participates in 20th Century project
"History is on every occasion the record of that which one age finds worthy of note in another." - Burckhardt
By Melissa Brown
| ith the 20th century now over, many people reflect on the
events that touched our lives. The invention of the automobile, space travel, and
the Internet are just a few of the events that have stayed in the memories of
those who lived through them. This month, Kidspeak spoke with Jordan, a sixth
grade student who participated in the 20th Century Project, one designed to teach
students about important events in American history.
he project was designed by Scott Habegger, Angie Fuller,
and Steve Clark, three social studies teachers who decided they wanted
their students to realize the importance of events, such as the assasination
of JFK, in a way that textbooks alone could not convey. They decided to
create a U.S. history project that challenged their students to dig deeper
into these events to find out the true impact they had on our nation.
| ordan's interviewees chose several memorable events. Some
of the events they chose included: the invention of radar and television, the
stock market crash, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the space program, and the
After the three interviews, students brought the interview forms back to school and wrote the events on sticky notes to post around the room. A timeline was then created divided by decades. "The teachers assigned [the topics] from there. And then we started researching our topics and we got these research packets and started filling them out," said Jordan.
| During his research, he learned a great deal about what the
bombing meant to our country and that it was the reason that the United States
joined World War II.
|| ach student took one topic.
Jordan was assigned to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a topic chosen by his
grandfather as a memorable event in his life. Each student then received
packet to help guide them in their research. Teachers tried to assign
each student to one of the topics mentioned in their interviews so that
students could conduct a follow-up interview as one of their resources.
Jordan found that there was a lot of information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in books. Other students found the Internet to be a great source of information. During his research, he learned a great deal about what the bombing meant to our country and that it was the reason that the United States joined World War II. He learned about one theory that even suggested that President Roosevelt may have known that the bombing was going to take place and did nothing to stop it, so that the U.S. would be angry enough to want to join the war.
nce he completed
his research, Jordan began to work on the list
of tasks to finish the project. Jordan told us about some of these
tasks, "We started to write our paper, it had to be two pages long. Then
we started drawing pictures that represented our projects. Then we did
a hyperstudio project. It's a computer program. We chose our buttons and
sounds and everything and put the information in there."
| Jordan said that this method of learning about history was
better than learning from a lecture.
|| ordan also had to complete
a physical representation of Pearl Harbor. "We had to make this project over it.
I made for Pearl Harbor this map where all the ships were on the exact dates,"
said Jordan. The 3-D map showed the location of all the ships in the harbor the
day of the bombing, including those that were sunk. Jordan created ships out of
rubber craft pieces and positioned them on a harbor made of craft board. He chose
this project because it represented what he learned most during his research: the
extent of the destruction from the bombing.
Jordan said that this method of learning about history was better than learning from a lecture. He learned a lot about the 20th Century during this project. Students presented their projects to the class and then the class had to answer one question about each event after viewing the presentations. There were 47 students in the class, allowing them to cover many important events in history.
ll of the students'
hard work and research culminated in 20th Century Night. On this night, parents
and community members viewed the students' projects and presentations. More than
300 community members attended the event. On 20th Century Night, the projects
were set up to follow the timeline of history. "We started off with Theodore
Roosevelt, that was like in 1900. We went all the way to the biography of Bill
Clinton" said Jordan.