Project-Based Learning Guide
Looking to develop an Unsung Heroes Project with your students?
While every project is entirely unique, our comprehensive project-based learning (PBL) guide aims to assist educators in the rewarding process of collaborating with students to discover and develop Unsung Heroes from history. From introducing the concept of heroism, to sharing stories that illuminate the power of Unsung Heroes, to giving specific project development tips, LMC’s 28-page PBL guide will serve as an invaluable resource throughout this life-changing educational journey.
To discover Unsung Heroes through project-based learning, students draw on primary research and conduct in-depth interviews, gaining firsthand experience with their subject. Students then develop creative ways to communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes—writing plays and books, filming documentaries, designing websites and museum exhibits, creating art projects and more. The exciting discovery process of Unsung Heroes projects equips students with invaluable 21st century academic and life skills, including how to ask questions, think critically, solve problems, work in teams, lead meaningful discussions, and relate the examples set by Unsung Heroes to their own lives. Most importantly, Unsung Heroes projects teach understanding and respect, inspiring students to discover their responsibility and power to create positive change in the world.
Develop an Unsung Hero Project in Your Classroom
- Introducing the concept or heroism and the powerful stories of Unsung Heroes to students.
- How to assist students in primary-based research, conducting effective interviews, creating an annotated bibliography, and writing a process paper.
- Specific tips for the various project modes (play, documentary, exhibit, website).
This comprehensive guide is available for a one-time tax-deductible donation of $12*, and will be mailed directly to you.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us.
*Note: The tax-deductible amount = $11.
The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes mentors and collaborates with students and educators to pursue project-based learning (PBL) that celebrates Unsung Heroes from history who have changed the world. Our unique approach to PBL enables students and educators to research through primary and secondary sources, synthesize and evaluate their findings in a thematic way, and gain firsthand experience with their Unsung Hero. Unsung Heroes projects encourage student-driven learning, cultivating invaluable academic and professional skills among students while infusing them with a passion for learning. As students discover their Unsung Hero and reflect on the values demonstrated by their Hero, they become role models themselves, creating change within and around them.
Critical in the development of 21st century skills, PBL involves diverse opportunities for collaborative learning and engages higher-order thinking skills by giving students the opportunity to consider multiple outcomes and problem-solve. Unsung Heroes projects in particular require complex reasoning, significant conceptual understanding and the application of skills across disciplines, using multiple sources and resources. Instead of merely memorizing information or reading alone, students engaged in Unsung Heroes projects learn to think critically, work in teams and contribute to common goals. Such active learning strengthens student interest and motivation. By interacting professionally with adults and presenting their work to audiences beyond the classroom, students who develop Unsung Heroes projects learn to value and communicate respect and understanding.
Skills Developed through Project-Based Learning
- Creativity & Innovation
- Leadership & Responsibility
- Communication & Collaboration
- Flexibility & Adaptability
- Initiative & Self-Direction
- Social & Cross-Cultural Skills
- Productivity & Accountability
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Criteria for Project-Based Learning
- Real-world orientation gives learning value beyond the demonstrated competence of the learner
- Risk-free environment provides positive feedback and allows choice
- Encourages the use of higher-order thinking skills and learning concepts, as well as basic facts
- Utilizes hands-on approaches
- Provides for in-depth understanding
- Accessible for all learners
- Utilizes various modes of communication
- Assessment is congruent with instruction, i.e. performance-based
- Students are responsible for their own learning
- Students have ownership of their learning within the curriculum
- Projects promote meaningful learning, connecting new learning to students’ past performances
- Learning utilizes real-time data, investigating data and drawing conclusions
- Values learning process as well as learning outcomes
- Learning is multidisciplinary in nature
- Teacher is a facilitator of learning
- Student self-assessment of learning is encouraged
For more, check out National History Day’s suggestions for Building Historical Context and Conducting Research.