What’s the purpose of ZBL?
It was designed to creatively teach standards, engage students that are usually not engaged, and incorporate Project-Based Learning into teaching geography specifically designed for middle school students.
What’s the difference between the printed books and the digital download?
The printed version is professionally printed and bound into three separate books, and contain all the same lessons, assessments, black line masters, and projects as the digital download. The printed version has a slightly different graphic design and layout from the digital version, but the curriculum content is 100% the same.
The printed books will incur shipping charges, and international customers could be charged anywhere from 15%-25% of the total purchase. International customers, please take delivery time into consideration.
The digital download version is available immediately upon purchase. NOTE: the digital download pdf is approximately 500 pages, the equivalent of a ream of standard paper. You may want to send the file to a local high-speed copying business for printing out once the file has been downloaded.
Additionally, registration for a digital PDF version allows teachers access to other complementary materials that are not available with the printed versions.
We are planning a 100% digital version in the future.
Why should I use ZBL?
Zombie-Based Learning is an ideal way to add geography back into a middle school social studies track. Because the current focus in schools is the transition to Common Core, geography is usually not considered a critical subject, and this is an ideal way to integrate it back in while also providing instruction in Project-Based Learning and critical thinking skills for Common Core standards.
Why geography? Why zombies?
As 21st century students adapt to a global community, it’s important to be able to learn the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to navigate their local and global geographies and understand such issues as human impact on the environment. Plus zombies are fun.
Which grade levels can use it?
It’s designed for grades 4-8. However, schools have found that it works well for high school geography since the curriculum is conceptually deep.
Can this be used as a full course?
ZBL is a full geography course, touching on all the 2012 National Geography Standards. However, this curriculum is ten units, 75 hours of instruction, not enough for a full year. It is ideal for a supplement to a social studies program.
Can it be applied to Common Core needs?
Some of the skills needed for the geography standards can meet some of the ELA literacy standards such as using evidence, nonfiction texts, and text complexity. Additionally, because it utilizes Project-Based Learning, it also delivers personalized learning as well as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking opportunities.
Is ZBL research-based?
The curriculum itself has not yet been research tested. ZBL was designed on the principles of Understanding by Design®, which is a trademarked framework owned by ASCD that is currently not research-based. A whitepaper is available here:
Additionally, ZBL utilizes the framework for Project-Based Learning, which offers “forty years of accumulated evidence that the instructional strategies and procedures that make up standards-focused Project Based Learning are effective in building deep content understanding, raising academic achievement and encouraging student motivation to learn”, according to the Buck Institute for Education (BIE).
Why should I purchase the graphic novel/comic book?
The graphic novel pushes the textbook out of the classroom. It is designed to engage the students both inside and outside the classroom, while also providing a parallel narrative to the different stages of the zombie outbreak listed above. Please note: this graphic novel is age-appropriate. Unlike other zombie programs, this is not driven by fright or shock. This is not a thrill movie winding the audience up for something to jump out of the dark. The excitement is based on having to face choices in a complicated scenario. The attraction is to take a popular narrative situation and be able to apply your own thinking and make your own calculated decisions.
There are plans for additional issues of the Dead Reckon graphic novel to complete the storyline.
What if zombies are too scary for my students?
The zombies are only shown in the Dead Reckon graphic novel. Please note: this graphic novel is age-appropriate. Unlike other zombie programs, it is not driven by fright or shock.
The ZBL narrative is appropriate for students because it was designed with students in mind. There is no gore, no guts, and only stylized illustrations of blood-stained zombies to allow the reader to distinguish between the humans and zombies. Blood and guts are not what engages students. A rich story, complex scenario, and interactive adventure is what will hook readers.
Can I purchase printed copies of Dead Reckon?
Print copies of Dead Reckon #1 are available from Amazon: http://amzn.com/1494930188