OurSpace: a Collaborative Social Studies Workshop

Students' Works In Progress

About:

OurSpace is a Collaborative Social Studies Workshop space. Our goal is to create a place for students to build a collaborative knowledge base for our seventh and eighth grade social studies class. We have been inspired by and borrowed ideas from a wide variety of sources. Two of our most important sources are: a) the work of Bereiter and Scardamalia on knowledge building and b) the Writer's Workshop described most eloquently by Lucy Calkins. As we develop this space, we will explore the use of a wide range of tools including: Google Docs, concept maps, wiki entries, a range of class-created databases, podcasts, blogs, Moodle, and more.

Projects can be any size. Some might take less than a class period. Some might take a whole marking period. You can pick any topic related to our overall units of study. You can pick whatever resources you can find to learn about it. You can share what you have learned in a wide variety of ways. Below are some of your options, but don’t feel limited by them. If you have an idea different from what you see, propose it and maybe we can make it work. The time period is 1780-1870

Possible Resources:

General Types
Specific Examples
  • Primary Sources (Documents, letters, maps, etc.)
  • DVD’s from the public library
  • Downloaded content from the iTunes store on your own iPod
  • Podcasts
  • Web pages
  • Library book (non-fiction or fiction)
  • Hakim Books
  • Poems / Songs
  • Audio book
  • Experts interview by phone or email
  • Museum Visit
  • TV Shows (watched at home)
  • Online Databases
  • Magazines, Journals, Etc.
  • Etc., Etc. Etc.!
  • Related Youtube videos.


Possible Products:

General Types
Specific Examples
  • Song
  • Wiki pages
  • Blog posts
  • Audio podcasts
  • Videos or Slide shows
  • Flash Quiz
  • Animation
  • Political Cartoons, Comic strips, or graphic novels
  • Photo-essay
  • Maps
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Trading Cards
  • Letterman style Top 10
  • Colbert style Word of The Day
  • Primary source examination
  • Database of Quotes
  • Green Screen Role Playing or On Location
  • Etc., Etc. Etc.!


Workshop Notes Page:

Each workshop topic should get its own wiki page. On this page you (or you and your partner) need to include sections for:
  • Guiding questions - Use the Question Types document for question starters if you need ideas. Feel free to add, delete or modify questions as you learn more.
    • Related notes - As you find information related to your questions, post notes in bullet form underneath the question. Feel free to link to photos, maps, etc. that help explain.
  • Search terms, tags - What terms did you (or could you) use to search for websites with information about your topic. If the term should be put in as a phrase, please mark the phrase with quotes.
  • Preliminary sources - What sources did you start with? (Websites, books, videos, etc.)
  • Resources Used - Which resources did you get your notes from?
  • Reflection/Documentation reports - This should just be a link to your Workshop Journal
  • Project proposal - When you have answered your questions, how will you teach the rest of the class some of what you have learned? Remember, whatever format you choose, the end result needs to be accessible through the wiki.
    • Link to final project
  • Relevance to today or their lives - This section may actually be included in your project as well, but you also need to post bullet notes that explain the relevance of your topic to life today or to your life in particular. (If you struggle with this, ask yourself why should anyone bother learning about this topic today.)
  • Hyperlinks to related wiki pages - These should ideally be in your notes above, but if there are related topics not in your notes, post links to those topics' wiki pages here.


Sample Project Ideas:

  • Watch the movie Johnny Tremain and write a movie review that focuses on its historical accuracy
  • Read a biography about Sojourner Truth and create a graphic timeline highlighting the important and/or interesting events.
  • Research an important historical event and create a 60 second This Day in History podcast episode.
  • Create a political cartoon that might have appeared in an anti-federalist newspaper.
  • Draw two maps that compare the period before the Indian Removal Act and afterward.
  • Create a Venn Diagram or Comparison Chart that compares to American and French Revolutions.
  • Research myths or mythconceptions (Paul Revere’s Ride, Washington’s Wooden Teeth, etc.) in American History and create a American History MythBusters podcast.
  • Create an animation showing the growth of the United States from 13 States up to the Civil War


Possible Topics:

