Project Based Learning Units Explained

  • What is Project Based Learning?


    Project Based Learning (PBL or PBLU) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project Design Elements includes:
    Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills:  The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.

    Challenging Problem or Question:  The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.

    Sustained Inquiry:  Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.

    Authenticity:  The project features real work context, tasks and tools, quality standards or impact--or speaks to a students' personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

    Student Voice and Choice:  Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.

    Reflection:  Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.

    Critique and Revision:  Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their processes and products

    Public Product:  Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.




    At the Swope GT Magnet, it is expected that every student completes two PBLUs each school year.  Typically, there will be one project each semester.  
    In the past, students have completed projects such as
    • Swope Community Garden Design
    • Inventions
    • Election Convention
    • College Night
    • Failure Fairs
    • Let's Talk About Race
    • National History Day
    • A Night at the Races
    • Start-UP Night 
    • Stories of Resilience
    • Take Action
    • Podcasts
    Please confer with your child's GT Challenges teacher for updates on the PBLU plans for this year.  
    So far the following projects/dates are planned:
    8th Grade:
    Fall: Date TBD.  Stories of Resilience TED Talks
    Spring: Monday, May 20, 2024.  Swope Annual College Night; typically held the Monday prior to Memorial Day Weekend
    7th Grade:
    Fall: Date TBD Podcasts
    Spring: Date TBD.  A Night at the Races
    6th Grade:
    Fall: Date TBD
    Spring: Date TBD.   Take Action!