First Contact – PBL – Building the Ship

Posted on: August 25, 2016, by :

The Idea

I had been wondering on ways that we could implement Project Based Learning (PBL) into our classroom, and had previously used a similar program at another school. This however would be very different to my last school as the students had never been exposed to this type of learning before. Therefore there was a large amount of scaffolding and training required to ensure that this idea would work. The second challenge was that I was new at this role, school everything and I wasn’t exactly sure of where my limitations where in terms of what I could and couldn’t do. It turns out I have an amazingly supportive Principal and Assistant Principal who encouraged me to have a go. The third challenge was that we had no entry event. The timetable, and short time from my idea through to the realisation just didn’t allow it.

Without an entry event getting some sort of hook into the students was going to be hard. Whilst searching for inspiration through many PBL groups and pinterest I came upon an image that I thought that at the very least if we created a version of this we would have something to at least plot some intrigue into the students minds.

A ship for the First Fleet to display some students work.

The commencement

It started with a very short conversation with the groundskeeper one day about obtaining the tree branches and sticks that I would need. 1 Hour later, in walks the groundskeeper with a whole bunch of sticks more than i’d thought we would need. It was one of those off the cuff suggestions that had an immediate impact on the students. The questions started to roll in, “Sir, what are the sticks for?”. We didn’t tell them!

One afternoon my grade partner who was having construction done at his house mentioned he had been speaking to his builders about my idea, and they thought they could help knock together something in a few minutes. A couple of days later he shoots me a message and brings in this.

This was already much larger than the one in the picture.

Half Way

Then we started to obtain some cardboard to make the ships hull. My grade partner started on the hull construction one afternoon and I came back in the morning to this.

IMG_20160816_215707_01 Ship Construction Half Way



Add a lick of paint and it starts to look like its going to be a real ship! Click the link below to go to part 2 to see the final ship build.