Project Description

Project Summary

Essential Questions:

  • How do the actions of individuals impact the historical record?
  • How do systemic changes impact the historical record?
  • How influential can one decision be in the historical landscape?

Inquiry: Working independently:

  • Identify specifically a point in American History in which you are interested in changing the outcome- historical moment must precede 1.1.2000.
  • Read background information on the historical record leading up to the event and immediately following.  In addition, look for recent scholarship on the impact of the event on modern society.
  • Once you have identified your point of divergence, begin to contemplate the most appropriate method for telling the story.  You will be filling out a work contract once you have the details worked out.

Research: Working independently, research the historical record related to your identified point of divergence.

  • Identify three events immediately PRECEDING the point of divergence, then document and evaluate three primary source documents that are related/germane to the those events - this is the portion of the benchmark that is relative to the real historical record.
  • Between the point of divergence and 2011, introduce three new events to the record.
    • Describe each of these new events and create at least TWO unique primary source documents as evidence of the event occurring. Each primary source should be a different kind of resource (journal, newspaper article, speech, photograph, law, bill, court case, cartoon, etc.)
  • Locate current scholarship on the impact of that moment on current life/history.
  • Create a finished project that incorporates the above mentioned items AND the modern ‘reality’ that results due to the change at the point of divergence.
    • The finished product must include references to the 6 events, the new primary source documents and the story of modern America that results from the changes.
  • Remember to weave in the essential questions and your answers to them as the project progresses.

Collaboration: With your colleagues:

  • Workshop your ideas so as to gain insight into the strengths and the weaknesses of your proposition.
  • Brainstorm creative ways of presenting historic information

Presentation: Post projects to with either the information uploaded to or a link posted.

Reflection: You will journal about:
    Your choice of point of divergence
    The process
    The choices made in the evaluation process
    The evolving understanding of the historical record and how individuals and systems create and sustain change.