Project Based Learning needs to start with a seed! The “seed” for our projects was the novel, “Spud Sweetgrass” by Brian Doyle. This story, set in Ottawa, quickly became a favorite of the Grade 8s and I can personally attest to one student giggling uncontrollably during Doyle’s description of a beach volleyball game (rumour has it that it’s also Mr. Reid’s fave part!).
For me, and my students, the “seed” or origin of our projects was the environmental message of the novel, “Spud Sweetgrass”. The novel explores the teen character, Spud, and his unlikely path to becoming an environment hero!
From the novel’s message (the environment is just one of them), we developed the theme idea for our project based learning – Environmental Issues. I’m going to get a bit more specific about this in the next few posts, but I will say that a theme (umbrella, big idea – whatever you want to call it) is an integral part of Project Based Learning. I needed to be able to give the students some clear direction (or some notable limits) for their projects.
So, we read a TEXT (Spud Sweetgrass) and chose a THEME (Environmental Issues) and then we needed a GOAL……stay posted! I’ll be blogging about that soon!