Apply What You Have Learned

American Heroes Activity

This activity is designed to incorporate the tutorials, as well as your researching skills, so that you can display to your teachers that you understand how to use the SRC database.  You will be creating a "trading card" that displays the information you have learned and researched.  The trading card will be your chance to persuade everyone, including your teacher and your classmates, that the person you chose is an American hero.  You will have to decide what qualities and actions make a person a hero and who your hero will be.  It's up to you to decide!

What to do:

  1. Research someone who you think has been a hero for helping shape America's history using the SRC database.  (Don't forget you can save articles and information you find into a folder!  You can even name the folder "American Heroes"!)
  2. Once you find enough information, use Microsoft Publisher (or any program like it) to create your trading card.
  3. Include the following on your trading card:
    1. An image or photo of your American hero
    2. At least five (5) "life" facts - these facts should be about the person's life; for example, birth/death dates, childhood, family, hometown, etc.
    3. At least five (5) "hero" facts - these facts should be about what makes the person an American hero; for example, George Washington became the first president of the U. S. paving the way for future presidents.
    4. Design that is colorful and creative
    5. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation
    6. A works cited page with at least five articles AND the information for the picture you used
 

Tips for Researching on SRC:

  • Don't forget to sign in!  Before you begin your research, make sure you have watched the tutorials on the website!  This will aid you in your research.  You will be able to sign in and save all your information into a folder.  You can also create your works cited page much faster by following the steps in the tutorial!
  • Keyword Search.  If you are not sure who to pick, you can begin your research by doing a basic keyword search.  In the "Find" box, you can type in any word to search.  You might try:  American hero, president, founding father, inventor, etc.  You could even type in a certain time period such as:  American Revolution, Civil War, Reconstruction, etc.  From this point, you can always narrow your search results by choosing a category on the left hand side of the screen.  You can also filter your search results and choose to view only biographies.  This would be a good starting point!  (See the screenshot below for help on narrowing and filtering your search results!)
 

(In the screenshot above, the red box is where you narrow your results.  The yellow box is the area where you filter your results.  For this search, I will click on "Biographies" to search for information about a specific person from the Reconstruction time period.)

 
 
(As you can see from the screenshot above, I clicked on both the "Biographies" choice, as well as the "Reconstruction Time Period of 1865 - 1877" to filter and narrow my search results.  As you can see in the purple box, by refining my search this way I received only five results to sort through instead of 40,451 in the first search!)
 
  • Topic Search.  If you want, try a topic search instead.  Click "History" from the Search by Topic box, then click the box next to American History.  After you have done these steps, go back and enter a keyword to search.  By completing these steps before you enter your keyword, the database will automatically narrow your results to American History items only.
 

 

How will you be graded?

I have designed the rubric to be two-fold.  By this I mean that you will receive half of your points by following directions and including all the requirements.  You will receive the other half of your points based on an evaluation of your trading card and the knowledge you display.  Make sure to check out the rubric below and follow it while creating your trading card, so that you will get the best grade possible!
 
 

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Picture/Image No Picture/Image           Image/Picture on Trading Card
5 "Life" Facts 0 "Life" Facts Included 1 "Life" Fact Included 2 "Life" Facts Included    3 "Life" Facts Included   4 "Life" Facts Included  5 or more "Life" Facts Included 
5 "Hero" Facts 0 "Hero" Facts Included 1 "Hero" Fact Included 2 "Hero" Facts Included 3 "Hero" Facts Included 4 "Hero" Facts Included 5 or more "Hero" Facts Included
Color and Creativity No Color or Creativity Present     Somewhat Colored and Creative   Colored and Creative
 
 
 

 0

 1

 2

 3

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 5

"Life" Content None of the "Life" Facts are Relevant/Displays Knowledge of Person 1 "Life" Fact is Relevant 2 "Life" Facts are Relevant 3 "Life" Facts are Relevant  4 "Life" Facts are Relevant 5 or more "Life" Facts are Relevant/Displays Knowledge of Person
"Hero" Content None of the "Hero" Facts are Relevant/Displays Knowledge of Person 1 "Hero" Fact is Relevant 2 "Hero" Facts are Relevant 3 "Hero" Facts are Relevant 4 "Hero" Facts are Relevant 5 or more "Hero" Facts are Relevant/Displays Knowledge of Person
Mechanical Errors
+20 Mechanical Errors 16-20 Mechanical Errors 11-15 Mechanical Errors 6-10 Mechanical Errors 1-5 Mechanical Errors 0 Mechanical Errors
Works Cited (WC) Page 0 Items Cited; WC Formatting Incorrect 1 Item Cited 2 Items Cited 3 Items Cited; Some WC Formatting Errors 4 Items Cited 5 or more Items Cited; Correct WC Formatting
 

Teacher Notes:

Adaptations/Extension Ideas.  This is just a short list of the many different ways this activity can be adapted or extended. 
1.  If you want to bring out the artistic side of your students, have them create the trading card the traditional way with paper and colored utensils.  They could even draw the picture of their hero, read their facts to the class, and then have the rest of the class guess who the person is! 
2.  Take all of the trading cards and make a book out of them.  Title the book, Our American Heroes.  You can even photo copy the book so each student can have their own copy. 
3.  Trading cards could be made for other classes too.  For example, in English, the students could make a trading card over a character from a book.  In Science, the students could make trading cards on famous scientists.  In Math, the students could make a trading card over a particular symbol or math function.
 
Material List.  This activity is simple in the fact that it does not require anything more than the availability of computers and a printer.  However, if you choose to have the students create the trading cards the traditional way with paper and colored utensils, make sure that you have these items available to the students.
 
Standards.  This activity was created to meet some of Indiana's Academic Standards for an 8th grade American history class.  Some of the standards that this activity will meet include: 
  • 8.1.9 The American Revolution and Founding of the United States of America: 1754 to 1801. Describe the influence of important individuals on social and political developments of the time such as the Independence movement and the framing of the Constitution.
  • 8.1.18 National Expansion and Reform: 1801 to 1861. Analyze different interests and points of view of individuals and groups involved in the abolitionist, feminist and social reform movements, and in sectional conflicts.
  • 8.1.19 National Expansion and Reform: 1801 to 1861. Explain the influence of early individual social reformers and movements.
  • 8.1.21 The Civil War and Reconstruction Period: 1850 to 1877. Describe the importance of key events and individuals in the Civil War.
  • 8.1.24 The Civil War and Reconstruction Period: 1850 to 1877. Identify the influence of individuals on political and social events and movements such as the abolition movement, the Dred Scott case, women rights and Native American Indian removal.
  • 8.1.31 Chronological Thinking, Historical Comprehension, Analysis and Interpretation, Research, and Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making: Obtain historical data from a variety of sources to compare and contrast examples of art, music and literature during the nineteenth century and explain how these reflect American culture during this time period.
  • 8.4.5  Analyze contributions of entrepreneurs and inventors in the development of the United States economy. 

**To see a complete list of standards, visit Indiana's Department of Education website at http://dc.doe.in.gov/Standards/AcademicStandards/index.shtml.**

 
 

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Kimberly Porter,
Mar 4, 2010, 8:33 AM
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Kimberly Porter,
Mar 2, 2010, 1:42 PM
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Kimberly Porter,
Mar 4, 2010, 9:23 AM