Description of the Project
This collaborative group project will prepare students to take the College Board national exam in May. Each group is assigned one of the six units we study during the course of three terms. They will post their part of the review project on Google sites and it will be made available to their classmates. I have done this project in a different (hard copy) format in the past and did some experimenting this year with Google sites. This spring, I changed the assignment to make it a collaborative project and updated parts of the assignments to be more appealing to our “digital natives.”
Additionally, I added a cohort evaluation piece located here. Each student will be responsible for assessing and giving feedback about another student’s project. This will be figured into each student’s final grade (please refer to rubric at the end of the project description).
MDE Standards: Social Studies
Historical Thinking Skills
Standard: 2. Historical inquiry is a process in which multiple sources and different kinds of historical evidence are analyzed to draw conclusions about how and why things happened in the past.
Benchmark: 126.96.36.199.2 Pose questions about topics in history; suggest possible answers and write a thesis; locate and organize primary and secondary sources; analyze them for credibility and bias; corroborate information across the sources; use sources to support or refute the thesis; and present supported findings.
Standard: 6. Environmental changes and human adaptation enabled human migration from Africa to other regions of the world. (The Beginnings of Human History: 200,000—8000 BCE)
Benchmark: 188.8.131.52.1 Develop a timeline that traces the migration of the earliest humans from Africa to other world regions, including the Americas; analyze the environmental factors that enabled their migration to other world regions and the ways in which they adapted to different environments. (The Beginnings of Human History: 200,000—8000 BCE)
Standard 7. The emergence of domestication and agriculture facilitated the development of complex societies and caused far-reaching social and cultural effects. (Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples: 8000 BCE—2000 BCE)
Benchmark: 184.108.40.206.1. Locate on a map and describe when and how humans began to domesticate wild plants and animals and develop agricultural societies. (Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples: 8000 BCE—2000 BCE)
Standard: 8. The development of interregional systems of communication and trade facilitated new forms of social organization and new belief systems. (Classical Traditions, Belief Systems and Giant Empires: 2000 BCE—600 CE)
Describe the development, characteristics, and decline of civilizations in Africa, eastern Asia, and southern Asia; describe their interactions. (Classical Traditions, Belief Systems, and Giant Empires: 2000 BCE—600 CE)
For example: African civilizations—Kush, Aksum. East Asian civilizations—Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han. South Asian civilizations—Indo-Aryan, Mauryan, Gupta.
Standard: 9. Hemispheric networks intensified as a result of innovations in agriculture, trade across longer distances, the consolidation of belief systems, and the development of new multi- ethnic empires, while diseases and climate change caused sharp, periodic fluctuations in global population. (Post-Classical and Medieval Civilizations and Expanding Zones of Exchange: 600—1450)
Benchmark: 220.127.116.11.1.Describe the rise and significance of Islam in Southwest Asia and its expansion and institutionalization into other regions. (Post- Classical and Medieval Civilizations and Expanding Zones of Exchange: 600—1450)
Standard: 10. New connections between the hemispheres resulted in the “Columbian Exchange,” new sources and forms of knowledge, development of the first truly global economy, intensification of coerced labor, increasingly complex societies, and shifts in the international balance of power. (Emergence of the First Global Age: 1450— 1750)
Benchmark: 18.104.22.168.1. Describe the Reformation and Counter- Reformation; analyze their impact throughout the Atlantic world. (Emergence of the First Global Age: 1450—1750)
Benchmark: 22.214.171.124.2 Explain the social, political and economic changes in Europe that led to trans-oceanic exploration and colonization. (Emergence of the First Global Age: 1450—1750)
For example: Maritime technology, Reconquista.
Standard: 11. Industrialization ushered in wide-spread population growth and migration, new colonial empires and revolutionary ideas about government and political power. (The Age of Revolutions: 1750—1922)
Benchmark: 126.96.36.199.1. Describe the causes and the regional and global impact of the Industrial Revolution. (The Age of Revolutions: 1750—1922)
For example: Causes—development of new sources of energy/ power, Enclosure Act, Agricultural Revolution. Impact—Emancipation of serfs in Russia, unionized labor, rise of banking, growth of middle class.
Authenticity of the Assessment
I believe this assignment is authentic because its purpose is to prepare students to take a high-stakes national exam---a real world problem they must grapple with in order to earn college credit. Additionally, they must work collaboratively with their classmates in order to complete this complex project. They must decipher between reliable and unreliable information as well as add visual elements and justifications for the decisions they made with regard to their research. This can be quite a stressful time of year for AP students and a team effort to tackle the exam may help them feel less overwhelmed!
While I have not assigned this project yet (I won’t be able to until next year), I have done a variety of group project this year related to technology. Some “a ha” moments included a realization that, when assigning a more complex assignment, it is very important to teach students project planning skills. Otherwise, they get too overwhelmed and a bit lost. It is also important to continuously remind them about digital citizenship. Kids quickly forget that the Hopkins apps account can be accessed by the district and that the assignments they submit online are public. I also realized I need to do a better job of teaching students how to conduct efficient, reliable research via the web. Too often, their searches are much too general and the list of sites isn’t helpful or they don’t know how to search using a variety of words related to their topic. For example, last week a student was trying to research about the ancient empire of Mali. Instead of searching in the suggested search engines, he went to the world wide web and typed in “Mali.” Unsurprisingly, he had difficulty finding a helpful site. I also learned that it is important to model "tech grit" to students; the ability to stay calm and problem solve when dealing with a technology glitch.
AP students on the 2015 Spring Break trip to Spain and Morocco