog post. It allows students to see further applications of PBL in classrooms.