What’s so big about Big Bird: Election-themed PBL

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Big Bird has been all over the news recently after his role in the presidential debate last week. This is a great conversation starter, and an opportunity to assess if a PBL project on the election may interest your youth. If you have youth who are interested in the presidential race, now is a great time to engage them in projects which teach them about political issues and the processes of democracy.

Many providers in the Philadelphia OST system are already doing this and engaging civic minded youth by implementing a project on voting and the elections of 2012, including the winners of our 2012 PBL Summer Cup! One way to approach questions about elections, political parties and participation in a non-partisan way is to look at elections in a couple different countries. For example, young elementary youth can relate to countries that use pictures on ballots. Here is a ballot from the 1994 South African Election for President:

This is just one example to start your process of thinking and preparing for facilitating Project-Based Learning. Along with the resources included in this post, there are great articles about election-themed Project-Based Learning at edutopia.org, by Suzie Boss and Bob Lenz.

May your next PBL rock the youth vote!

by: Alison Reis-Khanna

 

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