Project Based Learning Activity: Island Survival
This project based learning (PBL) activity integrates elements of science, ELA, and social studies into a student-centered adventure that combines imagination, creativity, and problem solving skills as they try and survive mysteriously arriving on an island.
There are 16 activities (1 page for almost each one) for students to complete. Each page involves a problem or idea they must solve, recreate, or answer. Pages can vary from writing, map skills, real-world application, problem solving, and more.
p9 Vacation Time
Students are to write where their dream vacation is and include 10 items they would pack for their trip. No other details are given.
10 Something Has Happened
Students learn that they have suddenly awoken on an island. They don’t know where they are or what happened.
11 Title Page
Students learn the title of this PBL is Island Survival, then (hopefully) they’ll begin to connect the dots and think about how they can survive.
12 Taking Stock
Students evaluate their top three resources they had brought for their vacation, deciding how these can help them now.
13 Must Do Now
Students must decide 4 crucial must-do actions that need to happen quickly to help them survive.
14 Starting a Fire
Students must create fire. They can draw how they did it, including labeling and writing how they were successful.
15 Build A Shelter
Students must design a makeshift shelter using items on the island.
16 What’s on the Island
Students decide the types of animals, trees, plants, and climate of the island.
17, 18 Landforms And More
Students must pick 8 types of landforms that are on the island, and then draw what they look like.
19 Water Source
Students must design/create a way to get drinkable water.
20-26 Journal Entries
Students are given prompts and a possibility of writing 13 journal entries about their experience on the island. These prompts (if completed) flow into later activities, where students have to access this information they’ve created.
27 Garden Variety
Students design a garden by choosing five vegetables they have found on the island.
28-33 Animal Research
Students can pick animals (that are on their island) or that they would like to research. Also included 4 animals for students who may need assistance coming up with their own choices.
34 The Treehouse
Students design a treehouse to live in.
35 Treehouse Resources
Students decide upon resources, supplies, and tools they have or need to create.
36 Tool Time
Students draw illustrations of four tools they have created to help them build a treehouse and also live on the island.
Students will take many of the elements they have chosen and create a larger scale map of the island. This will be completed on larger paper (butcher block, poster, or teacher choice).
--This map-building will incorporate earlier elements along with other requirements allowing each students to design their own map.
As students work through each page, they will make their own decisions and choose the outcomes based on information they learn. By the end, all students will have completed the project, but each version will be based on the creator’s imagination, creativity, and knowledge base.
All pages can be geared towards multiple grade levels, although for some younger students the teacher may need to give more explicit instructions.
Students may choose to use multiple resources to complete each page. They might even choose to work with a partner, but you get final say on that.
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