The zombie apocalypse is not a typical subject that one would expect in a geography classroom. For David Hunter, he sees a Project Based Learning assignment what will get students excited about geography. Developer and founder for “Zombie Based Learning” (ZBL), David was inspired by the lack of motivation that he had in high school due to the traditional lecture based instruction. As mentioned previously ZBL is a project based learning curriculum. This is “an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question problem or challenge”. These questions are meant to challenge students to think creatively about problems they may be presented with. For example, thinking about a geographical stronghold in a post-apocalyptic landscape. This gets the students thinking about things like what a good location would be considered as, what a bad one would be, the layout of the land, protection, and natural resources.
As an art teacher getting students to get excited about projects is very important to me. David helped encourage me in this area when he discussed what kind of topics to pick. He suggested picking topics that students are interested in. This calls teachers to be aware of what their students are interested in. The way that I do this is I ask students how their weekend was, what they did, ask about their friends, family, sports, etc. Engaging with your students helps you to build report and maintain respect. In my internship, I have experienced this first hand and have come to learn about trending interests like movies, clothes, sayings, and hobbies.
From what I have learned from both my internship experience and David discussing his project based learning, I have begun to create units that are based off these ideas. I want to really deepen student learning by posing questions and asking them to find answers, find authentic ways to assess learning over time, and have strict guidelines to projects but also give them a choice.
For more information on Zombie based learning please look at David Hunter’s website http://www.zombiebased.com/