Project-Based Learning

Unit #1

  1. 11th grade U.S. History
  2. The American Civil Rights Movement

“Are We Beyond Color?”

My students will be divided up into 4 groups at the beginning of the unit. Then those same groups will be subdivided into two eras; those two eras will be today’s times and 1900-1975. The group will be given a specific category that race challenges/stereotypes today. The four categories will be: Literature, Movies, Politics, and the Work Place.  (For example: Group 1 will be assigned “Movies”. Half of that group will research racism in movies today, and the other half will research racism in movies during 1900-1975.)  This table may help give a better example of the format:

Group 1: Literature

Student 1: 1900-1975 Student 3: Today
Student 2: 1900-1975 Student 4: Today

Group 2: Movies

Student 1: 1900-1975 Student 3: Today
Student 2: 1900-1975 Student 4: Today

Group 2: Politics

Student 1: 1900-1975 Student 3: Today
Student 2: 1900-1975 Student 4: Today

Group 2: Work Place

Student 1: 1900-1975 Student 3: Today
Student 2: 1900-1975 Student 4: Today

My students will begin by researching and collecting information from news broadcasts, newspaper articles, court cases, magazines, books reviews, and websites that provide data for their specific category and era concerning the topic of racism. The students will decide if all of their sources are of a reliable nature and if it is considered “academic” enough to use in their project. They will use such technological tools as YouTube and Google to obtain a lot of this information. As the students collect their data, they will also be documenting their thoughts and feelings in a “journal” fashion onto the blog throughout the research process. They will then collaborate in their groups all of the gathered information in a Jigsaw manner and put together video presentations using iMovie of Movie Maker. We will discuss their findings and interpret how racism has/hasn’t changed since the Civil Rights Movement. They will then upload their videos for the blog and present them for the feeder elementary school students (during Black History month). With this PBL, my students will strengthen their data collecting, interpreting, collaborating, writing, and creative skills.

Unit #2

  1. 11th grade U.S. History
  2. The American Civil Rights Movement

“Should We Keep Oral Histories Alive?”


To begin the unit I will arrange for a guest speaker to attend class who was actively a part of the Civil Rights Movement here in the South. I will inform my students that the speaker will not be here to just “talk”. They will be the driving force for how the speaker will relay his/her story. Meaning, my students will need to come to class prepared with questions. The speaker will only speak when he/she is answering questions. This will help strengthen the students’ interpersonal skills. They will have their questions written down, and will be required to take notes on the speaker’s information: name, experiences, etc. With this “warm-up,” so to speak, they will obtain the comfort in asking questions to those they are interviewing, and deciding what questions must be asked. They will then be put into 4 groups and will need to interview two other sources (besides the guest speaker). One interviewee should be African-American, and the other should be Anglo. This will provide the students with a different dynamic on the experiences of those of different races of the same time period. Interviews that are done in person should use such audio-recoding tools such as Audacity. Another form of interview may include video chat such as Skype. All interviews will need to be recorded so they can be transcribed. We will discuss what they found and how important or necessary oral histories are. The students will also be blogging about their experiences during the interviewing process (they are not to write any specific details of the questions or answers given during the interview). After each group has their oral histories they will use an animation application like GoAnimate to animate what their interviewees stories are. The class will then come together and decide on two African-American and two Anglo perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement. These chosen animation videos will be presented to the local history museum to encourage exhibitions on the oral histories of the American Civil Rights Movement. This PBL will help students with their interpersonal, collaboration, data recording, writing and creative skills.

  • TEKS: (9) ACDH, (26) AC, (29) ABCDEFG, (30) ABC, (32) AB
  • To take on a task as big as a successful PBL I will need to become more familiar with certain technologies to better equip myself for my TCK, which will in turn transform my PCK. I feel I incorporated many technologies that I already am familiar with, however, I did incorporate some that I had never heard of or used before. There is always room for improvement and room to grow not only for the students, but for myself as well. I anticipate myself becoming better acquainted with an array of technological tools to incorporate into my pedagogy and content area in the future. 




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