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Planning Elements

Element Description Ask Yourself

Project-based learning planning What topics are
is similar to planning a unit of the students in
Topic study. You’ll need to choose a
topic that students can explore
my class
interested in?
and ask questions about.
The main reason to use PBL is Which standards
to teach standard-driven fit well with the
content. Before you can plan a topic I’ve
Content PBL, you must know which chosen?
standards you want students to
apply to their project.
The “driving question” is the What end result
overall question students will do I want to see
explore in the project. They will from my
Driving Question gain and apply knowledge to
answer this question. The skills

used to complete the project

are driven by the standards.
Students will use resources What process do I
want students to
(including ones you provide and complete in order to
ones they seek out) to ask and answer the driving

In-Depth answer questions.

Project-based learning should
question? What
resources do I need to
provide and what
Inquiry & choice allow for students to make resources will they
seek out on their own?
choices that will create a
What choices will my
different outcome for each students make?
©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC
Revised May, 2017
Planning Elements
Element Description Ask Yourself
Students will need to give and During which
receive feedback throughout parts of the
the PBL. They will make several project will I have
revisions and do further students share
Critique and research to improve their their work? How
projects. will they share
Revision their work? How
will I explicitly
teach revision of
their work?
Students will present their Who would
project to an audience other benefit from
Public Audience/ than the teacher and
classmates. This can include
learning about my
students’ work?
Final product other grade levels, community
members, and/or family
Within the project, students will How can I
work on skills related to real life. explicitly teach
21st century These skills include collaboration,
problem solving, communication,
the 21st century
competencies innovation, and technology use. How will students
then apply these

©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC

Revised May, 2017
PBL Plan Page


Driving Question

In-Depth Inquiry
& Choice

©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC

Revised May, 2017
PBL Plan Page

Critique and

Public Audience/
Final Product

21st century

©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC

Revised May, 2017
Get your students pumped about your project by reading articles and
showing videos related to the topic. Tell them that you’re going to try a
new type of learning that allows them to make their own choices and
work independently on the things they’re interested in. Begin to teach the
procedures they will need for project-based learning

Facilitate student learning and keep students on track by doing the following
things during your project:
•  Come together at the end of every session and summarize the class’
•  Introduce parts of the project individually.
•  Model critique and revision.
•  Pull small groups to reinforce skills.
•  Use student collaboration to ask and answer questions every session.

Reflect on what went well and what you can improve on next time. The
more you practice implementing PBL, the better you will get at it! Ask
yourself which elements of project-based learning you were successful
at completing. Which elements can you add more of into your next
project? During which parts of the project did students seem most
engaged? Repeat those types of activities in your next PLB!

©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC

Revised May, 2017
A good PBL takes place over at least 2 weeks.
This allows time for students to adequately ask
How many days should I spend on and answer all questions about the topic and
thoroughly answer the driving question. It also
one pbl? allows multiple opportunities for critique and

It’s very rare in any classroom that all students

are finished at the same time. Encourage early
finishers to continue to research and revise
their project, or ask additional questions. After
What do I do with early finishers? that, they can help facilitate other students by
asking them questions and assisting in research
and revision.

`I’ve found that partner work and small groups

are extremely powerful during PBL. Set
guidelines for partners so that one person isn’t
How can I include my struggling doing all of the work. They should only be
assisting each other by discussing their individual
students? (and unique) project. Pull small groups to
reinforce the skills they are applying in the

Both, if you can. I like to use interactive

notebooks to introduce the skill, then I show
Should I teach the standards before students how to use that skill in one part of our
project. I encourage you to continue to do extra
or during my pbl? practice problems in class and as homework if
you’re working on math skills.

Have questions? I’d love to hear from you!
©2016 Performing in Educa5on, LLC
Revised May, 2017