Fresno PBl Training Trip: Day #2

Day 2 in Fresno! Hot one out here. Mid-90’s and sunny but thankfully Gaston Middle offers refreshing A/C. Our second day here was with the charming and exciting History department. All the teachers we met within the History department were genuine and very engaged with our Project Based Learning training session.

The History department educators were able to apply their PBL training by instructing their students to create a table top visual display that will be exhibited in April at the Gaston Middle Open House. Two questions were proposed by the teachers in order to help set the framework for the students’ projects. They are the following:

1. What are the social and geographical requirements of a sustainable, thriving civilization?

2. What historical crops are able to be grown in Fresno based on the area’s climate and soil, considering historical conditions?

These two questions will ultimately drive the students on their research, collaboration, and long-term strategy development before displaying their final work in April. By setting the foundation of the projects with these questions, students will be able to take a variety of avenues that promote teamwork, resourcefulness, and self-management.

Through this project, students will be using the PBL method to apply historical content to real-world scenarios. The first question sets up a research based question that mixes historical civilizations, agriculture, and science. The second question proposes the students find the climate of the Fresno area while researching ancient crops grown throughout history and previous civilizations. The questions require detailed and well-researched information that encourages collaboration amongst students to handle particular topics that each question covers. Additionally, students must use their critically thinking skills in order to consider what ancient crops could be grown in Fresno’s climate that will not only grow, but also be sustainable as well.

We look forward to keeping up with the History department at Gaston Middle and their students’ projects as they further develop. Once the projects are finally displayed in April, we will be providing an overview of what the students have researched, critiqued, and presented.

Stay tuned for Day 3’s update tomorrow! And if you are considering using PBL as a method in your school or classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always willing to engage forward thinking educators and teachers about Project Based Learning and how we can train entire departments on the implementation process. Learn more by clicking here!

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