Sports Casting History – #1
Due January 15
Imagine being a sportscaster, reporting live, based on images being streamed to you from a GoPro camera on Paul Revere’s hat? Fun, right? What if you were there at Washington’s re-crossing of the Delaware? Or a sportscasting fly-on- the-wall as Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase? Or in the room when Benedict’s Arnold was confronted at West Point for being a traitor?
In this Challenge, your team must pick a key moment in US History – one which did not happen in public, like the landing on the moon in 1969 — and create a verbal, play-by-play account of the action, with a broadcaster and color commentator. The final deliverable should include the use of still photos, drawings and/or actual footage (historical recreations, if desired), intercut with shots of the sportscasters.
Sister City Pen Pals – #2
Due February 15
In this challenge, student teams will explore how two people, at the same time in history but on opposite sides of the world, could be so similar…or so very different. Here’s the plan:
- Choose a town or city – your own or one nearby.
- Choose one decade…any time before 1970. Research your town or city during that decade, selecting two events that helped to shape the identity of that town. Then, create a character who lives there.
- NOW, choose a city on the other side of the world: anywhere but in Europe or North America. Using the same decade as above, research two significant events that shaped the future of that city. Then, invent a pen pal from that city.
- Create a video that documents four letters being exchanged between these two characters – along with pictures, cut-outs and knick-knacks (anything that you could put into an envelope) – that describe your chosen events within each city.
Immigration Rap – #3
Due February 15
Immigration. This is a hot political topic; a wrenching personal topic; a global issue; and a cauldron of tragedy and transcendence. In short: it’s a rap.
In this challenge, your team must create a rap about immigration, as informed by information collected in your community. Your team can talk to first, second or third generation immigrants; local politicians; educators or others who have opinions on the immigration debate that is ripping at America’s core. Once you have a cross-section of opinions and experience, coalesce this information into an exploratory rap about this explosive issue.
Bills of Rights/Constitutional Amendments Movie Trailer – #4
Due April 15
The US Bill of Rights and Constitutional Amendments are explosive capsules of text, each of which is informed by hundreds of personalities and stories. This Challenge asks teams to create a movie trailer that tells a story behind the creation of a select Bill of Right, Constitutional Amendment, or a pivotal provision therein. For example, the movie Lincoln is all about the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. But what is the story behind the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment whereby US Senators were allowed to be chosen by popular vote instead of by State Legislatures? Or when did the balance tip in favor of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the legal right to vote?
Pick an amendment (or a part of one), research the tribulations that preceded its passage, and tell us the story in a movie trailer format.
Monopoly Tribute – #5
Due April 15
Monopoly. An amazing game of shrewd economics, strategic thinking, conquering and being conquered (fiscally, that is). This Challenge asks you to re-imagine the facets of Monopoly through the lens of ancient tax and tribute systems. While our model will focus on the tribute systems of Mesoamerica, with reading and exposure of original source materials from that period, you can choose any ancient tax and tribute system. For example, in Monopoly, there are four lanes of real estate, each with increasingly higher real estate values. What are the four levels of real estate in your civilization? How are values established? What is your currency and its “gold standard”? What replaces the value of the four Railroad cards? What does one have to do wrong to be sent ‘to jail’? What is ‘jail’?
The deliverable: an instructional video, with accompanying visuals, explaining the rules of the game and the overarching system of values on which they are based.