PBL "Weekly Warm-ups" Archives



Week of April 17th

Current Event: The mild weather means it`s "Festival Time" in towns across the country... students get to design the festival for their hometown


Week of April 10th

Current Event: April is National Poetry Month, which gives students a chance to take a closer look at this literary genre


Week of April 3rd

Current Event: Humor has a place in the classroom, and can even be worked into daily lessons... students can help teachers decide how this can be done


Week of March 20th

Current Event: The excitement of "March Madness" brings to mind a difficult question:  Should college athletes be paid?


Week of March 13th

Current Event:  A new industry on the rise is "pet cloning".  Is this something that you would be willing to do?


Week of February 27th

Current Event: What if you were in charge of the Academy Awards?  What would you do for the opening segment of the show?


Week of February 20th

Current Event: President`s Day is often seen as just a "minor holiday".  What could you do to show other students what the day represents and how important it is?


Week of February 13th

Current Event: This year marks the 100th anniversary of our National Park Service.  What can your school do to participate in this yearlong celebration?


Week of January 23rd

Current Event: With the popularity of the Super Bowl commercials sweeping the nation, students will decide if their company should spend millions of dollars on a television commercial that airs during the big game


Week of January 16th

 Current Event: With the news cycle being so continuous and instantaneous, it`s hard to tell legitimate stories from "fake news".  What should young people know that will help them absorb all of this information?


Week of January 9th

Current Event: With Martin Luther King Day just around the corner, students will decide what can be changed at their own school, and what they can do as students to bring about that change.


Week of January 2nd
Current Event:
The next logical step in human space exploration is the planet Mars... how would you recruit volunteers for this mission

Week of December 13th
Current Event:
A number of towns across the country garner attention with lavish Christmas decorations


Week of December 5th

Current Event: With the holiday season in full swing, students will decide on which charity they will be donating to and how they expect their money to be spent.


Week of November 28th

Current Event: This NFL season has featured games in London in an effort to help the game catch on in Europe.  Students will decide how American football can gain that worldwide audience.


Week of November 14th

Current Event: Thanksgiving Day doesn`t have a Santa Clause or an Easter Bunny to go with it... but students will now have a chance to create a new character to personify the holiday.


Week of November 14th

Current Event: Major retail outlets get mixed reactions by announcing they will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day


Week of October 24th

Current Event: In the midst of any major election, it`s easy to get lost in campaign ads, poll numbers, and even Super PACs.  This exercise is to remember what elections are really about.


Week of October 17th

Current Event: It`s that time of year when students start thinking about costumes!  In this exercise, they have a chance to try to come up with their own homemade costume idea.


Week of September 26th

Current Event: With the elections coming up, there is one political issue that might be worth discussing -- should we lower (or even abolish) the minimum voting age?


Week of September 26th

Current Event: Pythons are a snake that can grow well over 10 feet long, and they have no natural enemies in the Florida Everglades.   Is this a problem, and what can be done to control the population?


Week of September 19th
Current Event:
The National Toy Hall of Fame announces its 12 finalists to join other classic toys in the Hall


Week of September 12th

Current Event: What makes a good set of Classroom Rules, and how should they be presented to students?


Week of September 5th

Current Event: Powerful storms wreak havoc along the East Coast of the United States


Week of August 29th

Current Event: As each new school year gets underway, more and more school districts consider switching from traditional print textbooks to online textbooks, and what that change might mean for students


Week of August 22nd

Current Event: Labor Day is celebrated across the country


 Week of August 15th

 Current Event: As hundreds of new mobile apps are developed each day, students will try their hand at coming up with an idea for an app that will top them all.


 Week of August 8th

Current Event: The city of Los Angeles has submitted a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.  If L.A. wins, what should be the design of the official mascot who will represent the international event?



Archive of 2015-2016 School Year

Week of May 23rd

Current Event:  Summer Break means time away from school, which is a perfect time to think about what might be your dream vacation!


Week of May 16th

Current Event:  Why to people take risks, and what would you do if you wanted to pull off a great daredevil stunt (and how could you do it safely)?  


Week of May 9th

Current Event:  We are surrounded by brands and consumer products that it seems like we could never live without.  What are the most influential brands and products in our world?  


Week of May 2nd

Current Event:  What TV show would you want to see turned into a movie?  Why would audiences want to see this movie, and how might it change?


Week of April 25th

Current Event:  What is the next big breakthrough in Virtual Reality, and how might it change the world?


Week of April 18th

Current Event:  Drones are quickly flying out of the war zone and into civilian life.  Should we be concerned?


Week of April 11th

Current Event:  Everyone faces disappointment from losses, setbacks, and letdowns.  How do you deal with that disappointment?


Week of March 28th

Current Event:  Schools across the country are trying "Gender-Specific Classrooms" (i.e. all boys or all girls).  Is this a good idea?


Week of March 21st
Current Event:
The month of February has one National Holiday (Washington`s Birthday... not Valentine`s Day), which inspires a look at how an ordinary day can become "National Holiday"


Week of March 14th

Current Event: The start of March Madness in college basketball revives an ongoing debate - Should college athletes be paid for their services?


Week of March 4th

Current Event:  March is "Music in Our Schools" Month... students will consider what their school can do to participate in this observation


Week of February 22nd

Current Event: Award show season for the entertainment is capped off by the Academy Awards (AKA "The Oscars")


Week of February 8th

Current Event:  Every teacher has a different testing policy.  What would happen if students were given a vote?


Week of February 1st

Current Event: Schools have to figure out ways to make-up time lost due to inclement weather


Week of January 18th

Current Event:  Social Media is a major part of the lives of young people.  So, should schools take an active role in helping them learn how to use and behave on Social Media?


