Learning Adventure (4) – Guiding Student Exploration


If you need a make-up for your absent, find 5 “good” project based learning examples (your may find articles about a specific example). Analyze the examples, share the URLs using pearl tree –remember you already have permission to join this pearl tree? And leave comments about your examples. If you have questions, come and discuss with me.

STEP ONE: Assessing where we are

0. Refer to the rubric for specific instructions when you work on each section of your adventure.

1. Did you create your learning adventure home? If so, share the URL here.

2. Did you complete your “INQUIRE” section of your adventure? Double-check the Essential Question Development Checkpoint list here to make sure you’ve written a high quality essential question.

3. Did you design a “task” that will ask students to “show what they know”? If so, share the task ( project) here.

4. You should also have an anticipatory set/hook to guide the project.

  • (requirement) Give some facts, interesting websites, additional questions, etc. – this is considered the anticipatory set – the part of the adventure where you get students excited about the question.

  • (requirement) Include an appropriate online game or activity related to your question – don’t just provide a link – give students something specific to do

  • (optional) If appropriate for your topic – create a small gallery of photos that fit the question. But give students something to do with the pictures – or encourage them to create a photo album of their own pictures related to the question.

5. Finally, you should have good resources to help your students to come up with their project. Be sure you are not just listing websites, but describing the relevant sites and giving student something to do when they enter a site. The exploration activities should be aligned with the final product (“show what you know”).

Today we will start working on the “Organize” section.

STEP TWO: Working on the Organize Section

When working with your learners, you don’t want your students to get lost. You want to make sure you give them specific ways to organize their learning activities. An advance organizer will help with this. For your “Organize section” of your adventure, you will create an advance organizer(s) students will use while they are going through the “Explore section” of your adventure.

This could be a KWL (or KWHL) chart, a cause and effect chart (or a fishbone), a compare and contrast table, or a W’s organizer. For example, a KWL chart will help your students to identify what they don’t know yet so they could focus on they “need” to explore. A fishbone might help your students to brainstorm causes of problems so they create and test hypotheses. You may simply ask your students to create a “to-do” list. If your students are young, you may decompose a complex project into more manageable mini-steps that students could fill in while they work on “Explore” and “Show what your know” sections.

In this way, your organize section will serve as a “guide” or a “to-do” list for your exploration section and beyond.

1. Find one (or multiple) organizer(s). You may find something you like on this teacher site, or you may want to google an “advance organizer.” Here is another list of more pre-made templates.

2. Create your “original” advance organizer(s) embedding it into your adventure context.
– Use a software to create an organizer(s): Bubbl.us, Webspiration, Word, or even Google Forms.
– Add instructions/ details aligned with your adventure context.
– Use kid-friendly graphics – so it’s not just a black and white worksheet!
– insert the image into your “organize” section and also make it as downloadble.

3. After you’ve selected and created an organizer for your investigation, include a write up on your Google Site for students. Just posting an organizer isn’t enough. You need to write to the students, explaining what they are going to do with it. Do you want them to print it? If so, you need to tell them.

4. Make sure to include guiding information for students as they work through the explore section (and the show what you know section as needed) as well. They will work back and forth.

Let’s take some time in class now to select/create an organizer and write. Remember, these are two great examples to use if you need help deciding what to include on your page:

Health Adventure: You Are What You Eat

Adventure in the Wilderness

<Schedule for remainder of semester>

  • Wednesday, April 17 – We will work on the “Apply” and “Parent/Teacher Letter” sections.
  • Friday, April 19 – Group work day. Class does not meet. Film the “Author Introduction.” Keep working on other sections.
  • Monday, April 22 – Last day of Learning Adventure. Final preparation for showcase.
  • Wednesday, April 24 – Learning Adventure due. Presentation I
  • Friday, April 26 – Last day of class. Presentation II
    (Another final assignment due Friday. I will let your know the assignment next week so you may start working on it. It won’t be daunting at all. Also remember you will be asked to write a 2-3 paragraph final update on your progress towards your social media identity goals)

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