PBL "Weekly Warm-ups" Archives


Weekly Warm-ups for the 2017-2018 School Year



Week of May 7th

Current Event:  Summer time is fast approaching... students might need to start planning for how they will fill the time they have "off".


Week of May 1st

Current Event:  May is "National Burger Month"... what if you could create your own theme restaurant (and it does not have to be limited to burgers)?


Week of April 23rd

Current Event:  The first week of May is "Teacher Appreciation Week."  How can you show a teacher that he or she is appreciated?


Week of April 16th

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


Week of April 9th

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 26th

Current Event: April Fools Day can be lots of fun... if it is done right!


Week of March 19th

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


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 7th

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 12th

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


Week of January 29th

Current Event: Flu season is here, and students need to know how to fight against it.


Week of January 15th

Current Event: The Winter Olympics are just around the corner... students can decide on what new sports they would like to see


Week of January 8th

Current Event: With everyone anxious (or not) to get back to school after a long break, it`s easy to wonder how a "year-round" school calendar might change things


Week of January 1st

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 4th

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 27th

 Current Event: Christmas season is just beginning, which means toys will be flying off of the shelves.  Students can try their luck by coming up with the next popular toy design...


Week of November 20th

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 13th

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


Week of November 6th

Current Event: Why are people so fascinated by urban legends, like Bigfoot? 


Week of October 30th

Current Event: Your school wants to honor Veterans Day... how should they do it?


 Week of October 23rd

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


 Week of October 16th

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 October 9th

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 October 2nd

Current Event: Life changes so fast, that it might be a good idea to create a "time capsule" to capture the world as it is at this very moment for future generations to see. 


Week of September 25th

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 25th

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 September 18th

 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 September 11th

Current Event: Significant events in American history--such as the September 11th terrorist attacks--are represented at the Smithsonian Museums.  Students must decide what items would be best fit to be shown in the museum to highlight the American experience.


 Week of September 4th

Current Event: September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month... students must think of ways that the school can address this major problem.


 Week of August 28th

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


 Week of August 21st

Current Event: Comic Book characters (such as Spiderman, Batman, or even 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


 Week of August 14th

Current Event: Labor Day is celebrated across the country... but what does that mean?


 Week of August 7th

Current Event: A solar eclipse will soon be seen across the country, and students must plan an "Eclipse Party"


Week of August 7th

 Current Event: Inspired by the solar eclipse, students will write a short story that centers around an eclipse



Weekly Warm-ups for the 2016-2017 School Year

Week of May 30th

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


Week of May 22nd

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


Week of May 1st

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 February 22nd

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


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 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 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.



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


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: 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?

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