The Student Will Describe Everyday Life in the Present and in the Past and Begin to Recognize

The Student Will Describe Everyday Life in the Present and in the Past and Begin to Recognize

Project Overview
Name of Project: / What Makes Me, Me?
Discovering the science and family history behind our unique class. / Duration: / 8 weeks
Subject/Course: / Science/Social Studies/Writing/Reading / Teacher(s) Escobar/Blauvelt / Grade Level: / K/1
Other Subject Areas to Be Included: / Information Technology Skills, Public Speaking, Art, Research Skills, Mathematics
Project Idea
Summary of the issue, challenge, investigation, scenario, or problem: / This PBL is part of the K/1 2nd quarter thematic unit – "Exploring Our Origins". This PBL is to be used over a series of days and weeks in order for students to gain a deeper understanding of personal and global origins of life. During school-based lessons, students will review what it means to be alive and what it takes for life to truly flourish on planet Earth. Through at-home activities, students will gain a deeper understanding of where they come from (via personal family history) and will be able to apply what they have learned about the necessities of life to individual relatives. By the end of this unit, students will have researched and gained a deeper understanding of their own origins and will be prepared to share what they have learned through a (student interpreted and designed) Family Tree representation and presentation.
Driving Questions / 1)What do living things need to survive and thrive?
2)What are our origins?
Content Standards to be taught and assessed: / History K.2, 1.1
  • The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.
  • The student will interpret information presented in picture timelines to show sequence of events and will distinguish between past and present.
Geography K.4, K.5
  • The student will use simple maps and globes to: develop an awareness that a map is a drawing of a place to show where things are located and that a globe is a round model of the Earth; describe places referenced in stories and real-life situations; locate land and water features.
  • The student will develop an awareness that maps and globes: show a view from above; show things in smaller size; show the position of objects.
Solids and Liquids K.5, 1.3
  • The student will investigate and understand that water flows and has properties that can be observed and tested.
Life Processes K.6, K.7, 1.5
  • The student will investigate and understand the difference between living organisms and nonliving objects.
  • The student will investigate and understand basic needs and life processes of plants and animals.
  • The student will investigate and understand that animals, including people, have life needs and specific physical characteristics and can be classified according to certain characteristics.
Geometry 1.13
  • The student will construct, model, and describe objects in the environment as geometric shapes and explain the reasonableness of each choice.

21st Century Skills to be taught and assessed: / Collaboration
Students work in teams to discuss properties of life in a class debate / Technology
Students used technology to research their personal family history and possibly deliver their final presentation
Communication (Oral Presentation)
Students present information via spoken presentation and self-made Family Tree representation / Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Students make decisions about what their final design should look like to best inform and educate the intended audience (peers, family, friends, teachers, etc.)
Major Products & Performances / Group: /
  • Class debate over “What is alive?”
  • Kinetic presentation of requirements of life (water, food, shelter, etc.)
  • Group experiments with states of matter, looking at water in different phases (solid ice, liquid water, water vapor)
/ Presentation Audience
Presentation Audience:
Individual: /
  • Family Tree
  • Final oral presentation about personal genealogy
  • Weekly write-ups about family (generation by generation)
  • “What Makes Me, Me?” learning log with prompts given weekly
/ Community
Project Overview
Entry Event to
launch inquiry,
engage students: / Students will be given their new “What Makes Me, Me?” notebooks and will be asked to draw themselves on the first page. Besides paying attention to physical characteristics, students will be asked to add details about their personality (either through written labels or drawn descriptions). Students will then share out their drawings with a buddy and will talk about why they think they are the way they are. Students will randomly be asked to share their work as well as thoughts about the origins of their physical traits and personal attributes.
Assessments / Formative Assessments
(During Project) / Quizzes/Tests: Socratic Seminars / Practice Presentations: In front of class, pre-Leo Night
Journal/Learning Log: Writing About “What Makes Me, Me?” / Notes: Use Graphic Organizers to record learned information
Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes: For Family Tree / Checklists: Rubric for presentation and Family Tree
Rough Drafts: Of final oral presentation / Exit Tickets:Recognition of life properties and properties of matter
Summative Assessments
(End of Project) / Written Product(s), with rubric:
Weekly family write-ups / Self-Evaluation:
Self-Evaluation of weekly write-ups
Oral Presentation, with rubric:
Final oral presentation (to be given at Leo Night) / Peer Evaluation:
Evaluations of presentation and Family Tree using Graphic Organizers
Resources Needed / On-site people, facilities: / Teacher, Technology Teacher, STEAM Coordinator
Equipment: / Computers for Research, Interactive Whiteboard to present information to students, iPads; Power Point; Library
Materials: / Materials decided upon by the students.
Community resources: / Community members with experience in Family History research
Reflection Methods / (Individual, Group, and/or Whole Class) / Journal/Learning Log / Group Reflection Posters (KWL Chart)
Whole-Class Discussion (Socratic Seminar) / Fishbowl Discussion


Week 1
(Due: October 31st) / Purchase or build a binder to store gathered information – decorate! / Introduction to Project (Learning Logs distributed) / Pre-Assessment
Week 2
(Due: November 10th) / Research 1st generation
(Student!) ** / Group experiments with different states of matter (Why is water important?) / Exit Ticket
Week 3
(Due: November 14th) / Research 2nd generation
(Parents) ** / “What is Alive?” class debate
(To understand Life Processes) / Socratic Seminar
Week 4
(Due: November 21st) / Research 3rd generation
(All Grandparents) ** / Kinetic presentation of requirements for life (shelter, water, air, food, etc.) / Fishbowl Discussion
Week 5
(Due: November 28th) / Research 4th generation
(All Great Grandparents) ** / Venn Diagram (in Learning Log) to compare similarities and differences across generations / Review of Learning Log
Week 6
(Due: December 5th) / Research 5th generation
(All Great-Great Grandparents)** / Posters of “what we’ve learned so far” / Poster Presentation to class
Week 7
(Due: December 12th) / Construct “Family Tree” to display gathered family history information / Peer evaluation of Family Trees / Final Assessment (teacher rubric for family history binder and Family Tree project)
Week 8
(Due: December 19th) / Write and practice oral presentation for Leo Night! / Practice oral presentation in front of the class / Leo Night! (share Family Tree, oral presentation and family history binder)

** Answer Family History Questions on following page…

Family History Questions (to be answered weekly and recorded in Family History binder)

  • What was their name?
  • When were they born? (When did they die?)
  • Where did they live? (Draw it or identify it on a map!)
  • Where did they get their water? (community plumbing, well, stream, etc.)
  • What did they typically eat?(What were some of their favorite foods?)
  • What did they use for shelter? (What was their home like?)
  • What did they look like? (hair/eye/skin color, height, etc.) Include pictures if you have any!

Bonus Questions!

  • What did they do for work?
  • How did they get to school? (Did they go to school??)
  • How did they get around? (car, walking, horse, etc.)
  • How many brothers and sisters did they have?
  • Did they have any pets? How many? What kinds?
  • What did they like to do for fun when they were a kid?
  • Any other information that is exciting or interesting!