Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects


Project Summary


Student Pages



Subject/Content Area: World Cultures/Social Studies

Target Audience: Freshman, 9th grade. The students are our lowest functioning group that is not labeled with a special education designation. The students are following a program that falls within the curriculum parameters associated with the World Cultures course of study. This is an entry level course and is a state requirement for graduation in Illinois.

Project Goals: This project will likely cover a two-to-three week unit related to the African continent. The overall purpose of this project is to enable the students to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world as indicated in the executive summary of the Curriculum Standards of the National Council for the Social Studies. This project will illustrate the importance of water as a resource and as an instrument of change in an interdependent world.

Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  1. analyze and explain the ways groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns.
  2. predict how data and experiences MAY be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.
  3. compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental and social change.
  4. construct reasoned judgements about specific cultural responses to persistent human issues.
  5. develop a sense of citizenship regarding the importance of civic issues such as health care, crime, foreign poilcy, and personal involvement.

Alignment with National Standards and State Goals: Since we live in a democratic society, it is of the utmost importance to produce as well-educated citizens as is possible. Accordingly, this project adheres closely to the following Ten Thematic Strands in Social Studies of the National Council for the Social Studies:

I. Culture

II. Time, Continuity, and Change

III. People, Places, and Environment

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

VI. Power, Authority, and Governance

VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption

VIII. Science, Technology, and Society

IX. Global Connections

X. Civic Ideals and Practices


Assessment will follow several methodologies:

  1. Know/Need to Know Boards
  2. Concept Maps
  3. Performance Assessment
  4. Thinking logs

Authors: Bill Meder, Gary Fryrear, and Shelly Peretz, Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois.
Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab. Funded by the Midwest Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education based at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Created: July 1, 1996 - Updated: July 24, 1996