542 – PBL Brainstorming

At this point early in the course we are to be considering a topic and approach for PBL unit development. As with all the other classes I have taken at BSU, I have tried to create projects that are applicable to my teaching areas with the intention of implementation. I have use the PBL approach with my Language Arts classes, although without many of the details evident in the examples I have seen over the past few days. In Language Arts I have used this approach to try and make real life connections to thematic study in literature with some success and would like to further explore this concept.

Some general ideas I am considering in the Language Arts 9 area are a deep examination of thematic elements relating to humanity and human nature as explored in the short story Dr Heidegger’s Experiment. My idea is to have students formulate a driving question based on a theme analysis of the story then work toward the creation of a documentary video.

In Language Arts 10 a connection between heroism and the main character Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird could lead into an investigation of the true qualities of a hero culminating in a documentary biography on a local hero, perhaps incorporating the MyHero website as a resource and presentation forum.

All of the above ideas culminate in the creation of documentaries. I teach a unit on documentary film making in Media Arts 11/12 and perhaps a PBL unit in this area could focus in on a topic of choice as well as the genre. Using the National Film Board of Canada’s web resource, Beyond The Lens as a opening resource in exploring techniques, history and documentary forms can lead into interest driven groupings and development of a film.

The final area I am considering right now is in Photography. Exploring the power of photojournalism to evoke change through a PBL unit may be effective. Using the James Natchway TED talk as an entry event maybe a useful strategy.