Tue, December 12, 2017

8th Grade Social Studies

Capstone Project

If you are not pursuing AT/WD, students will complete an 8th grade Social Studies capstone project.  This project will explore the themes studied in the 8th grade curriculum and incorporate skills in research and evaluation used over the past two years in Social Studies. This is not a book report on the life of an individual.  If you choose an event, you must establish the history which led up to the event, a detailed description of the actual event, people involved, the outcome and historical aftermath both positive and negative. There must be an appropriate title, thesis statement and conclusion.


Your mission is to research like a real historian –

  • formulate questions, collect evidence, evaluate the evidence and draw conclusions
  • apply it to the theme
  • create a project


A successful project will include many pieces of evidence to support your thesis.


The topic must support one of these themes:

§  Got Rights? (Constitution, Bill of Rights, Landmark Supreme Court Cases)

§  Hero versus Villains (Individuals in History)

§  Growing Pains (An Expanding Nation, Civil War)

§  Against all Odds (Slavery, Native Americans, Immigration, Human Rights)


Your project MUST answer the following student inquiry questions:

Each response must be one 6-8 sentence paragraph.


  1. What was the historical background on the topic? Explain the following…
    • What happened
    • Who was involved
    • When
    • Where did it occur


  1. Why was your topic important to the historical time period? Does the project show…

· An understanding of the importance of the topic? 

· Why is it important that I learn this?


  1. How did your topic influence the ESP+G factors of the nation at the time and/or today? 
    • Identify the Historical Footprint
    • Your topic MUST reflect at least one example for each factor.


  1. How does your project reflect, connect and relate to the selected theme?
    • Identify evidence that relates to the theme.


Consider these factors while composing your project:

· Does this project reflect historical accuracy through a wide range of research including the analysis of primary documents and resources?

    • Does the project use creativity and originality to get your point across?
    • What makes your project unique? 


You may choose the type of project from the list below, which supports the independent inquiry responses:


Each project MUST include 8 pieces of evidence to prove your topic’s relation to the theme. All evidence must represent the time period of your topic. Each piece of evidence should include a 1 paragraph written explanation that provides a description of the item and proves your topics relation to the theme. Use the NARA Analysis Worksheets as a guide in writing your explanations.




Examples of evidence:


· Maps

· Photographs

· Written Documents

· Sound Recordings

· Political Cartoons

· Artifacts


Time capsule


A time capsule is a container that holds artifacts of the past used to communicate with the future. Time capsules can be considered a “treasure chest of history,” where the items you choose represent evidence of the past.  Each piece of evidence should include a 1 paragraph written explanation that provides a description of the item and proves your topics relation to the theme.


Performance – Individual or group (no more than 4)


A performance is a dramatic portrayal of your topic.  Performances may not exceed 10 minutes in length.  Timing starts at the beginning of the performance following the announcement of the title, thesis statement, and the students’ names.  You may use props and costumes and you must memorize your script.  You will be allowed 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to remove your props.  The performance may be presented in the classroom or on video.  *Keep in mind that you MUST include the 8 pieces of evidence in your performance.


Documentary/Podcast – (1 or 2 students)


A documentary should reflect your ability to use audiovisual equipment to communicate your topic.  The documentary category will help you develop skills in using photographs, films, video, audiotapes, and graphic presentations.  Your presentation should include primary materials but must also be an original production.  This video MUST be between 8-10 minutes. *Keep in mind that you MUST include the 8 pieces of evidence in your Documentary/Podcast.


PowerPoint or Website


You need a title slide, thesis statement slide and conclusion slide.  Use graphs, charts, maps, diagrams to display your information.  You should also insert video, photos, sound, or animation.  Any sounds should be relative to the topic.  Captions must be in your own words.  Do not copy or paste words.  Graphics may be copied as long as you cite the source.  You can not have more than 500 of your own words in the presentation.  All information must focus on your thesis statement. *Keep in mind that you MUST include the 8 pieces of evidence in your PowerPoint/Website.


Important things to keep in mind…

  • You must have an annotated bibliography
  • You cannot plagiarize – all evidence used must be cited correctly
  • Be neat and organized – the project should have a logical flow.
  • Make it creative and interesting
  • All pieces of evidence must be evaluated using the NARA Analysis Worksheets



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