  • The African American Experience
    • Slave Revolts
    • Amistad Mutiny
    • Amazing Grace
    • Abolition
      • The North Star - Abolition Movement Newspaper
      • William Lloyd Garrison
    • Black Codes & Jim Crow
    • Enforcement Acts
    • Civil Rights Act of 1866
    • Civil Rights Act of 1875
    • Dred Scott Decision
    • Fugitive Slave Law
    • Underground Railroad
    • Underground Railroad in Michigan
    • Maria Stewart's Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall in Boston - http://vimeo.com/1365587
    • Reconstruction Acts
    • Emancipation Proclamation
    • 13th Amendment
    • 14th Amendment
      • Literacy Tests
    • 15th Amendment
    • Freedmen's Bureau
    • Gerrymander
    • Plessy v. Ferguson
      • John Marshall Harlan
    • Exoduster Movement
    • Sharecropping
    • Sojourner Truth or Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" - http://vimeo.com/1275136 or http://vimeo.com/1251809
    • Harriet Tubman
    • Frederick Douglass or Frederick Douglass, "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" - http://vimeo.com/1303907 or http://vimeo.com/1275332
    • Nat Turner
    • Benjamin Banneker - Letter to Thomas Jefferson

  • Art & Literature
    • Leatherstocking Tales
    • Audubon
    • Hudson River School (Art)
    • George Caitlin
    • Mark Twain
    • Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy In America
    • Uncle Tom's Cabin
    • Washington Irving
      • Rip Van Winkle
      • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    • The Last of the Mohicans
    • The Song of Hiawatha
    • Henry Thoreau - Civil Disobedience


  • Business & Trade
    • B&O Railroad
    • Fur Trade
      • Mountain Men
      • Kit Carson
      • John Jacob Astor (Michigan Connection)
    • Corporate Espionage
    • Second National Bank
    • Industrialization

  • Events
    • War of 1812
    • Comstocke Lode
  • Politics
    • XYZ Affair
    • Monroe Doctrine
    • Whig Political Party
    • Republican Party
    • Flour Riot in New York
    • Missouri Compromise
    • California Gold Rush
    • Lincoln Douglas Debates
    • Political Cartoons
    • Whiskey Rebellion
    • Nullification Crisis
    • Women's Suffrage
      • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
      • Susan B Anthony
      • Seneca Falls Convention
    • Bleeding Kansas & Kansas Nebraska Act

  • Expansion & Settlement
    • Oklahoma Land Rush
    • Louisiana Purchase
    • Western Trails
      • Oregon Trail
      • Santa Fe Trail
      • Oregon Trail - How could you make the game more historically accurate?
      • Mormons & Mormon Trail & Mormon Pioneers
    • Orphan Train(s)

  • Native American Experience
    • Sequoyah
    • Indian Removal Act
    • Trail of Tears
    • Geronimo
    • Seminole Wars
    • Tecumseh or Tecumseh's Speech to the Osages - http://vimeo.com/1303600
    • Black Hawk War & Black Hawk's Surrender Speech
    • Tecumseh
    • Battle of Tippecanoe
  • Supreme Court
    • Marbury v. Madison
    • Plessy v. Ferguson

  • Other People
    • Lewis and Clark
    • Sacagawea
    • Johnny Appleseed
    • Mill Girls - Lowell Mills
    • John Brown's Holy War or John Brown's Raid or John Brown's Last Speech - http://vimeo.com/1275249
    • Davey Crockett
    • P.T. Barnum
    • Lumber Barons - Michigan
    • "Uncle Sam"

  • Science & Technology
    • Cotton Gin
    • Steam Engine
    • Steam Boats
    • Steam locamotive
    • Clipper Ships
    • Mississippi Paddle Boats
    • Iron Clad Boats - Civil War
    • Turnpikes, Canals, and Railroads
      • Erie Canal
      • Transcontinental Railroad
    • Streetlights
    • Conestoga Wagons
    • Tom Thumb
    • Telegraph
    • Soda Fountain
    • McCormick Reaper
    • Sewing Machine (Hunt)
    • Colt Revolver
    • Steel Plow (Deere)

To Organize:
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Letters (after their presidencies)
  • Star Spangled Banner
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Federal Banking System - Our current financial crisis isn't the first
  • Transcendentalist movement
  • Civil Disobedience (connect to Gandhi and Martin Luther King)
  • Public School Movement
    • Horace Mann
    • McGuffey Readers
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Battle of Tippecanoe
  • Transcendentalism
  • Delmonico's Restaurant
  • Hamilton and Burr Duel
  • Noah Webster's Dictionary
  • Library of Congress
  • Haiti - Revolution and Toussaint
we could make a vieo news report on a new topic-brendan doll

Teacher Resources