LESSON 4: Designing your own problem-based learning activity!

Matthew's Personal Page | Matt's Mini-Course

Lesson Objectives

  • Students will be able to create their own PBL activity for their own classroom.
  • Students will be able to design their own open-ended problems for their own students.


It is now time for you to try to create your own PBL activity or Unit. For this lesson, create your own PBL activity for the classroom.

Follow the "Guide to Problem-Based Learning" (pg. 16-32) to write out a step-by-step layout of the PBL activity. Include a rationale describing why you chose the activity you did, and how exactly it follows the ideas of PBL.


1. Making the Problem Clear

2. Formulating Questions

3. Identifying Current Knowledge and Needs

4. Structuring Ideas

5. Formulating Learning Aims

6. Out-of-class Research

7. Discussing and Evaluating New Information

Use the following book to assist you in creating your PBL activity.


You will be posting your PBL activity layout online for the class to review and read. You are to review three other classmates activities. Discuss and give feedback!


Use the following questions and prompts to assist you in your discussion with your classmates. You do not need to exactly answer each question. Have a thoughtful discussion with your classmates.


1. What were some of the components of creating your own activity did you find difficult?


2. How will your students benefit from these activities?


3. What makes this lesson using PBL better than a traditional lesson?


  • Torp, L., & Sage, S. (1998). Problems as possibilities: problem-based learning for K-12 education. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Violeta Jurkavic (2005). Guide to Problem Based Learning: PBL within the context of ESP. Slovene Association of LSP Teachers.

Refer back to previous lesson to assist you throughout this activity.

Go back to...

LESSON 1: What is Problem-Based Learning?

LESSON 2: What are the benefits to utilizing problem-based learning?

LESSON 3: Components and Steps in a PBL Activity

HOMEPAGE: Problem Based Learning in Physics