Project-Based Learning Unit for Chinese Community-Based Heritage Language Schools
Created by Tommy Lu, Chinese School of Delaware (www. ChineseSchoolDE.org)
You Are Here! - A Museum Tour Map
This is a PBL (Project-Based Learning) unit for a Chinese community-based heritage language school 10th grade class that meets every Sunday for 2.5 hours. The theme is a museum map for Chinese tourists. The unit will run for 15 weeks with at least 3 site visits and a final presentation.
1. Project description
The Delaware Museum of Natural History is located in Greenville, Delaware. It opened in 1972, right across from the famous Winterthur garden. The museum is known for its extensive collections of seashells, birds, and bird eggs. One of the major exhibitions is a skeleton of a dinosaur from Szechuan, China. There are several exhibition halls full of life-like animals, ancient fossils, and well-preserved eggs. Currently, the museum is undergoing a major reconstruction, and one of the tasks is to produce multi-language pamphlets. The forefront pamphlet is the museum amp, where visitors can pick their preferred language when they enter the building. Our first task is to create a museum visitor's map in Chinese.
To facilitate inquiry in the target language and empower student's final production of the visitor's map, students will actively participate in materials collection, requirements gatherings, making decisions on contents, and most importantly, use the target language when interviewing their parents for what is needed in the map (as a Chinese tourist) and to give feedback on presentation.
2. Project length
Fall semester (16 weeks)
3. Project outcome
A museum map in Chinese
4. Project schedule
|Project description, search museum information online, pre-visitation preparation, students'/parents' commitments
| In between
||Interview their parents in Chinese to get an idea how a potential Chinese tourist will want to know and use this visitor's map. Collect questions for week 2's museum visitation to guide discussions with the museum staff.
||Visit the museum, obtain current map information and future changes, discuss with the museum staff what needs to be included in the final product and what is the acceptable format.
|| Reflect on the visitation: Divide the class into smaller groups, identify group leaders and tasks, brainstorm the initial pamphlet design, and establish communication protocols. These are student-led activities, where students make decisions on group tasks and outcomes and establish communication channels among students.
|| Test technical aspects - software availability, font compatibility, central file location/storage. Confirm deliverables and schedules after group discussions.
|| Start initial design by each group, report and resolve any challenges. These are student-led activities and also include inter-group interactions.
||Finalize the initial design, prepare presentation for the museum staff.
||Visit the museum, students make presentations of the initial design, get feedback from the museum staff.
Reflect on the visitation, group discussion on the design, start entering content.
||Continue working on the content.
||First draft review, integrate each group's work into one document, resolve any challenges. Students work together in different groups to identify and resolve insistencies or issues.
||Revise/improve the first draft.
||Present to parents (native Chinese speakers) for content feedback.
Start final presentation, determine each group member's role in the presentation, populate the presentation materials.
||Continue working on the presentation, especially on presentational skills.
||Finalize the presentation, consolidate all presentation materials and perform a presentation dress rehearsal, present to parents in Chinese.
||Present (either at the school or at the museum) to museum staff in English.
5. Project presentation
Two presentations, one in Chinese to parents who are native Chinese speakers; and one in English to museum staff.
6. Project maintenance and future expansion
- File storage and location to pass on to the next class
- Additional products, such as audio, video, and web contents
- Expand to other areas, such as outside pathway sculpture, exhibition translations, recorded audio stops