A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about a visit to the PEZ Factory and how a fun authentic project might be about the history of favorite candies. I mentioned that Milton Hershey was almost a passenger on the Titanic, and a student might end up doing a project about those who perished on the Titanic. So, how does a teacher keep control of a project if students end up following different paths of interest. The key is for the teacher to have very clear objectives and goals before the driving question/authentic project is introduced.
For example, if your goal is to teach time lines, then the history of a candy is a perfect project. And if a student decides to research the Titanic, there is a fascinating time line to create for that.
With very clear goals, it is not that difficult to incorporate a student’s interests and authentic discoveries into the project.
And if you read my blog a few weeks ago, my time line shows how long it took my husband to discover he liked PEZ candies and how long it took him to eat a bucket full of them…