Tuesday 9/26/2017 – OPENING: 10 minutes

Today we’ll get warmed up with a game of “Cite the Source”. Perhaps not as exciting as our game of 20 questions yesterday, but still it gives us a chance to work on a vital skill that every single one of you will need in the years ahead.

The process is simple. I’ll give every table a copy of the same article. You’ll have 5 minutes to write down the proper citation for that source, as if you were using it as evidence for a paper you were writing and needed to include it in your Works Cited section.

When the timer goes off, we’ll have 1 person from each group come up to the board and write down their citation. Then we’ll discuss.

We’ll also demonstrate how to arrive at the correct citation so that everyone in the room sees how to do this (and, thus, can use this skill in the future).

LESSON – 45 minutes

Today marks the beginning of Unit 2 – The Natural World. But before we start walking down that road, we need to back up a minute and talk about the name of our class.

That’s right, the Challenge Course. We gave this course that name because we’re going to be using a strategy for learning in this class called Challenge Based Learning.

Take 60 seconds and talk to your table group about what you think Challenge Based Learning (CBL) is all about. I mean, I just told you that our class is called the Challenge Course because it’s going to use CBL. But what do you think CBL is? Why do you think it’s called Challenge Based Learning? Discuss.

“Challenge Based Learning provides an efficient and effective framework for learning while solving real-world Challenges. The framework is collaborative and hands-on, asking all participants (students, teachers, families, and community members) to identify big ideas, ask good questions, identify and solve challenges, gain deep subject area knowledge, develop 21st century skills, and share their experience with the world. (Digital Promise, np)

Let’s break that down a little bit…

Efficient = achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense (the Goog)
Framework = a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text (el Goog)
Challenge = a call to take part in a contest or competition (Der Goog)

So, CBL, then, is a structure for learning that helps us use our time and resources wisely through a call to action around something that impacts us in the real world.

That sounds pretty interesting, don’t you think? We’re going to go into quite a bit of depth into this, naturally, but for now, I want you all to take some time and draw the CBL logo. Try to make it as accurate as you can. You don’t need to use colors, or shade anything in, just the main elements that you see there.

I’ll give you a few minutes to do that, and when we’re done, I’ll draw a few things on the board that I’d like you to add to your drawing.



  • CBL is a structure for learning. Like any structure, it provides important supports.
  • CBL is built upon challenges that are meaningful and relevant to us.
  • CBL can be applied to any kind of learning.
  • Source citation matters, and doing it right is important.

Quote of the Week

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir


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