Curriculum for Project-Based Learning

Your School, My School

The Similarities and Differences between Your School Life and that in China

Subject Area - Foreign Language
Course - Chinese
Unit - Learning about the Similarities and Differences of the School Life in China    


Course Description

Student Rubrics

Final Thoughts

Course Objectives

Student Presentation

Course Description

This course is designed to allow you to learn the school life from your peers in China. The teacher will facilitate the learning through constructivist Project-Based Learning (PBL). The project will have real world meaning and application to you making you relevant and of interest.

Hands-on activities are designed to advance your online communication skills and offer you the authentic language learning experience with the native Chinese speakers.

The final product would be the demonstration co-created by you and your peers. Communicating with your cross-cultural buddies would be an on-going activity that supports the primary, essential learning question of the unit.

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Course Objectives

You will feel profoundly connected to the world through the use of e-mail communication.

You will feel enthusiastic about the learning from your Chinese peers.

You will feel confident in what you have learned about the similarities and difference between your school life and your peers' life in China .

You will create a presentation that will offer a clear demonstration that you have acquired a strong enough sense of the similarities and differences between cultures that you can impart information and ensure understanding in others.

You will acquire a base of vocabulary that is solid enough to allow you to have clear, text based, email communications with your peers.

You will peer teach and intuitively use the technologies including communication on network, audio, and video without formal training.

You will pull all data, photos, and other information from your Chinese peers together to generate reports.  

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Student Rubrics

The value of the project = 180



(20 - 16)


(15 - 11)


(10 - 6)

Below Ave.

(5 - 0)

Scores by peers / teacher

Design Ideas

Creative, authentic, challenging, collaborative

3/4 of excellent

2/4 of excellent

1/4 of excellent




Demonstrates cooperation, respect, and leadership, helps others in the group, and does the assigned work without having to be reminded, performs all duties of assigned team role


Cooperative, participates and follows the lead of others, does the assigned work-rarely needs reminding, performs nearly all duties


Does little to participate; lets others do the work, rarely does the assigned work--often needs reminding, Performs very little duties

Always relies on others to do the work, does not perform any duties of assigned team role, usually argues with teammates


Homework and Work Habits


Homework and assignments completed always on time and all corrections are made

Homework and assignments usually completed on time. All mistakes are corrected except 1 or 2

Some assignments and homework completed on time; Some mistakes are corrected. 3 or 4 are not corrected

Few assignments and homework complete one time; Never correct mistakes. No homework completed




Rich use of vocabulary, without any character mistakes

Adequate and accurate use of vocabulary with 1 to 3 character mistakes

Somewhat inadequate and/ or inaccurate use of vocabulary with 4 - 7 character mistakes

Inadequate and/or inaccurate use of vocabulary, with more than 8 character mistakes




Correct use of the grammar we have learned without any mistake


Most correct use of the grammar we have learned with 1 to 3 mistakes

Somewhat correct use of the grammar we have learned with 4 to 7 mistakes

Inadequate or inaccurate use of the grammar we have learned with 8 mistakes




Text readily comprehensible, requiring no interpretation on the part of the reader

Text comprehensible, requiring minimal interpretation on the part of the reader


Text mostly comprehensible, requiring interpretation on the part of the reader


Text barely comprehensible



Oral Presentation


Speech continuous with few pauses or stumbling. No English


Some hesitation but manages to continue and complete thoughts. Some English


Speech choppy and/or slow with frequent pauses, few or no incomplete thoughts. Most English


Speech halting and uneven with long pauses and/or incomplete thoughts. Most English



Technology Excellent Good Average Below Average  

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Course Syllabus

Week 1 -

  1. You will be Introduced essential/big Idea questions and desired understanding for this unit so that you understand what will be learned and why.
  2. You and your peers will discuss what specifically you want to learn from your peers in China.
  3. You will write the questions about the school life in China.

Week 2 -

  1. You will translate your own questions into Chinese.
  2. You will e-mail the questions to your peers in China.
  3. While waiting for the data from China, you will discuss the questions relevant to your own school life and gather data.
  4. You will translate Your answers to the questions into Chinese.

Week 3 -

  1. After you receive the answers from China, you will discuss and learn the answers including the new vocabulary and grammar structure.
  2. You will use multiple methods to research on those questions that you don't understand - web, books, discussion groups, and your peers in China.

Week 4 -

  1. You will pull data, photos, and other information from China together.
  2. You will analyze the data from China and the data from your own school life, and write reports.

Week 5 -

  1. You will peer teach and intuitively use the technologies including network communication, audio, and video without formal training.
  2. You will use multimedia software or video technology to produce your presentation.

Week 6 -

Present your demonstration, including graphs, pictures, movie or other relevant information.

This syllabus is a living document; activities and assignments not listed in the syllabus may be required when necessary.

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Final Thoughts This class is about you and your growth. It is designed to be interactive, experimental, interesting, frustrating, and exciting. When (not if) you see, hear, or feel things that confuse you or seem not to fit into your paradigm of learning, it is your responsibility to ask questions. Sometimes you will just have to dive in, but don't take anything for granted.

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Student Presentation

This PowerPoint project was made by 4 eighth graders at the Bishop's School. Multimedia technology was used as tools for their oral and written reports in both English and Chinese. It will take about 7 minutes. Please click on the link to view it, Your School, My School. For the same project, other students are working on the video (movie) technology to see if it is a more effective tool for their presentation, but the video one is not ready to present yet. Here is an old one of a different unit. If you are interested in it, view the video.

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