Sample Student Projects

Project Based Learning

Project Timeline: January – March (8 weeks)

Driving Question: 
How can we help make less trash at our school?
How can we encourage our school community to create less trash?

Big Idea:
How do we impact our natural world around us?

Essential Questions?
What happens to the trash that does not make it into the trash can?
How does our school community impact the plant and animal communities around us?
What can we do to help?

Collaboration & Presentation (21st CS)
Decision-making & Leadership (including the ability to take action and make a difference)
Compassion (social skills)

Science: Investigation and Experimentation
1.0 Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. (a-e)

Math: Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability
1.0 Students organize, represent, and compare data by category on simple graphs and charts.
1.1 Sort objects and data by common attributes and describe the categories.
1.2 Represent and compare data by using pictures, bar graphs, tally charts, and picture graphs.

ELA: Writing Strategies and Applications
1.0 Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing shows they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process.
2.0 Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of the standard American English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined.
2.2 Students write brief expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event, using sensory details.

Entry event:  January 6, 2012

Students came into a rug littered with trash. The trash had been collected after lunch for three days. This was ONLY the trash that was left on the ground after all the classes had cleaned up after themselves.

The students did not feel very good when they entered the class and saw all the trash! Following are some of the feeling words they felt and shared.

We asked the question,  “What happens to the trash that does not make it into the trash can?” Students discuss with their table group, then share ideas with the class, while the teachers recorded their hypotheses. Here are some of the students’ responses:

We also watched the video: Oprah Shines Light on Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Here is a picture of our Project Calendar. We refer to it almost daily and will continue to add activities, events, and deadlines to it throughout our project.

Our field trip to Doheny State Beach to test the water quality and participate in a beach clean up!