Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating the PBL Learning Lesson

My awesome group (Gelastic) and I decided to focus on another combined project using elements from Social Studies and English. We agreed upon a student news broadcast, that required 10th grade students to create a news broadcast geared toward 3rd grade students. The PBL essential question was: How can we engage 3rd grade students in current events?

We created our GoogleDoc in order to allow for easy collaboration between the three of us. We decided that it would be great for students to be able to collaborate and create some sort of cartoon or animation to convey the news information to the 3rd graders. At first we wanted a 3-5 minute animation, written at 3rd grade readability, but later we cut it down to 1 minute to make it more feasible to accomplish in one, 75 minute class period. We then explored options for some sort of creative medium for the animation, looking at both Xtranormal and Blabberize. We settled on Blabberize, because Xtranormal seems to be no longer free.

For the RWLD, we sent our students out to three different online news sources, including,, and We had the class fill out a current event form. This form was a way for students to organize the events they researched, so they could concisely formulate their 3rd-grade reading level news broadcasts. The students then were to use the 3rd grade readability calculator to measure whether or not their broadcast script would be comprehensible by 3rd graders. They also had to watch the Jing video that Aric created, showing the students how to use Blabberize.

Our presentation went very well last Tuesday. We started out our lesson showing students an article that seemed very jargon-filled, to simulate how a 3rd grader might feel while watching the news as-is. Then we asked them to share their articles in their small groups, and work on adapting them to a 3rd grade readability level. All of the student groups created a Blabberize video, using an image of their choice that was age appropriate and would serve the greater purpose of the broadcast. Look at all of scripts and their great Blabberize videos here! 

We had a great turn out for Blabberize creations, and it seemed like the students had a lot of fun while making them. My greatest lesson from the project is the importance of communicating and collaborating with your group. Gineal, Aric and I have worked very well this semester within Group Gelastic. For this project, we split up tasks (Gineal made the narrative, Aric made the Jing video, I created the rubric), we all came up with the overall project idea and the RWLDs, and chose the medium that students would use to create (Blabberize). I learned how PBL can really motivate a class to do their best work, because if students know that their creations are serving a higher purpose (helping elementary students learn about current events), they will be more inclined to participate and get something out of the experience. I will definitely look for ways to incorporate PBL in my future classroom!

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