Due to the obvious inadequacy of our first attempt, we revised our original plan and created this site.
why this age group?
We decided to use ninth graders as our hypothetical subjects for our first PBL simply because they are smack dab in the middle of the age group the three of us are learning to teach (6-12). Since some of us are aiming to teach middle school, and some of us high school, we felt it would be most fair in this project to chose the grade right in the middle.
why this book?
To Kill a Mockingbird has been noted as the most successful one-hit wonder of the rural south. All the members of my group had read it, and remembered it somewhat clearly for its various themes and assorted motifs.
why spend so long on summer reading?
We decided that To Kill a Mockingbird would be best read as a summer reading assignment. It's easy to read, mostly takes place in the summer, and does not involve too much that the students wouldn't already know about by ninth grade. Contrary to our teachers, however, who mostly just brushed off summer reading and completed it in a week, we decided to require a bit more critical thinking from our students and created a multifaceted project that would last three weeks. Using the Buck Institute's Project Calender (found here)we simply created three assignments over the course of three weeks that develop a critical understanding of the text within the students and reinforce the concepts pursued by the Common Core (link in assignment).