This was used as an 8th grade final project. It has students research, write, read, speak, listen, etc. Students have expressed nothing but positive remarks after. The students who seem distant and uninterested in your class gravitate toward this project.
The Passion Project encourages students to choose the topic they care about the most. For example, a student LOVES basketball. From there, the question they must be asked is, "What don't you know about Basketball?" They start researching what they don't already know and this helps create the basis for their project. Several documents are included that will help students narrow and brainstorm.
The teacher for this project is just the guide. Never do you do any real teaching for this unit; mini lessons occur more often. For instance, a quick review on writing small and big titles (which are italicized and which are underlined and which are in quotation marks).
The entire project culminates in like a Science Fair type symposium. I have always had judges come in from the community to provide the scores. Students have to answer questions about their projects.
My advice for students is to make the projects a Triangle of Components. At least three elements will be best. For instance, the project on Basketball could include a Tri-Fold or Poster board of pictures that explain the way the uniforms have changed; a PowerPoint with information on the evolution of basketball in terms of rules; and a Give Away (this student made basketball hopes out of water bottles and used small oranges for judges to "shoot" with).
The innovation and creativity seen with this project is unreal. There will be a learning curve and students will procrastinate. That's okay. Once they realize there is a real, solid deadline and an audience who they have to present to no matter what, they get their act together.
I stand by this project 100%. This is one of the most amazing classroom activities I did.