Global Issues PBL
Related Subjects:
Advocacy , Global Studies , Interdisciplinary Studies , Thinking and Reasoning , Working With Others
Social Issue:
Target Grade Level(s):
Grade / Year 6
Future Friendly School Values:
  Global Citizenship

In this project, students will choose from a list of contemporary global issues. Student groups will research their topic, identify a specific problem to focus on, and then develop and implement an action plan to positively impact the problem. Students will present their projects at a school "Information Fair" open to students at other grade levels, as well as adults. Groups will also create a formal presentation that can be shared publically, such as a website, TED-Talk style video, etc.

Social Studies learning objective: NCSS Thematic Standard 10: Global Issues. Analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues

Science learning objective: NGSS Nature of Science. Science knowledge can describe consequences of actions, but is not responsible for society’s decisions.

Science learning objective: NGSS Nature of Science. Many decisions are NOT made using science alone, but rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues


To date, students have done the following:

-Introduce global issues by doing a group/class brainstorm mind map to answer the question "What are some of the major problems in the world today?". Students did a gallery walk to explore current global issues, and then formed groups and chose a topic.

-Introduce project - students signed social contracts and did an activity to describe the qualities of a good team member. Students were introduced to the project and given a project booklet that contained a project overview and the template for the Research Plan. Students collaborated to develop research questions using Levels 1 and 2 of Costa's Levels of Questioning.

Future sessions will include:

-Introduce MISO research strategies and begin research

-Complete an informal research plan, and identify a topic/problem of focus

-Develop an action plan to address the problem

-Implement the action plan

-Prepare materials for a schoolwide "Information Fair"

-Prepare a formal presentation that can be shared publically


Classrooms could collaborate by sharing specific local connections to the global issues that students are researching. It would be interesting to hear how global issues present themselves in different locales, and also how those issues are addressed within different local communities.

Contact Deborah Dupree