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If you live in the United States, or perhaps even if you don't, chances are you have considered planning a US Road Trip. This PBL gives students a chance to plan their own road trip, depending entirely on what they are interested in!
Plan a United States Road Trip is a project that teaches students about the 50 states and capitals without memorization or filling out maps, rather with pure engagement and student-driven creativity!
The objective of this project is for students to plan a United States Road Trip to 5 states, 10 states, or 20 states, depending on what time allows for. This PBL allows for easy differentiation, and encourages student creativity and use of many skills.
Students will add up to decimal numbers to find total costs, they will multiply up to decimal numbers to find costs, they will multiply up to 3x2 digit numbers to find mileage and gas amounts needed, and will be encouraged to think at high levels when reflecting on and justifying the trip.
Students will begin by researching basic information about each state, such as the capital, abbreviation, area (size), important landmarks, and region. They will enter this information into a collaborative research google slide presentation (share digitally or print), or they can complete this independently if you'd rather.
Next, students will read an exciting introduction of all 50 states, each including beautiful, high quality photos to help them begin to determine which states appeal most to them (you may choose to print and laminate these for future use or share them with students digitally). After mapping out which states they will travel to and the most logical route to take, they will create three budgets: A Sightseeing Budget, a Gas Budget, and a Food Budget. Students will use graphing skills to visually display where they are spending the most money.
After creating a budget, students will analyze this budget, and decide whether or not the experiences, food and gas are all worth the money they cost. If they decide not, they will have an opportunity to make adjustments to the trip. If they decide their trip is exactly the way they want it, they will provide a justification for spending the amount of money laid out in the budget.
Additional activities include:
-Create and write postcards to friends or family
-Reflect on the traveling experience, consider a future of traveling
-Present final road trip to small groups or the rest of the class
The teaching duration for this project will vary greatly. Three project options are included to best meet the specific needs of your classroom. Separate files are included for a 5 state road trip, a 10 state road trip, or a 20 state road trip.
For the 5 state trip, allow about 30-45 minutes per day for about 2 weeks.