Project Overview






Fifth grade standards emphasize US history and Early explorers are the first section of that. The students have already learned about California explorers so this will be a natural extension. It is also important to make social studies accessible to all students. PBL allows for more access to struggling learners as well as students that need to be challenged.

Learning Objectives

1. Students will use research to further learning.
2. Students will design a final project involving their own website
3. Students will create a 3-5 minute video presentation to incorporate in website
4. Students will successfully show learning in four major subjects.
5. Students will learn how to make and use a rubric.

Real World Connections

  • Creation of a useable product (web page)
  • Creating a product that has value to others (web page)
  • Collaborating with and sharing information with others (Dave, exhibition)
  • Preparing to teach a concept to others ( Marcy’s class, Jessie’s class, Beth’s class, parents, community)
  • Connecting learning to the student’s lives or personal interests (student input on what they want to learn = personal interests)

Step 1

  • Brainstorm
  • Meet with partners
  • Set up jobs & responsibilities
  • Gather information

Step 2

  • Individual jobs completed
  • Complete research
  • Begin initial design of final project

Step 3

  • Work on story boards
    of website
  • Begin story boards of video
  • Create final drafts to put into project

Step 4

  • Complete story boards
  • Create website
  • Shoot video & edit
  • Present


Fifth Grade California Standards in Project

History and Social Science, Grade Five
United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation
Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.

HSS.5.2.1. Describe the entrepreneurial characteristics of early explorers (e.g., Christopher Columbus, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado) and the technological developments that made sea exploration by latitude and longitude possible (e.g., compass, sextant, astrolabe, seaworthy ships, chronometers, gunpowder).
HSS.5.2.2. Explain the aims, obstacles, and accomplishments of the explorers, sponsors, and leaders of key European expeditions and the reasons Europeans chose to explore and colonize the world (e.g., the Spanish Reconquista, the Protestant Reformation, the Counter Reformation).
HSS.5.2.3. Trace the routes of the major land explorers of the United States, the distances traveled by explorers, and the Atlantic trade routes that linked Africa, the West Indies, the British colonies, and Europe.
HSS.5.2.4. Locate on maps of North and South America land claimed by Spain, France, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Russia.

Science, Grade Five
Earth Sciences
Energy from the Sun heats Earth unevenly, causing air movements that result in changing weather patterns.
As a basis for understanding this concept:

SCI.5.4.b. Students know the influence that the ocean has on the weather and the role that the water cycle plays in weather patterns.
SCI.5.4.c. Students know the causes and effects of different types of severe weather. d. Students know how to use weather maps and data to predict local weather and know that weather forecasts depend on many variables.

English and Language Arts, Grade Five
Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose.


ELA.5.2.1. Understand how text features (e.g., format, graphics, sequence, diagrams, illustrations, charts, maps) make information accessible and usable.
ELA.5.2.2. Analyze text that is organized in sequential or chronological order.
ELA.5.2.3. Discern main ideas and concepts presented in texts, identifying and assessing evidence that supports those ideas.
ELA.5.2.4. Draw inferences, conclusions, or generalizations about text and support them with textual evidence and prior knowledge.
ELA.5.2.5. Distinguish facts, supported inferences, and opinions in text.




Project created by Victoria Calderhead at EWYL, 2004