The Multiple Literacies in Project-Based Learning (ML-PBL) project is a collaboration between Joseph Krajcik and Barbara Schneider from Michigan State University; Annemarie Palincsar from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; Emily Miller, an elementary science education consultant; and Susan Codere, the project director. The team designs, develops, and tests materials that will engage upper elementary students in project-based learning (PBL) to learn challenging ideas and develop usable science knowledge.
This work is supported by Lucas Education Research, a division of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The materials are available as Creative Commons, open educational, not for commercial profit resources. To learn more about the project and the materials please visit the team's website.
Science Discipline: Life Science, Earth and Space Science
Year Reviewed: 2019
Awarded the 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? Students observe squirrels in their community, plan and conduct investigations, and develop models to explain how the squirrels interact with other organisms in their environment to meet their needs for survival. Students create a model to explain that, as the environment has changed, some animals (e.g., mammals) were able to adapt and survive, while others (e.g., dinosaurs) died out.
Link to Materials
The Grade 3 unit is available as a free open education resource. The following link will direct you to sign up and request access to the Squirrels Unit Page on the Lucas Education Research webpage:
The NGSS Design Badge is awarded only to the version of this unit that was reviewed. If any modifications are made to this unit, the revised version cannot be promoted as having earned the badge.
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