Food, glorious food

I'm a big fan of project-based learning (PBL) and students in my 6th grade technology class just finished what I believe to be a great activity.  Fun, creative and loaded with all sorts of learning opportunities.

I began the unit by telling the kids that I had just spoken with the CEO of the once powerful MegaFood corporation.  She explained to me that, given the recent economic downturn, the MegaFood company was in a difficult time.  In short, the company needed our help.  Sales have been down and moral was at an all time low.  What they needed was a new product to re-invigorate the entire brand.  They needed us to create a new "on-the-run, quick meal" product.






I explained to the kids that it was going to be their job to create several different product ideas and the advertising campaigns for those ideas.  Once they were finished, they would pitch these ideas to the CEO and board of the company.



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My goals for this unit were:




  • to work on descriptive and persuasive writing and speaking skills;

  • to understand the advertising techniques used to sell (i.e. to become savvy consumers);

  • to understand some of the basics of quality design (and how it can aid in getting "the point across")

  • to practice effective presentation skills

  • to promote risk taking and creativity


Of course, the students also learned a load of technology skills related to PowerPoint, Excel, CoreFX (drawing on the computer), Audio recording, Internet applications, and more.  What is important here is that they improved their technology skills by participating in an activity where the focus was not to learn the technology.  The purpose was to improve the skills required to create, design & pitch a new product... which, I am proud to say, they did with flying colors.

Take a look at one of the finished projects by clicking on the image below.  For best results, download the PowerPoint for viewing (that way the animations and radio ad will work - click the radio on the radio ad slide to play).


I uploaded all of the finished (and mostly finished) presentations up to our slideshare.net space for sharing and "showing off".   I think that some of these products could actually be taken to market (hmm, maybe my retirement scheme). I love projects like this where all of the kids have the same general assignment but they all go about it in different ways.