The Academy at Compass Rose continues to be dedicated to providing authentic project-based learning experiences for our students. Recently, students enrolled in The Academy’s World History class were tasked with choosing a historical figure to research. Upon completion of their research, each of the students were asked to write a script in a podcast format and present it to an audience. The students researched and examined the typical format of a podcast prior to drafting their own. This project ended with each student performing their script with a partner before peers and staff members, in an attempt to both effectively inform and entertain their audience. Their peers and staff members then had the opportunity to critique the performance and provide feedback to the various groups.
Mr. Eichman, the social studies teacher at The Academy, does an excellent job at interweaving the components of project-based learning into his core curriculum. For this project specifically, he provided choices which helped to generate interest and buy-in from the students. In addition, the students generated a public product that they were able to share with an audience. By creating a podcast, students also had the ability to be creative in how they presented the content. In speaking with a ninth grade student enrolled in World History, she stated “Personally, I enjoyed being able to interweave modern day humor into a historical segment to peak the audience’s interest.”
Upon reflecting on this project, Mr. Eichman stated, “The girls had to work hard to not only include pertinent information, but express it in a conversational tone, like you would hear in a contemporary interview.” This project was aimed at developing skills such as creativity, in-depth content knowledge, presentation skills, written expression and critiquing their work based on feedback from others. An effective project-based learning experience also interweaves multiple disciplines, and this project did just that. Students had opportunities to practice both their English Language Arts skills while gaining valuable content knowledge in History as well.