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Entry Event

Entry Event Resources

There are a variety of ways to launch your PBL unit. Most of all you want the entry event to create excitement in your classroom. The use of video clips, simulations, field trips, guest speakers, and learning games help to engage students and create a desire to venture deeper into the subject matter of your PBL unit. Remember, the entry event should take place on the first day of your unit and it generally takes one class period or less. Let your students enjoy the activity and leave class that day feeling energized and excited about the next step of the project.




Entry Event Possibilities:

Video Clips:

Websites such as YouTube offer a wide variety of video clips that can be utilized in the classroom. Choose your video carefully. Sometimes less is more. Showing a short clip and then allowing time for discussion or reflection works well.



There are numerous web-based simulations on a variety of topics. Use words such as “simulation”, “interactive” and “educational” along with your topic of study to search for activities that may work well as your entry event.

Here is a link to Interactive Science Websites: http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/interact-science.htm

The possibilities are endless so put Google to use for you and find just the right simulation for your project. Simulations do not have to use technology. Set up a court room in your classroom, stage a debate or act out an event that correlates with your PBL unit.


Field Trip:
Nothing beats taking a trip to a museum, nature center, zoo or another intriguing venue in your area. Engaging students in learning experiences outside of the classroom can be very powerful and memorable too. If you already take specific field trips each year, plan to launch your PBL unit after all of the students have had that common experience. You can build upon their excitement when you return to school the next day.


Virtual Field Trips:
Canʼt plan an off-site learning experience? Do the next best thing and connect via videoconference. Search the database on Twice (http://www.twice.cc/) to see what is available to you. Some of these opportunities are FREE and some have registration fees. The use of mini-grants and PTO funds are great ways to fund a videoconference experience for your students.


Guest Speaker:
Your community is filled with experts (engineers, nutritionists, scientists, doctors and more) that just might be willing to visit your classroom and share their expertise if you call upon them. It just takes a little extra effort and planning before starting the project to arrange a visit from an expert. This could even be another staff member in your school. The school cook could do a short presentation on nutrition, the gym teacher could share information about body systems and how they work together, the principal could share trends in the building or future plans. Be creative. Skype and FaceTime are great tools to utilize if the guest speaker is not able to visit your school in person.


Use iTunes to download music from a certain time period or popular music that supports your PBL unit. Another great idea is to rewrite the lyrics of a popular song to correspond with your project objectives. There are a number of songs/videos like this on YouTube and better yet, some even have students performing the songs. There are great resources online and in books which portray beautiful works of art to spark discussion and curiosity in your classroom.


Piece of Mock or Real Correspondence:
If you donʼt have connections to have a real person write to your classroom, it is okay to pretend. Go online and find the official logos of a company or organization and write your own letter challenging your students to solve a problem or come up with a plan for the community. Make it look official and professional and your students will be just as engaged as if it were the real thing. Pretend you are the CEO of Ford Motor Company and ask your students to design a car of the future that doesnʼt rely on fossil fuels. The possibilities are endless and using this piece of correspondence will create a “needs to know” for the next steps of your project.


Lively Discussion:
Share something from the news/current events or a situation that happened at school and allow time for students to openly discuss the topic. Allow them the freedom to express their ideas and accept all viewpoints. Once the excitement builds and youʼve captured their attention transition to your PBL unit and use their ideas from this discussion to enhance your project.


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