A standards based Geography curriculum for middle school, taught through the scenario of a Zombie Apocalypse.
$15,000 we can create an online Curriculum Design Network including:
- Curriculum design tutorials for teachers and community members
- Free and open interest-based curricula
Imagine a place where community members and teachers come together to learn to design lessons that reflect the use of academics in the real world, or in interests such as zombies, skateboarding, fashion design, engineering, dance, etc.
Imagine a place where teachers and students can go to choose the way they want to learn academic standards. At $15,000, that is what we start building!
GOAL MET: $9,000 we can research the Effectiveness of Zombie-Based Learning
Learning Geography skills through a Zombie Apocalypse narrative.
This project is to design a full middle school geography curriculum taught in the context of a Zombie Apocalypse. This project is part text book, part teaching plans, part role playing simulation - all innovative, creative, and engaging learning. With the book and learning materials that are created from this project, teachers and students will be able to learn real world geographic concepts by learning and applying their knowledge to survive in a world overrun by zombies.
The purpose for this project is simple. To create lessons that engage learners and build memorable experiences for their learning to take place, while empowering teachers to tap into student engagement.
Why Zombie-Based Learning is Awesome
What we’re doing here, is teaching how to be a geographer by learning skills needed to survive a zombie apocalypse. Imagine being in a classroom where instead of reading about maps, you’re designing them to show the spread of a zombie outbreak. Instead of reading about the distribution of resources on Earth in a textbook, you are researching available resources to plan your post-outbreak settlement. I’m not just talking about learning where places are or memorizing capitals of states or countries, I’m talking about learning the deeper concepts of geography that geographers actually use. And all in an exciting scenario.
Why do I do this?
I love geography, and I love zombies. I believe that students can learn important educational concepts through the lens of their interests. I’ve chosen to combine geography and zombies because I don’t think it is a natural connection. By building this project, we can show that learning can be done through far out scenarios, or even just based on what students are interested in. I also believe that the Zombie genre has the potential to engage often disengaged students, providing an alternative to boring textbook reading.
I’ve already begun researching Geographic standards and outlining scenarios to teach these standards. All the geographic learning in this project is based on the national geography standards developed by the National Council for Social Studies, The American Geographical Society, The Association of American Geographers, The National Council for Geographic Education, and the National Geographic Society. I have a lot of experience with creating engaging ways for students to learn. In the school district I work in, I have completely redesigned the middle school social studies and english language arts curricula to be project based, where students create projects to show their learning, instead of taking tests. I have also spent the past several months working with Valve Software to design English lessons that teach literary analysis by analyzing video games. In addition to all of that, I hated school as a kid, and was extremely bored. I try to design learning experiences that create better opportunities for kids in similar situations.
Special Video for Teachers
How the Zombie-Based Learning Narrative is structured
The narrative is what leads the learner through scenarios in the zombie apocalypse where geographic skills will need to be applied. This narrative has 5 different scenes:
- News of a zombie-like outbreak has reached your community. You are helping to plan in case the outbreak reaches your area.
- The outbreak has reached your area and chaos has followed. You use your skills to just try and survive and find other survivors.
- Through surviving you have met with other survivors, now you are trying to decide upon a safe place
- With your group of survivors, you make decisions to build a safe and sustainable community.
- Based on what you know about Geography, and based on a knowledge of the past, your community makes long term plans for survival and rebuilding a life.
Your funding will help make this project a reality. The final product will be a compilation of teaching and learning resources that set a scenario for a zombie apocalypse where students will have to learn their way through the preparation of an outbreak, to the design and future plans of a sustainable colony. This project will produce a book that includes all lesson plans, assessments to gauge student learning, grading rubrics, project and creative options for students to show their learning, student handouts, options for groupwork activities, connections to real-life uses of the geography concepts, accommodations for special education students, illustrations, and a narrative story that will follow the students as they learn for survival. I am hoping to also include video and audio elements. Your support will allow me to develop this project full time over the summer, hire illustrators, pay for book printing, and bring in experts where needed. Any extra funding will go to making this project more effective and engaging for the students, including creating interactive online elements and video support.
Through this project, we can start to show that learning can be done in a way that interests students!
FULL Color T-Shirts
The $55 reward includes one of the greatest zombie shirts ever! This will be super high quality, dye-sublimated in full color on an American Apparel shirt. We will design a couple of styles to choose from before shipping the shirts. Here is an example of what the dye-sublimated shirts look like. They are printed by JakPrints http://www.jakprints.com.
NOTE: This shirt is just an example of a dye-sublimated shirt. It is not the same design as our reward.
Shirts will be available in Small, Medium, Large, or X-Large. They'll be American Apparel, who I think runs their sizes a little small. Those are the only sizes available where I am printing them.
For $15 you get a digital download of the Teaching Resource Book, and the Student Book.
For $30 and $35 you get the hardcopy Teaching Resource Book (plus downloads of both).
For anything over $45 you get a hardcopy of the Teaching Resource Book and the Student Book.
All downloads include both.
The ZBL Teaching Resource book will include EVERYTHING needed to run the Zombie-Based Geography Curriculum, including the materials in the Student version.
The ZBL Student Book coincides with the lessons and includes everything that the student should see for the lessons. It doesn't include the things like lesson plan explanations that students don't need to see. This is also most suitable for anyone who wants to walk themselves through the learning. It includes the narratives, illustrations, project prompts, definitions and explanations, etc. This can be used as a workbook for students to take notes in, or can be used as a master to make copies for multiple students.
My knuckles say "Take On Me." I'm a big a-ha fan (Hunting High and Low is my all-time favorite album). I like to show that it is possible to be a professional and not be held back by tattoos.