Develop a Plan of Action
Step 4: Investigate the problem
Before students can begin to find a solution to their driving question, they need to deeply understand the problem. Through research and investigation, youth can grasp the root causes of a problem, appreciate its context and learn about some possible solutions.
Research and investigation can also reveal how other communities may have solved similar problems, thus informing student planning and linking them with a broader world. Try the Investigating Issues in Your Community tool to get going with research.
Step 5: Develop a plan of action
Based on what they discover through investigation and research, youth should develop a plan of action to detail the steps to take to address the driving question.
During this step, allow youth to take charge and formulate the plan of action based on their own knowledge and the project goals. As the facilitator, you will provide guidance and resources as they develop this plan.
Facilitation can take the form of offering specific tools or information (such as the name and phone number of a particular town official). It can also involve asking leading questions such as these:
- What would happen if you did Y before X?
- Can you think of any other group that might want to get involved?
- Is there a series of actions or steps that you might want to take in sequence to reach your goal?
- Need more help?
Consider reviewing the Learning by Doing page.
The most helpful facilitation involves stepping away from the usual teacher or leader role and allowing students to figure things out for themselves, providing guidance when needed.
Developing a plan of action may require students to take on the following tasks:
- Schedule project activities, planning meetings and a culminating event.
- Budget and purchase materials.
- Contact potential partners.
- Revisit the driving question.
- Adjust the original plan.
- Form committees (see the Committee And Club Planning Worksheet ).
- Determine how to divide tasks among a group.
- Decide how to document the project and learning.
Use the Project-Based Learning Project Planner to organize your thoughts and prepare to facilitate the planning process for youth.
- 2Key Terms
- 3Project-Based Learning Diagram
- 4What Makes a Good Project?
- 5Life Is Full of Projects
- 6Benefits of Projects
- 721st Century Skills
- 8Habits of Mind
- 9Projects or Activities?
- 10Project Kickoff
- 11Understanding Community Needs
- 12Become Active Investigators
- 13Engaging Students in Active Learning
- 14What Makes a Good Driving Question?
- 15Project Launch
- 16Learning by Doing
- 17Learning by Doing: Example
- 18Project-Based Learning in Action
- 19The Adult's Role
- 20Working With Diverse Student Groups
- 22Culminating Event Examples
- 23Time to Shine
- 24The Audience
- 25Document and Evaluate the Learning
- 27Civic Learning and Engagement Introduction
- 28Civic Learning and Engagement
- 29Committed to Positive Change
- 30Key Civic Terms
- 31A Special Kind of Project-Based Learning
- 32Civic Learning and Engagement in Action
- 33Encouraging Active Participation
- 34Building 21st Century Skills
- 35Linking With School-Day Civics
- 36Linking Civic Learning and Engagement With School-Day Learning
- 37Linking Skills and Academics With Civic Life
- 38Starting a Project
- 39Develop a Plan of Action
- 40Implement a Plan of Action
- 41Evaluate and Reflect
- 42Realizing the Results
- 43Learn More Library
- 46Check for Understanding
- 1Implementing Project-Based Learning
- 2Keep It Youth Centered
- 3Youth-Centered Coaching Moment
- 4Set Clear Goals and Objectives
- 5Goals and Objectives Coaching Moment
- 6Make it Doable and Sustainable
- 7Projects Over Time — Coaching Moment
- 8Facilitating Self-Directed Learning
- 9Self-Directed Learning Example
- 10Self-Directed Learning — Example 2
- 11Facilitation Strategies
- 12Think Globally, Act Locally
- 13Projects for Every Age
- 14Incorporate Multiple Perspectives
- 15Facilitation for Success
- 16Working With Agencies and Groups
- 17Demonstrate and Document Learning
- 18Demonstrate Learning — Coaching Moment
- 19Demonstrate Learning — Coaching Moment 2
- 20Pull It Together
- 21Additional Resources