Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects

SMALLVILLE PRAIRIE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

GRADES 6-8

How to Facilitate the Unit

For teachers new to problem-based learning. A step-by-step lesson plan on how to facilitate this unit.


Summary - Scenario - Background - Student Homepage - Site Index

First: Familiarize yourself with the project. Begin with the student homepage and check out the various links as if you were one of your students. Print out and make copies of the forms and rubrics that you want your students to use. Introduce the project. Have students read the Smallville newspaper article. You can either provide a paper copy or have the students view the article online. Discuss the contents of the news article. Conduct the KWL pre-assessment with your students. Brainstorm positive and negative attributes of the various groups and how they may affect the local economy, growth, culture, etc. Have students review the map of Smallville Township and then discuss the possible impact the construction may have on the area.

Second: Form groups. Create as many groups (of approximately four students each) as needed for your class size using these groups. (Prairie Advisory Council MUST be a group.)

Third: Direct the students to the bidding requirements page. This is the most important page for students. It lists everything they must do to complete this project. Provide the students (or each group) with copies of the assessment and checklist pages ("what you have learned about," "Company Progress Record Sheet," and "PAC Progress Record Sheet"). Introduce or review how to use the Internet to complete the research section of this project.

Fourth: Have groups meet to discuss their plan of action, division of responsibilities, and project time line.

Fifth: Monitor student progress making sure students are focusing on their final group presentation to the class. Schedule time for each group to present their proposals. You may want to assign time limits to facilitate the presentations. Individual students must make their own final selection of what will happen to the prairie site. Give the development plan analysis form to all students to complete while presentations are being made. This strategy may help students focus on the group that is presenting. Each student must write a paragraph (or more) explaining his/her decision about what should happen to the prairie site. Facts will be very important.