If you read my last post you’ll know that I’m teaching Wuthering Heights this term. I also have to teach the poetry of Keats to the same group of kids … and it’s my first time teaching both. I have found that using PBL (particularly the use of check-lists, drafts, plans and feedback) with this class has produced some high quality, original compositions from students who may ordinarily rely on ‘spoon-feeding’ and teacher ideas.
Instead of spending hours ‘up-skilling’ myself before my lesson tomorrow (cos let’s face it, when you’re teaching the very top students in your school you get a bit panicked about looking like the true holder of all knowledge), I’ve decided to create a mini-project for my students. Basically it’s just an outline of what they need to know by the end of our 5 week study of Wuthering Heights … and maybe the expectation that this knowledge is self-generated and presented on a webpage for the world to see. The project outline will hopefully give my students a vision of where we are heading … it becomes their learning goals for the duration of our novel study.
Anyway, if it freaks them out (which I know it will because what they need to know about this text looks fair epic!) I think that’s a good thing … better than them spending five weeks chatting about the novel, reading and viewing stuff about it and then at the end going, ‘What do I need to know for the Trials, Miss?’. But really – the project outline is for me. A glorified worksheet. Now I don’t need to teach anything at all. It’s all up to them.
Here is the project outline: