Can PBL be as easy as 1-2-3?

BISD CoffeeBreak with Technology

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What PBL ISN'T...

What Project Based Learning Isnt

Read #1-3 in the article below...

Share your thoughts...

1. Significant Content

Plan a project the kids will care about.

  1. Start with CSCOPE Unit Performance Indicators and TEKS (must be standards-based!)
  2. Consider current events, community problems, school issues - connect it to real-life!

2. A Need to Know

Hook the students so they’ll be engaged and initiate questioning.

  1. Plan an “entry event” to grab their attention (video, speaker, discussion, field trip, mock scenario, Skype - ask your administrator/instructional coach/instructional tech to help!)
  2. Here you can introduce key vocabulary and brainstorm a list of questions after the event (what do we know, what do we need to know).

3. A Driving Question

This should challenge the students and give them a sense of purpose.

  1. Use “Critical Friends” process to brainstorm and craft the perfect question with your team or department. Talk it out!
  2. The Driving Question should be provocative, open-ended, complex and linked to the core of what you want your students to learn (go back to the TEKS and Performance Indicators!).

Your turn to try it!

Read the performance indicator below and try to craft a driving question for a PBL unit. Need help?! :) Here are some sample driving questions...


  • Do music videos paint an accurate picture of America?

  • Should the United States have use the atomic bomb in WWII?

  • How safe is our water?

  • When are people justified in revolting against an established government?

  • How could we build a new community center using only materials that are native to the state?

  • Should the United States develop the capability for biological warfare?

  • Can a dog live in the desert?

  • How do we as architects design an outdoor classroom for our school?

  • How do I create an epic poem about an important episode in my daily life?

  • How do we create new policies to honor the culture of the Snoqualmie tribe while allowing for casinos?

  • Should we allow for genetic engineering to prevent diseases and illnesses?

  • How can locally grown organic food contribute to a healthy successful life?


Want more information? Read the article below!