Week of December 28th

Current Event: As a New Year begins, everyone hopes that their resolutions will get the year started off right.  Then again, can a bad resolution result in a setback?


Week of December 14th

Current Event: The holiday season is in full force, and toy stores are taking full advantage!  Students will try to design the "must have" toy that would fly off the shelves.


Week of November 23th

Current Event: Our calendar has lots of quirks that can be confusing... is there a way to improve it?


Week of November 9th

Current Event: Major retail outlets get mixed reactions by announcing they will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day


Week of November 2nd

Current Event: Clocks are turned back an hour as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end... does the practice really make sense in the modern world?


Week of October 19th

Current Event: Schools around the country are having their "Fall Carnivals", and students must consider the details that can make those annual events a success. 


Week of September 28th

Current Event:  As the budget for space exploration gets drastic cuts, many wonder whether this is a wise move, or if there are truly better ways to spend the money.


Week of September 21st

Current Event: October is National Bullying Prevention month, which makes it the perfect time for students to consider an Anti-Bullying Campaign for their school.


Week of August 17th

Current Event: Comic Book characters (such as the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles") dominate the movie box office, leaving you to wonder which great superhero - or super villian - will captivate audiences in the future



 "Weekly Warm-ups" from the 2014-2015 School Year:

Week of June 2nd

Current Event:  Everybody wants a backyard pool during the summer... but have they considered all of their options?



Week of April 20th

Current Event:  "Wearable Technology" is becoming the next big thing as watches, glasses, wristbands, and even clothes connect to the internet and provide other services



Week of April 6th

Current Event:  It is very possible that Apple will be the next "trillion-dollar company."  That makes you wonder what the next great innovation to change the world might be.



Week of March 30th

Current Event:  There is a national campaign to (finally) place a woman on our paper money... so, who should it be?



Week of March 16th

Current Event:  March Madness begins as the NCAA College Basketball Tournament gets underway.  Here is a look at an issue that has the potential to change the landscape of college sports.



Week of March 9th

Current Event:  It is time for our clocks to "spring" ahead with Daylight Saving Time.  Teachers are provided an entire integrated problem-scenario involving all four core subjects.



Week of February 23rd

Current Event:  Schools have to figure out ways to make-up time lost due to inclement weather



Week of February 9th

Current Event: With President`s Day fast approaching, students will investigate the significance of this holiday and how they should honor it.



Week of January 19th

Current Event: With the recent trend of popular and classic TV shows being made into major motion pictures, students will decide how TV shows are made into modern movies, decide which TV show is the best fit, and how it might need to be changed.



Week of December 1st

Current Event: As the cold weather comes in, meteorologists must get the public aware and prepared without causing an unnecessary panic.  Students will decide where this fine line exists.



Week of November 10th

Current Event: The men and women who have bravely served our country are honored on Veterans Day.



Week of November 10th

Current Event: A stuntman attracts national attention by walking on a tightrope over downtown Chicago.



Week of November 3rd

Current Event: With the World Series wrapping up, star athletes will soon be given endorsement offers from companies looking for a new spokesperson.  If your students were sports stars, how would they choose which products to endorse?



Week of September 8th

Current Event: A song parody called "Word Crimes" (the original is "Blurred Lines") by the legendary Weird Al Yankovic is being used as a teaching tool in grammar classes... this is part of a growing strategy by teachers to use humor in the classroom.



Week of September 1st

Current Event: After a long Labor Day weekend, it`s important to remember that a "holiday" is more than just an excuse to take a day off of school or work





"Weekly Warm-ups" from the 2013-2014 School Year:

Week of May 27th

 Current Event: Americans observe Memorial Day to honor soldiers who have given their lives to defend their country



 Week of May 12th

Current Event: As summer vacation approaches, students (and their parents) must consider the best way to spend their "time off"



Week of May 5th

 Current Event: Awards Shows dominate prime-time TV, honoring everything from movies to television to music to sports to social media... and much more



 Week of April 27th

 Current Event: Schools, teams, and many other organizations use "mascots" to express their culture (from Ronald McDonald to the Georgia Bulldogs to the Geico Lizard)



 Week of April 14th

Current Event: A woman in Great Britain recently spent her winnings from a contest to clone her pet dog, which brings up the issue of whether "Pet Cloning" is a future industry



Week of April 7th

 Current Event: With summer vacation just around the corner, it`s easy to wonder how a "year-round" school calendar might change things


Week of March 10th

Current Event: As Spring comes closer, theme parks prepare for new visitors



Week of March 3rd
Current Event: Clocks "spring ahead" one hour as Daylight Saving Time begins


 Week of February 24th
Current Event: Time Magazine`s "Influential Candy Bars" list prompts discussion about other influential products


 Week of February 17th
Current Event: Winter storms cause delays and wreak havoc across the entire country


 Week of February 3rd
Current Event: The 2014 Winter Olympics prepare to get underway in Sochi, Russia, featuring 15 different sports on snow and ice


Week of January 13th
Current Event: As we settle into 2014, people try to beat the statistics by keeping their Resolutions!


 Week of December 9th
Current Event: Amazon announces that it is looking into using flying drones to deliver packages to your front door


 Week of November 11th
Current Event: The men and women who have bravely served our country are honored on Veterans Day


Week of October 28th

Current Event: The 2013 World Series begins with a controversial play in the 1st inning of Game One

 Week of October 14th
Current Event: Families around the country rush to local pumpkin patches for some Fall entertainment



  Week of September 30th
Current Event: Major television networks roll out their "Fall Lineups" to entice TV viewers