PBLWorks Introduces PBL Project Idea Cards for Teachers

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 10:33 am

The library offers more than 60 free downloadable standards-based K-12 project ideas to support high quality Project Based Learning in the classroom


Novato, California (Feb. 19, 2019) – PBLWorks introduces a free online library of more than 60 downloadable Project Idea Cards to support teachers in implementing high quality Project Based Learning (PBL). The library will be growing, with new cards to be released throughout the year.


The library is the first of many new Gold Standard PBL resources from PBLWorks planned for teachers and school leaders in the coming year.


The Project Idea Cards are downloadable, standards-based project ideas addressing a range of grade levels and subjects – from math and science to history and English. Each project card lists a driving question, a project description, the standards the project addresses, the anticipated outcomes, and reflection questions to help teachers bring the project to life in their own contexts.


The library can be accessed at https://my.pblworks.org/projects.


“By offering ideas for high quality projects, we hope to help and inspire teachers to get started with or grow their use of PBL in the classroom. Each project represents an authentic challenge, and student work is structured to promote academic mastery and development of 21st century success skills such as critical thinking and teamwork,” said Bob Lenz, executive director of PBLWorks.


The projects in this collection, many of which have been tested in the field, were developed by teachers, PBLWorks National Faculty Members, and PBLWorks staff. Examples include:


  • “Community Heroes,” a social studies project for grades K-2 that addresses the driving question: “What makes someone a community hero?” Students research and create portraits of community heroes that are assembled into a gallery for public display.


  • “The Scoop on Our Stuff,” an English Language Arts project for grades 11-12 that addresses the driving question: “What is the true cost of the things we buy?” Students take on the role of investigative reporter to research the origin of popular brand name products and the related labor, environmental, and political facets of manufacturing and distributing these products. They then create articles to present as if publishing in an exposé-style magazine.


  • “Crash Course!” a physics/engineering project for grades 9-12 that addresses the driving question: “How do we protect the things and people we care about from collisions?” Students identify collision situations and then propose and build protective solutions. Students confer with subject matter experts to gather feedback on their product design. They then write up a design brief for a manufacturer, to include an analysis of the problem (and pertinent calculations) along with a design for a proposed solution.


Project Based Learning is proven to positively impact a diverse student population and prepare students for the demands of college, career, and active citizenship. The PBLWorks Project Idea Cards offer a starting point for teachers who are brand new to PBL and can also provide inspiration for more experienced PBL practitioners.


About PBLWorks

At PBLWorks (the new brand name of the Buck Institute for Education), we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is to build the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning and the capacity of school and system leaders to create the conditions for teachers to implement great projects with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.