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Exploring Our Past
Summary
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Subject: English/History

Grade Level: 11

High School students are challenged to explore and research Revolutionary War soldiers buried within our county. During the project, student groups will research and write fact-based reports and multimedia presentations about the soldiers, the era in which they lived, and the effects of war in general. Their challenge is to create web sites with images and fictionalized stories, letters, journals and accounts of these soldiers based on collaboration with experts, interviews with local historians, research through on-line museums and schools, and interviews with local veterans. These fictionalized stories of war and its effects will be posted on the Internet along with photographs and art relating to their report.

Learner Description/Environment:

Time Frame:

Students will work on this project over a period of 16 weeks and spend at least one class period and two study hall/media periods researching and developing their project each week.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Students demonstrate understanding of our local connection to the Revolutionary War by collecting and interpreting data to create web pages on local veterans and effects of war.
  2. Students interview veterans not only in our community but throughout the world to interpret and analyze perspectives of veteran soldiers.
  3. Students interview people (both young and old) who have been affected by war in our community and throughout the world to interpret and analyze their perspectives.
  4. Students research, collaborate, and communicate locally and via the Internet to collect information and explore the backgrounds of their chosen soldier and information significant to the soldier they have selected.
  5. Students construct grammatically correct reports on their chosen topics.
  6. Students utilize technology to:
    a- collaborate with experts via the Internet (e-mail, chat software)
    b- digitize artifacts (scan, take pictures, create object movies, panoramas) for a virtual scrapbook
    c- apply knowledge of web design to create well designed, error-free web pages.

Structure of the Learning

Content:

Students research the local Revolutionary War veterans and write fact-based stories by communicating and collaborating with descendants, museums, experts, and schools in areas where these soldiers lived and fought.


Our county has 19 Revolutionary War soldiers buried here. Instead of learning about the Revolutionary War as a distant event through a textbook, students have the opportunity to bring that era to life. The project will be introduced to students after they view a portion of Ken Burns Civil War video, which used letters, stories, and still photographs to bring that war to "life." Our local Historical Society is creating their own web sites and students will be given the challenge to bring these Revolutionary soldiers' stories to life and to share their work by linking their final products to that web site. Their projects may be used as part of an exhibit at the historical society and at the public library.

Process:

Students will make their own decisions on this project. They will divide into groups based on their questions. They will be responsible for choosing their roles within their groups, creating a group contract agreement, and choosing their own direction. Students may use e-mail, bulletin boards, and chat software to locate and collaborate with schools, museums, and experts.

Product:

Students create a web site with their research, links, and graphic images which will be included in the site of the Greene County Historical Society and will be linked from the school district web site.

Best Use of Technology:

Assessment:

Project Evaluation:

Alignment with Illinois State Goals:
English Language Arts

1.C.4c
Interpret, evaluate and apply information from a variety of sources to other situations.
3.A.4 Use standard English to edit documents for clarity, subject/verb agreement, adverb and adjective agreement and verb tense; proofread for spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and ensure that documents are formatted in final form for submission and/or publication.
3.B.4a Produce documents that exhibit a range of writing techniques appropriate to purpose and audience, with clarity of focus, logic of organization, appropriate elaboration and support and overall coherence.
3.C.4b Using available technology, produce compositions and multimedia works for specified audiences.
4.A.4a Apply listening skills as individuals and members of a group in a variety of settings.
4.B.4b Use group discussion skills to assume leadership and participant roles within an assigned project or to reach a group goal.
5.A.4b Design and present a project using various formats from multiple sources.
5.B.4b Use multiple sources and multiple formats; cite according to standard style manuals.
5.C.4b Produce oral presentations and written documents using supportive research and incorporating contemporary technology.

 Social Science

16.A.4a
Analyze and report historical events to determine cause-and-effect relationships.

16.A.5a
Analyze historical and contemporary developments using methods of historical inquiry (pose questions, collect and analyze data, make and support inferences with evidence, report findings.)

 
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Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation. Clip Art from Kid's Domain. See our Site Map.
 
Author(s): Jim Caldwell, Jan Jungk
School: Carrollton High School, Carrollton, Illinois
Created: March 10, 1999 - Updated: May 3, 1999
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w99/projects/chswar/present.html
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