Throughout the year, we have been using a thematic approach to study American history. For your cumulative project (which will replace a cumulative exam), you will choose an area of focus and explore the shifts in that area from the colonial period to the present. Below are a list of potential topics, some of which may need to be narrowed. Feel free to suggest an additional topic if you’d like to work on something that is not listed. Your topic selection is due by Monday, January 10.
Race relations/Civil Rights
Role of women/men in society
Role of athletes/athletics
The arts in public life (music, visual arts, dance, film)
Role and rights of children
Freedom of speech/press
Religion in public life
After you’ve done some exploratory reading and research about your topic, you will complete the following five aspects of the project. Unless noted, all components are due at the beginning of class on date listed. Further details about each component and checklists/rubrics will be emailed to you or posted to the blog in the coming weeks.
1. Create a timeline with important events in your area of focus. You must choose at least 10 events to illustrate your area of focus. In addition to a photograph, you need to include a 2-3 sentence description for each event. Embed your timeline in the class blog. Due Friday, January 21st. 50 points
2. Select an article appearing in a major newspaper in the last year related to the shift you’re studying. Post a comment (of similar length to comments for our blog discussions) in the comment section on the news site connecting the article to the past you’ve been studying. Submit a link to the story. Due Monday, January 24th 25 points
3. Set up and conduct an interview with an expert (someone who experienced the shift in your area of focus or someone who studies it) in the area you have chosen. Prior to the interview you must submit a list of 8-10 questions for your interview. (You will not be limited to these questions.) After the interview, submit either a recording or your detailed notes. Interview must be completed by Monday, January 31st. 25 points
4. Write a 1,750-2,000 word paper chronicling the history of the shift and predicting what developments there will be in the area in the next 20-30 years. You should incorporate information gleaned from the interview & current events article in your paper. Sources for your paper must include at least 3 primary sources and 1 journal article or scholarly text, in addition to other secondary sources. Rough draft due Friday, February 4th. Final draft due Friday, February 18th. 100 points
5. Lead a lesson for the class about the shift. You will be responsible for selecting prep materials (reading, video, audio, etc) and creating a blog post with this information for your classmates. Your post should include a prompt for discussion. This post should be similar in length and form to the prep assignments we have had in the course so far. Your lesson plan and prep post are due Monday, February 7th at 12:30pm. We will schedule the actual teaching for classes in February and March. (We will meet during our assigned exam block from 10-11am for one person to teach his/her lesson.) 100 points