Before Thanksgiving break, second graders at The Learning Center Charter School completed a Project Based Learning (PBL) project focused around the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.
The second graders first learned all about the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once they had a solid understanding of the historical perspective, students researched past float designs. They were then challenged to design and construct their own balloon floats.
Stephanie Hopper, second grade teacher, said, “These students diligently worked on academic standards that included math, science, social studies and language arts during our Thanksgiving parade PBL project.” Hopper added that the genius behind PBL is that the students just thought they were having fun.
“The PBL approach ensures that students learn material with both breadth and depth because students are so engaged in what they are doing,” said Hopper. She added that the PBL approach provides a means for integration across multiple subject areas and allows students to better understand a topic through the physical act of doing.
Upon completion of the project, students shared their work with the entire school by conducting their very own parade across the campus.