Project-Based Learning - Suggested Readings & Resources

Karin’s Planning TOOLS - See also Resources Page

  1. GRASPS Use to develop simulations

  2. Hess PLC Tool 9A Use to analyze elements of a performance task

  3. Hess LP Tool 26 Use to analyze teacher-student roles, plan for how learning will occur, conduct walkthroughs looking for evidence of rigor


Collaborative Inquiry Planning Students use to analyze and plan how they will complete a complex task

Science What I need to do rubric: Students use to self assess and get peer feedback

ELA - SS What I need to do rubric:  Students use to self assess and get peer feedback

Math What I need to do rubric:  Students use to self assess and get peer feedback


PBL – 5 keys to Rigorous PBL - video (6:30 min

PBL Guide (Defined STEM)

PBL Tips for Implementing - Teachers Pay Teachers Blog (July 2019)


Buck Institute for Education (BIE) Resources

  1. Project Design Rubric  Use the Essential Project Design Elements as criteria to evaluate projects

  2. 6-8 Presentation Rubric (CCSS Aligned) Guide students in making effective presentations

  3. English Learner Scaffolds for PBL For planning support in all phases of a project

  4. Essential Project Design Elements Checklist Use for a quick evaluation of a project's design

  5. Project Design: Overview and Student Learning Guide Two-part form for a project's design & scaffolding

  6. Sample Projects

  7. Performance assessment planning example - mapping project assessments


April Smith’s Free PBL Professional Development

  1. PBL Planning Guide

  2. PBL Video: How to Write  Driving Questions (15 min)

  3. PBL Video: Project-Based Learning Basics (12:40 min)

  4. Sign up for her blog

  5. Register (not free) for her PD course – send your lesson plans and get feedback on your plan


Sample Projects

Sample STEM Case Study Assessments

Case studies – enter topic at

---New Ways to Breathe- Cystic Fibrosis and Gene Therapy

---Antibiotic Resistance in a Russian Prison - Playing with the Spread of Tuberculosis

Sample Expeditionary Learning Projects

Vernal Pools (gr 7)

Farms & Food (gr 1)

Human Face of Human Rights (gr 10)

Books & Articles

Karin Hess, Ed.D, is a recognized international leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for formative, interim, and performance assessments.



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© since July 2014 Karin Hess, Ed.D.