Spring 4-26-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jennifer Carlson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Susan Leet

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Brenda Sellner


The research question addressed in this project was, how can I create curriculum using the principals of project based learning and the Language Arts Common Core State Standards in a fourth grade social studies setting that may increase student engagement? The purpose of this capstone was to create a curriculum that integrates the Language Arts Common Core State Standards and Minnesota Social Studies Standards with project based learning so that students are actively participating in their learning to strengthen life-long and critical thinking skills. The capstone provides an explanation of how project based learning integrates 21st century skills and Common Core Standards in order to increase student engagement. The author documents the process of using backwards design in order to create a project based social studies curriculum for a fourth grade classroom. She explains the challenges of creating an integrated project based curriculum, and concluded that: in order to have a quality project based learning program, there needs to be 1) teams of teachers that work well together in order to support each other and plan quality units, or 2) a whole school or district initiative to support project based learning through professional development.

Research Methodology

Curriculum Development


Curriculum, Literacy

Included in

Education Commons