Monday, 1 July 2013

Project Based Learning in year 5 - "My Country Assignment"

The Year Five students have spent the last eight weeks focusing on their ‘My Country’ assignment. This assignment was designed to encourage students to explore their own knowledge and answer a question that could not be answered by simply looking it up on Google. They needed to create an online resource as their final product.


The students needed to answer these questions;


Where does my family come from?


 Why is this country a fantastic place?


In order to do this they needed to research their country, specifically focusing on the geographical and cultural information. They also needed to interview a family member about this country. Majority of the students were able to complete their interview in person but some completed an international Skype call and filmed the conversation using Screenr.


The next section of their assignment was to create a 10-day holiday to this country. Students needed to include flight details and costs, other travel costs (cars, taxis, etc), accommodation, sight seeing and attractions, food expenses and spending money. The created a budget for their holiday as well as an itinerary.


The final section was to persuade their audience (Year Four and Year Six students) to go on their holiday. They needed to create a range of resources to assist them with this. They also had to focus on the language they were using and how this could persuade someone to agree with them.

Due to this being such a long process, the students followed the model of Solution Fluency. They worked through the Six D’s. Define, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver and Debrief. This is a model I was introduced to earlier in the year at a development day with Lee Crocket. The below link explores the Six D’s in more detail.


This essential 21st Century Fluency is actually the foundation upon which the other Fluencies are built. Recently, two longitudinal studies found that teaching a structured problem-solving process to a student will instantly increase their IQ by 10% and that this increase is sustained throughout their lives. Let’s make sure our students benefit from this. Everyone identifies problem solving as essential, but without a process like Solution Fluency, it’s just an ideal that never gets implemented.

- Lee Crocket.

There are so many great student achievements that come out of setting an assignment like this. Not only are the subjects being integrated together (English, S&E and Mathematics), but they also have the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. The rubric they are assessed on has multiple levels of success and students can therefore set a reachable goal. Students were taught about SMART Goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). They referred back to this throughout the assignment to make sure they were pushing themselves to do their best work and, also, not setting unachievable goals.

I found that majority of my students challenged themselves and achieved what they had set out to do. I was extremely proud of all the work they completed and the constant reflection they did throughout this task.


The Year Five classroom will be open to visitors on Wednesday 3rd July from 2.30-4pm if you would like to come and observe their works. All families and friends are welcome.

I am very much looking forward to running the next 21st Century Fluency task in our classroom. Stay tuned for more.


Gabrielle Trinca.

Year Five Teacher.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Gabrielle! I really enjoy reading about teachers using Solution Fluency in the classroom. Keep us posted, I am going to share your story on our Committed Sardine Blog, and would love to be able to share future stories as well. Keep up the great work!.

    Lee Crockett