Pick One: Read or Watch
Round Table Discussion
Elementary Teachers - PBL in the Elementary Grades. p37-41
Secondary Teachers - PBL Starter Kit. p40-42
1. Which of the following driving questions would appeal more to students and why: What adaptations do animal species make in order to survive in various habitats? OR Could a dog live in the desert?
2. Review - what are the three characteristics of an effective driving question? (as defined by BIE)
3. What strategies have you used in the past to develop driving questions? Maybe tell a story about how you came upon a project idea and then developed a driving question around the idea.
4. If you walk into a classroom that's not doing true PBL and ask students why they are doing a particular task or activity, what would you expect them to say?
Action and Assessment
So what does a good driving question contain? If someone were to ask me how to write one, would I know how to answer them? First, let's analyze one of our own driving questions (or a colleague's driving question) using the rubric below. Then, let's look at a few strategies for writing interesting and challenging driving questions.
If you've evaluated your driving question and you land on the right side of the rubric, you're in the right place. If not, you have some reflecting to do. How can you make a driving question that is: open ended, understandable and inspiring, and aligned with learning goals. If you've ever struggled to come up with a driving question because it was too BIG of an idea, consider breaking it into four parts.
The book PBL in the Elementary Grades suggests breaking down a driving question into four parts.
- Forming Words - Choose the forming words that fit right for what your would like your students to be able to do. Some subjects tend to land on some forming words more often than others. For example, science and video production often design products so the forming words of "how can we" fit well with creating products. On the contrary, a government class might focus more on analyzing historical issues or current political situations. The forming words of "should we" would fit much better in that scenario. Point in case, find the forming words that fit well with what you want your students to be able to do in your subject area.
- Person or Entity - This is amazing! We all talk about real-world learning, but we struggle to do it sometimes. Imagine what profession you want your students to emulate and pencil it into the driving question.
- Action, Challenge, or Product - This is what your kids will DO or MAKE. It's aligned with what people in that profession often do in real life.
- Purpose - This is where you give your project it's meaning. It's also where you can often tie it into the POPCS mission statement. Think of how this project can lead students to be disciples and leaders for service and success. Craft your driving question accordingly.