Final Exam as an Expert Project

This year students have practiced a skill… Historical Thinking, which is reading, researching, and analyzing events in US history through primary sources.)

Students’ task for their exam is to share what they have learned by showing what they believe. “This I believe” is a story they will write showing your ability to put skill into practice. They will choose from US History an event from 1600 – Yesterday (i.e. the past).  They will tell us what they know!

T3 Exam:

Each Individual Student will do a Project: (May 23 – May 31 — Presentations June 3 – 7)

Individual Project: “This I Believe” Video Essay.


  • Monday, May 20 – Wednesday May 22.   (3 days)

  • Thursday, May 23 – Monday, June 3. (That is a total of 11 days…6 class days + 5 days outside class to work)

    • “This I believe” – Digital Essay work.

  • June 3, 4, 6, 7 – Exam Presentations!

Requirements for the Project (the “rubric”)

  1. Topic due to Mr. K by Wednesday, May 23, end of class.

  2. Graphic organizer or Outline of story. This needs to be centered around a topic, event, or person throughout America’s history (1600 – Yesterday… The past!) and then dig deeper and present a story from research.

  3. Write “this I believe” story to be read on finished iMovie. (with pictures, obviously ☺)

  1. Somewhere during the project, they must reference and explain one of the SPEC (Social, Political, Economic, Cultural) items. How has the chosen topic influenced this SPEC topic?

  2. Finished iMovie has story read by the student, pictures and background music on their chosen topic or “This I believe about America.” Maximum length = 5 minutes.

  3. With this assignment being centered around primary sources, the finished project needs at least 5 primary sources properly cited at the end of the video.

  4. All projects must be ready to present on Monday June 3.

This assignment must follow all items listed above, if any items are missing or late for any element, the grade will be a 0! With all elements, the grade will be 100%!

The main question students are asking is, “What should I do for my project?” The easy answer to this is, “figure out what you want to learn more about and do that!” 

***Sample ideas: (These are just ideas! Each student picks their own way of showing their learning and ability to “historically think”)

What topic, event or person, etc. do you want to learn more about and present your findings to us?

Here are some links to help select a topic & to assist in research:

Maybe they answer one of the following questions:

  1. What, after this year in history class, do I believe about America?

  2. How have the units we have studied shaped my belief, opinion about America?

  3. Connect one of the 1600-NOW  US Events we used this year to things that are still going on today. For Example:

World Hunger (Irish Immigration)
War & Conflict (Revolution & War of 1812 & Civil War & Mexican War & 1863 Draft Riots)
Treating Others well & Bullying (To This Day)
Treatment of Native Americans (Pocahontas, King Philip’s War, Indian Removal)
Slavery (Emancipation Proc. & A War to Free the Slaves)
Racism & Discrimination (1863 Draft Riots & Supreme Court Cases)

Student Comments/Ideas:

  • One cool way to describe this project would be to stress the parallels between the history and the real world, today.
  • One student thought about doing racism in the past and paralleling it to bullying today.
  • Another student was thinking about doing a biography about how a certain person shaped America.
  • Yet another was thinking about doing a “to this day” kind of poem paralleling some historical event to world hunger today.

As you can see this is a very broad topic and individualized project. I want students to come away with the fact that everything we have done this year pertaining to “historical thinking” has been the practice leading up to this project, which is “Game Time!”

I am very much looking forward to seeing what they can create. I will be posting their work in a place you can access their creativity, so don’t worry, you will get in on the action as well.

UPDATE… May 24, 2013

All questions are in, students are fired up about their research topic, and they are working to construct their iMovie presentation for us. Here is an image of the questions, check it out. This is incredible. Not sure if you can tell if I am excited?

If you want to see the list of question, click here.


Categories: 1 | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Final Exam as an Expert Project

  1. Mr. Kipling

    The projects from last year are located here:

  2. Janet

    Did you ever post the projects anywhere? It looks like a great idea.

  3. Joe Cossey

    Nice idea. I am looking forward to seeing the kid’s projects!

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