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Implementation of Project-Based Learning in the Classroom

When it comes to meeting the learning needs of my classroom, I realize that


while I have a wide spectrum of learners with a variety of preferred modalities, my
students above all else, enjoy choice. Given this characteristic, I was drawn to the
Project-Based Learning model due to its intrinsic characteristic of student choice,
increased responsibility, and only skeletal teacher guidance and direction. While
this model should not be used for every lesson or subject, it can be utilized for a
variety of both research and performance-based projects in which students serve
as their own guide, task-master and educator a role in which they theoretically
own their learning in a way that traditional lecture or banking education could
ever reach them. The creativity ingrained in such learning offer students choice
and voice, personalizing the learning experience (Boss, 2014, p.2).

Name: Victoria Scheffer

A. Description of Lesson Plan

Academic Subject(s): Geographic Regions/Project-Based Learning

Grade Level(s): Fourth Grade

Standards Integrated into the Lesson Plan:

Student Content Standards

Standard 3.0 Geography

1. Topic B: Indicator 1: Describe similarities and differences of regions by


using geographic characteristics Objective a: Compare physical
characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland and the United
States, including natural/physical features, weather and climate, soil,
vegetation, minerals and animal life. Objective b: Compare human
characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland, the United
States, including human-made features, language, religions, political systems,
economic activity, and population distribution. (MSDE, 2006)

Educational Technology Standards for Students:


Indicator 1: Creativity and innovation
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression (ISTE, 2007)

Learning Objectives for Lesson Plan:

Audience: Fourth grade students Behavior: will take part in a discussion and
exploration of the climate, geography, and industry of the New England region, and
then Condition: work in groups of two to film an iMovie tourism commercial, in
character, as a representative of the New England region tourist board in order to
Measurement: describe at least 2 features each of the New England Region,
including characteristics relating to: climate, geography and industry.

Featured Technologies:
Promethean Board
Digital projector (EPSON)
Personal laptop
Teacher-created New England flipcharts
Class iPad
Microsoft Office Suite

Other Necessary Materials:


New England Tourist assignment rubric & directions
Additional reference materials on the New England Region, including maps,
books, magazines, etc.
Blank copies of storyboards, graphic organizers and note pages used for the
planning of the commercial
Assorted props for the commercial

Teacher Preparation:

Teacher preparation for this type of learning will be extensive, including the
assessment and gathering of a variety of research materials including, but not
limited to: video clips of famous tourism commercials; travel maps; books; and
props relating to the New England Region. To better illustrate the capacities and
features of iMovies, I will also need to prepare my own commercial on the iPad.
Motivation/Warm Up:

Students will be asked Do you ever wonder how states and regions attract
tourists? They will view the iconic I Love New York ad campaign/commercial to
help illuminate the idea of selling a destination based on its more favorable
features and sites. They will review the necessary components related to regional
characteristics that must be included in their own upcoming commercials including:
climate, geography and industry.

Instructional Procedures: (During)


(Include Modeling & Guided Practice)

1) Modeling
Students will participate in a whole-class discussion and exploration of
the climate, geographic and industrial features of the six New England
states including: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Vermont and Massachusetts. This discussion will focus on the regions
varied climate, rocky soil, fishing industry, etc.
We will discuss the necessary components of their tourist video
including group work, research and preparation of: scripting, prop
organization and varying character creation.
(Project-Based Learning Element(s)):
We will review concepts of Project-Based Learning, including the fact
that both the creative and informative aspects of their iMovie
commercial will be chosen by the group as a whole; based on group
research, collaboration and organization within the guidelines related
to regional climate, geography and industry of their chosen states.

2) Guided
Students will view my self-created : New England Region flipchart,
including an example of my own tourism commercial for the state of
New Hampshire, highlighting the climate, geographic and industrial
characteristics that might appeal to potential tourists.
I will encourage the students to focus on one particular state of
interest to use as a basis for iMovie, and remind them to conduct
further research on their state with the provided assortment of
books, magazines and maps related to the tourist industry of New
England.
Student Expectations:

During the implementation of this learning model, my students will be expected to


take upon themselves the mantle of their own learning. Aside from the skeletal
elements of their commercial that I outlined above (including the climate,
geographic and industrial features that are required for a mastery level of
completion), they will decide what state to research, what features to include and
what kind of commercial they will want to produce. Due to the unique aspect of
this lesson, the students may need to complete this project over a series of
class periods depending on the relative rate of completion for this new mode
of learning.

Closure: (After)

Students will get the opportunity to share their iMovies with the rest of the class,
as we take turns presenting their commercials via the digital projector. An
opportunity for a star-based rating and overall informal whole-class review/edit
will take place for each submission, in the vein of a positive movie review.

Assessment:

After having worked in groups of two to compose their iMovie, in character, as a


representative of the New England region tourist board, they will have reached a
mastery level of the assignment with a completed commercial that contains at least
2 positive features each of the New England Region including characteristics
relating to: climate, geography and industry.

Assessment of Model Effectiveness:

Throughout the course of this project, I will be monitoring the relative


engagement, attention and dedication of my students. This will be done informally
with observational notes taken when my students are allowed to both research,
plan and film their commercials. Several informal assessments will be administered
in the coming class periods including exit tickets and one selective response quiz
based on the information supposedly gleaned through the Project-Based Learning
process. I will then use a more traditional lesson for the following region of the
Mid-Atlantic, and compare the informal assessments to see which region the
students performed better on in terms of their retention of specific features
related to each regions specific climate, geography and industry.

Reference List

Boss, S. (2014). Project-based learning: A short history. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from
http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-history

Maryland State Department of Education. (2006). Standard 5.0: Social studies skills and
processes. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from
http://mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/social_studies/standard5/grade4.html

International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). Standard 1.0: Creativity and
innovation. Retrieved October 7, 2014 from
http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-S_PDF.pdf

Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th
ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson.