As teachers we LOVE Project Based Learning and Performance Based Assessments; however, the process of creating quality projects can be cumbersome. As a result, I am sharing 10 comprehensives, engaging, differentiated (furnishing students voice and choice), and relevant, and cognitively rigorous PBLs for US History. Each incorporates driving questions or essential questions, power standards, 21st century skills, and the 4C's as defined by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning Network. In addition, the elements of a quality PBL outlined by the gurus themselves-the Buck Institute of Education- are included for each. All include rubrics and, when applicable, student checklists, and group contracts.
The PBL/Performance Based Assessments include the following:
1. Attention...we now interrupt this podcast: A Podcast PBL-students will be creating a podcast (3pp.)
2. US History Passion Project (4 pp.)
3. Tug of War: comparing WWI to current international conflicts (7 pp.)
4. Shark Tank: Economics (13 pp.)
5. You be the Teacher! Encompassing the 70's-students will be teaching the class about a specific topic during the 70's and include class assessments, activities, and presentation (9 pp.)
6. Modern Day Progressive Project: After studying Progressives and Muckrakers- students will investigate a specific topic/issue of their choice and create a multimedia presentation on what the issue is and how to re/solve it (10 pp.)
7. Taking Care of Business: After studying Robber Barons and Captains of Industry during Gilded Age. Students will be going out into their own communities and interview various businesses as well as their employees and create their own evaluation tool to determine an ethical rating for each business. (5pp.)
8. Power of One: Civic Engagement and Community Service. Students will select an issue or event and create a PSA to inform others about it, suggestions on re/solving it, and who or where to turn to for assistance. (10 pp.)
9. To be free or not free; that is the Question: -students perform a Socratic Seminar/Debate after studying about African Americans post Reconstruction Era (4 pp.)
10. Talk of the Town: Students will be participating in a simulated Town Hall discussing a current event or issue and must be prepared to answer the audiences' questions. This particular PBL focuses on their ability to craft arguments and effectively use evidence to anticipate and make counterclaims. (9pp.)
All of these can easily be modified to accommodate and/or adjust to other topics and subjects!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I and my students have! They all bring the history alive connecting past to present.