Project Based Literacy

Fun Literacy Projects for Powerful Common Core Learning

Mark Gura, Fordham University
Rose Reissman

Published 2015

Project‐Based Learning; it’s a term that most educators have heard and probably have heard good things about, Often, though, they aren’t quite sure precisely what its defining characteristics are other than involving students in projects that are supposed to somehow result in their learning things of value.

A great many teachers are reluctant to make it part of what they do with their students due to unfounded fears of unrealistic workloads and classroom management issues associated with it. This book should help change that, making the nature of PBL (Project‐Based Learning) clear and illustrating how it can be a manageable, effective, and very enjoyable aspect of instruction.

The book will present an exciting, alternative approach to literacy instruction that its authors call Project Based Literacy. This will principally be done through the presentation of 20 appealing projects, all of them carefully designed to engage and inspire students (grades 3 – 8) in literacy activities that are both core to the required curriculum and deeply in‐synch with the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts. The book will also present support material for this, providing sufficient theory, instructional and classroom management tips, and technology and other ‘How To’ information to ensure that rank and file classroom teachers can adopt, adapt, and enjoyably and successfully implement the projects and maximize learning in relation to the Common Core Standards for ELA.

Introduction. PART I. What is Project‐Based Literacy? Core Elements of Literacy Projects. Project‐Based Literacy and the Common Core. Authenticity in Literacy Projects. Project‐Based Literacy and 21st Century Teaching and Learning. Classroom Management and Project‐Based Literacy. Sharing the Work: Publishing and Presenting Student Products. Assessment and Feedback of Literacy Projects. PART II: Literacy Learning Projects. Non Fiction Book Map. Student Created Anti‐Bullying Blog: Student Writing and Blogging on Bullying, Being Bullied, and Being a Bystander Sandwich Science: Class Cookbook and Nutritional Guide to Student Sandwich Creations. Label Literacy. Curating a Museum Exhibit: Student Created Public Learning Displays. Famous Scientists Trading Cards. Student Designed Author Fan Web Sites. Interactive Endangered Species Map. Where I’m From—Poetry Self Portraits. Game Changer Inventions: Class Exhibit on Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives. Print to Podcast. Public Service Announcements. Class Alphabet Book Publication: Mastery of Research, Content, and Collaboration—Easy as A, B, C. Rights Report: Student Reporting on the State of Constitutional Rights. Good Thing or Bad? When Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact, What’s the Impact? Neighborhood Guide Brochure School Network News: The News—Of, For, and by Students. Illustrated Family Stories: The Ones We Hear, the Ones We Tell, and the Ones We Capture in Art. Class Survey. Painted History: Understanding Our World through Works of Art. PART III: Technology “How To”. Technology How To for Projects.

"Overall, this book is a fantastic guide for the teacher wanting to engage their students in real-world, authentic learning. For those teachers anxious about change and technology use, Gura and Reissman provide scaffolds and supports for reference. As teachers, we consider how to make learning real and authentic for our students, and while it can be difficult, resources like Project-based literacy: Fun literacy projects for powerful common core learning, help facilitate the exploration of new pedagogies and approaches to teaching in the digital age." Jason Trumble University of Central Arkansas in Teachers College Record