The Essential Elements of Project Based Learning to Motivate and Engage Students

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Transcript of The Essential Elements of Project Based Learning to Motivate and Engage Students

The Thinking Classroom: How to Incorporate Inquiry and Project Based Learning in Social Studies

The Thinking Classroom: How to Incorporate Inquiry and Project Based Learning

Please log onto the internet: session will provide teachers with the tools and knowledge to help students investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action through project based

learning. Teachers will learn how to craft meaningful driving questions to promote rich inquiry in order to prepare students to be college, career, and civic ready. Specific examples, tools,

resources and suggestions will be shared.1K-12 Social Studies Consultants Ann




Section Chief K-12 Social StudiesFay GoreNC Character Education Coordinator

Program AssistantBernadette TeamObjectivesDiscuss implementation of inquiry-based learning in the classroom.Understand effective guidelines of inquiry-based learning.Understand how to create a culture of inquiry in your classroom by effective questions that promote inquiry This session will present the essential elements of project-based learning in social studies classrooms to help teachers prepare their students to become college, career, and civic ready. Teachers will learn how to create a culture of inquiry in their classroom and the effective guidelines for project based learning within their social studies classrooms.

3Essential Elements of Project Based Learning

Note that this is one approach to inquiry. There are also other approaches such as problem based learning. 4

Significant Content Critical Thinking


Communication Creativity and Innovation Identify important content knowledge by specifying standards that will be taught through the project.

Every standard needs a measurable outcome. 21st Century Skills Must think about your standards and your skills (significant to teachers and students.) Need to be successful in the workplace Modeled, practiced, assessed, feedback

It is recommended to choose 1-3 standards and choose 1-2 21st century learning skills for each project.

5In Depth Inquiry Asking effective questionsMaking hypothesesSupporting answers with research and evidence Developing new questions as knowledge deepens

So if we think about what our classrooms should look like it should involve these aspects if we are preparing our students to be college, career, and civic ready.

Not google In-Depth inquiry and innovation is marked by students finding their own unique way of solving a problem

Element of Innovation---not just repackaging information

6Connecting Inquiry to The K-12 Social Studies Concept-Based FrameworkQuestioning is the heart of inquiry learning.

Students must ask relevant questions and develop ways to search for answers and generate explanations.

Emphasis is placed upon the process of thinking as this applies to student interaction with concepts, big ideas, data, topics, issues, and problems.


Effective Questioning is the key to inquiry. This should be something that students CANNOT simply go to google and find the answer or ask SIRI on their iphone to find the right answer. Inquiry often times involves multiple perspectives support with evidence. It takes students on a journey and involves a unique way of solving problems.

Questioning in SS can often be connected to disciplinary literacy. Students can explore questions through the different lenses of the social sciences. How would a historian explore a question? An economist? A Geographer? Etc.

Michelle's Comments : As you know in our past webinars and professional development trainings we have stressed asking students 3 different types of question in Unit Development. They are Factual, Provocative and Conceptual We know that asking higher order factual questions are great for helping students understand content knowledge. However for the purposes of this webinar we are going to focus on why Proactive and Conceptual questions are better QUESTIONS to drive inquiry in social studies.

Resource for bullets (last bullet adapted for our CBCI information) - 7Effective Questions Captures the issues, problem, or challengeConsistent with curricular standards and frameworksOpen-ended and provocative

Can arise from real-dilemmas that students find interestingGoes to the heart of a discipline or topicOrganizes Inquiry

Adapted from The Buck Institute Ann

MOST IMPORTANTLY , effective questions capture issues that are important to students. The planned daily lessons and activities, should be trying to help students answer the question. Whether it's a mini-lesson on small activity----the work needs to connect to the question. This is so that the day-to-day lessons and activities now have reason, relevancy and purpose. We also need to identify the issue or problem for which it posed within its historic context (e.g. Did the flapper have to degrade herself in order to liberate herself?)

Effective questions must come from and be aligned to the essential standards so that it requires students to learn the necessary content

Effective questions should be proactive --They must challenge students to rethink big ideas. This will lead to genuine and relevant inquiry, not just easy answers. Questions should NOT be googleable but should have unique answers for each students -engaging them in an in-depth inquiry. Proactive questions may have multiple perspectives but should be supported by evidence.

4. Effective questions should be Real DilemmasThus, they Are relevant in multiple settings whether it be in the history and science classroom, the evening news or a students personal life

This creates an interest and a feeling of challengeso that even the most reluctant student thinks, "Hmmm, I guess that sounds kinda cool.It helps student answer the question: "Why are we doing this?"This is the Golden Question that many administrators ask students when they are visiting. If your driving question is good, it can help connect that work so that students can articulate the reason behind daily lessons and activities

5. Effective questions spark meaningful connections to prior knowledge and experiences.

6. Effective questions organizes inquiry----and lead to more questions i8Different Types of Questions Philosophical: When is war justified?Products: How can we plan an event that creates or celebrates the history of our community? Problem Solving: Why do civilizations fail?Real World/Scenario - What responsibilities, if any, does the government have in maintaining a middle class?

Adapted from The Buck Institute ANN

There are four different types of questions for inquiry

First, Philosophical questions that debate lifes big questions. An example of a philosophical question is: When is war justified? Next, there are questions that

Next , there are questions that lead students to inventing or creating a products. An example of such a question would be: How can we plan an event that creates or celebrates the history of our community?

Problem Solving questions pose a challenge for students to solve through research. An example of this type of question would be: Why do civilizations fail?

Finally, by adding a real world role we are adding authenticity, rigor, and depth which enables them to build an understanding of their future roles and responsibilities. An example of this type of question may be: What responsibilities, if any, does the government have in maintaining a middle class?

9Refining Questions Google-able

Teacher Language

Too Standards Based


Open Ended

Engaging for StudentsRelevant Charge for Action

We are going to talk about how to refine each one of these problems that many teachers run into when crafting good driving questions.

Often times teachers make their questions to direct, not fully engaging to students and to general. We are going to look at some examples of how this occurs and practice with how to fix these mistakes.

Michelle comments ---should include conversation about the higher thinking that can come from making some of your questions conceptual or provocative?

Michelle's Question/Comment When should Essential Questions be asked? Should driving questions sometimes be strategically placed in the instruction or does it matter? Its important to think about when you should ask your driving question. Sometimes you cannot introduce it until some pretty important content knowledge may have been covered. At other times students are discovering that content knowledge through the essential question.

10 Google-ableWhat are the major industries in our state?What were the causes of the American Revolution? What were the major forms of modern art?

So as we think about INQUIRY--_What are the problems with these questions

So do these questions encourage in depth inquiry? NO! They are google-able! --The problem we see with all of these questions is that they are very concrete. All students have to do is simply go to google and type them in and the answer will appear. --Questions do not require multiple activities, synthesizing, and analyzing much information. We want to go beyond the knowledge here and go to a deeper meaning.

So lets talk some about driving questions i