Multiple Literacies in Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Photo of cover of Squirrels unit

Congratulations to the writing team on earning an NGSS Design Badge! In this ML-PBL 3rd Grade unit, students explore the question: Why do I see so many squirrels, but I can’t find any stegosauruses? See the award badge and read more about the unit. 

MLPBL logo

Multiple Literacies is a collaboration between Joseph Krajcik from Michigan State University; Annemarie Palincsar and Elliot Soloway from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Emily Miller from the University of Wisconsin.  They design, develop and test materials that will engage elementary students in learning challenging ideas at the upper elementary level. Using language literacy and mathematical tools, the Multiple Literacies Project will engage students in project-based learning (PBL) to develop usable science knowledge.  

Like many CREATE for STEM projects, Multiple Literacies prioritizes providing all students with the opportunity to obtain science literacy. We recognize that STEM opportunities are often unavailable to students from diverse and underserved groups. For this reason, the project aims to ensure that students from underrepresented groups are supported in their science learning. 

To address diversity, the teaching units will include the following criteria: 

  • An emphasis on 3-dimensional learning, 
  • Attention to the community and context, 
  • Opportunity for student discussion, and 
  • An emphasis on giving students opportunities to think and reflect 

The research and design team intends to develop a scope and sequence for grades 3 through 5. They will then develop and test student and teaching materials for grades 3 and 4. Initially, the team will conduct teaching experiments in a small number of classrooms, then progress to pilot and field test  studies of all materials and an efficacy study of the third grade materials. These studies assess the student and teaching materials to ensure they work as intended and promote engagement and learning for all students. 

Read the full article 'Creating Wonder' here

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