For Andrews, a plan is not something she creates before the project begins and then religiously follows. Instead, she uses her initial plan as more of a general outline or draft that she revises in response to what she learns about the students and their progress. In order to make her initial plan, Andrews needs to know the content of her study well and she needs to pull from her knowledge of the students. However, she does not need to have all the answers. She also brings to the project a variety of resources and materials that she has assembled for the students to use and comes prepared with a variety of activities and teaching strategies that she can draw on if she needs to. Her initial planning is supported by frequent meetings with her colleagues and discussions about the general goals, issues, and progress of the Social Studies curriculum. Once the study is in process, Andrews becomes a co-investigator with the students. She functions as a facilitator whose goal is to get the students to learn how to acquire information, view it from a variety of perspectives, answer questions, and weigh evidence to make judgments and form opinions and questions of their own.
INITIAL PROJECT OUTLINE
1. Establish an understanding of place and time through reading, trips to , explore the architecture of downtown Manhattan, a trip to Fraunces Tavern, and visits to the period rooms at the Museum of the City of New York.
2. Create colonial characters with families, homes, occupations and backgrounds.
3. Hold several "town meetings" at which students will discuss, in character, the recent actions of King George and the British Parliament as well as the actions taken by the colonists themselves.
4. Ask children to evaluate whose side they're on as they go along.
5. Present a final meeting at which students decide whether to sign the Declaration of Independence or not.
• Unit Plan of topics and activities (pdf).
• Planning leads to the unit (video).
• Unit plan (2:14 min. video).
• The importance of students' investment in a project (video).
• The teacher's need to remain flexible (video).
• The students determine the direction the day will go (video).