My session focuses on the process for developing good, rigorous projects for history classrooms, as well as a sharing of ideas for good projects. Please add ideas for more projects below.

Prezi: Making History Matter
Sample Projects

Stephen Lazar
The Bronx Lab School


Projects in History - Making History Matter

  • think of you best learning experience - how do we bring those sorts of deep learning experiences to students through rich activities?
  • start w/UBD principles....if truly going after enduring understandings, need PBL/PBA
  • engaged, assesses most important stuff, solves plagiarism issues, leads to better test scores
  • 3 steps to project planning (see prezi); GRASPS (see prezi); Bach Institutes checklist (see prezi)
  • common roles for groups - facilitators, managers, challengers, note-takers
  • ideas for projects from session group:
  • for individuals: see prezi + fake facebooks; trading cards; interviews; meeting of the minds; dinner party script or presentation; bio glogs in tandem w/inaug. addresses
  • for time periods: see prezi + imovie w/narration (a la Ken Burns); re-enactments, role-play, tea parties; living museum; place-based projects like making walking tour plans; progressive era - lobby Congress (the class)
  • for tragedies: see prezi + some similar to individuals (diaries, looking at pictures and telling first-person accounts; re-create stories of real things around you)...hard category?
  • for conflicts: see prezi + conflict resolution activities; debates; Choices curriculum materials; switch sides in the middle
  • for turning points: (see prezi, we skipped it a bit in conversation)
  • for coverage: (what do we do for the times when, due to testing and other evils, we have to "cover" information?) - see prezi + research-then-present, jeopardy
  • for all: youth participatory action research (YPAR) projects

  • final conversation - possible barriers and possible solutions
  • opportunities for differentiation? group composition, materials, products
  • choosing the important content/what do you throw out? curriculum mapping, study any state tests you have to use and "beat" them, plan w/colleagues
  • timing? use of time? taking too long? experiment/trial-and-error, re-plan later, have benchmarks/checkpoints or progress reports for groups
  • resistance from colleagues? open discussion about the failures and not giving up, having common project-implementation philosophies
  • "failures" can be mitigated by facilitating, checking-in - not just, "here's the project and good luck"
  • always de-brief and post-mortem after the project is done
  • have your CYA - research, standards that "legitimize" what you're doing when people challenge you