Project Based Learning, or PBL for short, relies on the creation of an end product. I find it particularly effective for students because they feel motivated and accomplished in the pursuit of completing a multi-step project that has embedded choice, integrates 21st century skills, and includes revision and reworking.
This PBL Unit Plan spans four weeks and focuses on non-fiction narrative writing. Ultimately, students write a non-fiction narrative highlighting the experiences of a family member that is published in a class-wide anthology. This is a Common Core aligned unit that is scaffolded and spirals in other skills necessary to effective writing. Students must integrate oral communication skills in producing interview questions and interviewing a family member. They must also understand historical context and conduct research to supplement their findings from their interview. Students will also analyze mentor texts determining what rhetorical moves are most effective in the narrative non-fiction genre. Finally, high priority grammar skills that students struggled with most frequently are spiraled into lessons as Do Nows.
Click here for detailed notes about the unit plan and a PDF/Word download of the four-week unit plan that includes Common Core standards alignment, key activities for each lesson, a formative/summative assessment, rubric for grading the writing piece, and sample lessons.