Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning

The project, Witness Stones: How do we remember, is at the center of the experience, not an add on at the end.

  1. Challenging problem - active problem solving and knowledge application to answer the question "How do we remember?"

  2. Authentic - reflects work of professionals to tell the story

  3. Student choice - in deciding how to solve the problem - how can individuals/groups help an audience outside the classroom remember

  4. Public product - how does their product make its way to community members?

  5. Reflection, Assessment, critique, revision to deepen learning

Historical Thinking Skills:

  • Do students get to view this event from multiple perspectives?

  • Is there conflicting and/or contradictory evidence?

  • Have you given students the context to more deeply understand the long and short term causes of this event at this place and time?

  • Are students asking questions about the material and the sources?

  • Do students compare and contrast and understand continuity and change?

  • Do students get a chance to evaluate the information regarding historical sources?

  • Can students name turning points?

  • Historian’s oath

  • Introduce the role and responsibilities of a historian.

  • Facilitate a Chalk Talk in which students address this question:

  • “As historians, what actions can we take to effectively share historical events?”

  • Then have students begin to work individually to draft a historian’s oath. Using the Chalk Talk as a scaffold, have students write and justify two actions they think are important in helping historians be accurate and effective in how they share what happened in a historical event. For example, have students complete the stem “As a historian, I will strive to . . . because . . . .”


Habits of Mind

  • Persisting

  • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

  • Managing impulsivity

  • Gathering data through all senses

  • Listening with understanding and empathy

  • Creating, imagining, innovating

  • Thinking flexibly

  • Responding with wonderment and awe

  • Thinking about thinking (metacognition)

  • Thinking flexibly

  • Responding with wonderment and awe

  • Taking responsible risks

  • Finding humor

  • Striving for accuracy

  • Questioning and posing problems

  • Thinking interdependently

  • Applying past knowledge to new situations

  • Remaining open to continuous learning


1. What did you notice about your thinking as you considered this new material?

2. What is the CORE idea of this written material/speaker/video/blog/podcast?

3 What connections did you make between this material and your own personal experiences?

4. What is the most important idea/fact/opinion you learned ? Why is it important? How is it different from what you already know?

5. What questions do you have about this material? Does this material confuse you? What other information do you want to know?


1. How well is your group listening, sharing and respecting a variety of opinions? How can the group improve in listening, sharing and building consensus?

2. Was the group able to build consensus when making a key decision? Were there obstacles that prevented consensus?