Phenomenon Project Based Learning Series: Fame/Celebrity

Phenomenon Based Learning (PhBL) is a multi-disciplinary form of learning that approaches a topic (phenomenon) initially from a bird's eye view. PhBL was developed as a means to address the growing need for learning experiences which encounter and solve real-world issues while being aligned to 21st century skills. The topic or concept is deconstructed into distinct yet interdependent aspects. The learning then spirals full circle to encompass the topic or concept holistically.


We are SO thrilled to share this PhBL concept that emerged from a design team collaboration here in Washington State as we support the opening of Cascade Charter School. Our design team developed multiple concepts for PhBL experiences before involving students and community members in selecting the most relevant concepts and contributing to their continued development for what will become the 9th grade PhBL curriculum.

We hope these concepts will seed some ideas with you!

Phenomenon: Fame/Celebrity

Guiding Question(s):

What is the Cost of Fame?

Is Fame Worth It?

Context Anchors:

Fences-August Wilson

Romeo & Juliet

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

The emergence of the empowered Athlete

Films: Sugar, Whiplash, I Am Malala, He Named Me Malala

Influencers: Meek Mill, John Jay 1st Chief Justice

Ted Talk: What Makes For a Good Life

Women’s World Cup


Biography/Profile piece of someone who used fame for change

Position Paper: Where I stand on fame

Quantitative analysis of celebrities’ satisfaction

Analysis of fame in other places/eras



Speaking/Listening ELA

The brain chemistry of “likes”

Adult World Connections:

Interviews with local well-known community figures