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Project Based Learning (PBL)

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional approach in which students gain knowledge and skills through active exploration of real world problems and challenges. PBL components include a challenging problem or question, sustained inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision, and a public product. Through PBL, students acquire key knowledge and understanding aligned with grade level standards. In addition, PBL facilitates development of Power Skills, which include critical thinking, creativity, cultural proficiency, connections, communication and collaboration.

All students at Davis are provided with opportunities to engage in PBL experiences. Students are presented with a driving question to activate their thinking, then work to answer the question through various learning experiences. PBL topics may change from year to year. See below for PBL driving question examples from previous years for each grade level.



  • How do firefighters keep our community safe?
  • How can we, as young learners, investigate, explore, and contribute to our school community?



  • How can we use our curiosity to learn about something and share information with others?
  • How can I teach others “What makes me, me?” and communicate my message that makes a positive contribution to the world?
  • How can we, as scientists, explore why it is important to have different species in a habitat?


1st Grade

  • How can we, as cultural tour guides, plan a presentation to show tourists what traditions are celebrated in a country?
  • How can we, as students and teachers, teach our peers about a cultural representation of Texas?
  • How can we inform others on how the unique animals at the rocky seashore have adapted to meet their needs in different ways?


2nd Grade

  • How can we identify different adaptations that an animal has to thrive within its habitat?
  • How can we, as students and teachers, plan a presentation to teach others about a famous person?
  • How can we, as environmental scientists, establish an awareness of pollution that affects beaches and marine life for other students, faculty and parents?


3rd Grade

  • How can we, as students and teachers, convince others that we should live in an environmentally- friendly lifestyle?
  • What makes a community successful?
  • How can we, as student scientists, help to educate others about the importance of wetlands in our environment?


4th Grade

  • How can we, as scientists, persuade others which state of matter is the most important and why?
  • How can we, as students/ anthropologists, create a new Texas Native American tribe to show others how Native Americans survived and thrived in Texas?
  • How can we teach others, in an entertaining way, how to use one of the 4th grade math skills to solve math problems?


5th Grade

  • How can we, as engineers and architects, design and construct an arcade game out of  cardboard?
  • How can we as marine biologists create an open ocean exhibit for our Davis community?