For their final social studies projects, the Yavneh Academy eighth-grade students picked their own research topics. They selected an event of interest that occurred from the time period of the Civil War through the 1960s. After selecting their topics, the students generated research questions which guided their projects. Working in pairs, they examined a variety of sources and then collaboratively created illustrated Google slide presentations of their research.
A variety of digital and physical projects were generated highlighting different aspects of their research. Students created digital escape rooms, fine art pieces, mock social media accounts for historical figures, music videos and board games. The students enjoyed teaching one another about a topic on which they had become experts. The research and writing skills that were developed in their eighth-grade English classes were incorporated throughout the process.
Research topics included life for women in the 1920s; Jim Crow laws; major Supreme Court cases related to topics we learned this year; America’s first great businessmen; the Great Depression; the United States’ involvement in World War I; the rise of journalism and mass culture; Prohibition and progressive era presidents. In addition, students gained a deeper understanding of an event that had piqued their interest during the year.
The students said they truly enjoyed their peers’ presentations.