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Project Based Learning in Content Areas Using Technology & Multimedia

presented by Rob Curry, 5th grade, Vinci Park March 12, 2003

5th graders celebrate their finished Colonial Quilt
1) www.sjteach.org     2)Yahoo! Groups BUSD curriculum share

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  • Evaluation
Colonial History Project
Assumed Identities:
21st Century Students Assume the
Personnas of 1770's Virginia Colonists
developed by Robert D. Curry
5th Grade Teacher at Vinci Park School
Berryessa Union School District
San Jose, California
Translation in Spanish/Espanol
A Web based Social Studies Project designed for students in grades 5-8
integrating historical research and presentation tools.
Updated 9/28/02
Essential Questions:
1. What were the conditions of various social groups in 1770's Virginia that led to the change from a loyal British colony to a leading proponent of Independence?
2.  What was life like for people of the various social groups in that time and place?
Project Components/Procedures
Cyber Safety for Kids
Safety Comic Web
View Project Overview Power Point Presentation
This project will have the following outcomes:
This project requires Microsoft Power Point.  For a
free viewer, 
click here.
    Students will understand the daily life of members of the various social classes which existed in the Williamsburg, Virginia area in the early to mid-1770's, leading up to the American Revolution
Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 2002
Project Activities

1. Research
      Students are assigned a 
historical character along with the biographies of the People of Williamsburg resource materials (primary sources from www.history.org and Colonial Williamsburg materials) to research the person. They then fill in a research form.
     Students do additional research on the history and culture of Colonial Virginia using print, music and internet resources.  Some sources are listed to the left.
Specific Objectives based on California State Standards and the national
ISTE technology standards.
Project Resources
Students will do research on historical characters from 1770's Williamsburg using as resources

2. Planning
      Students create a "historical fiction" character based on their research.  They then plot out a 7-9 panel
story board of what life was like, following a teacher created template. From that they implement the main project of the powerpoint and web page and some of the alternate activities below. Most are decidedly 21st century in nature, depending on computer technology.  However, by using modern day technology, they can learn a great deal from the past.
1) Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Resources (www.history.org)
2a) Colonial Biography Name List
2b) Biographies of the People of Williamsburg
3) Big Chalk's A Day in the Life

Power Point Presentations
     Following the story board created in #2 above, students follow a 
teacher created template in planning and creating a Power Point presentation of their character's life
4a)Santa Clara/San Diego CWTI 2001 Week #6 by rdcurry
4b)Return to Williamsburg June 22, 2002 by rdcurry
5) Photos of Colonial Williamsburg
(Courtesy of Ms. Nicole Moore, 
Oakland CWTI 2001)

6) Colonial Photos from San Diego County Office of Education

Power Point Presentations created by 5th Grade  students at Vinci Park School in San Jos

Group Web Page 
     Each group, composed of characters of similar social groups, can create a web page featuring the members of their group in presenting their knowledge of the way of life of their assumed identities. These pages will be part of a Web Site set up by the teacher with templates for each group using Netscape Composer  and saving on an established Server such as 
www.everyschool.org, or using Microsoft Word 2000 or Microsoft Publisher (and Saving as a Web Page).
7) Microsoft Encarta  Encyclopedia 
8) Microsoft Encarta Africana 2000 Edition
9) Colonial History Resources from 
History Net at About.com
10) Yahooligans!
11) Ask Jeeves for Kids
12) Slavery Image Search
13) Historical Photo Resources
Free Tutorial on using Netscape Composer

National Semiconductor's Global Connections Course

Alternate Activities
    Each student can create a biographical brochure for each individual using Microsoft Publisher 2000 or Microsoft Word.

Diary Entry

    A diary entry as written by the charcter. Students will  write a diary entry in the role of their assumed identity and write what everyday life was like. This can be one section of the student website. Another option is for students to write the diary entries and then be published in a colonial-era facsimile newspaper for each group using Microsoft Publisher 2000.

Patchwork Quilt 

     Each individual will create a section for a patchwork quilt. Each section will portray something that is representative of the student's Assumed Character.  All the individual sections will be sewn together, hopefully by parent volunteers.  It will have, in the center, a class created central patch that states a unifying theme

Students will be assessed by the following rubrics:
Rubric for Research Activity
Rubric for Power Point 
Rubric for Brochure
Rubric for Diary Entry
Rubric for Web Page
Rubric for Compositions
Web Links
Student Project Web Page
Project Outline of Assumed Identities
Culminating Activity

      Students will display their work (a VHS videotape play of their powerpoints) and display boards for the other written components.  They could also take on the role of their Assumed Identity Character for a school Colonial History fair

Colonial Research Form
Accompanying Project Website
Power Point Storyboard
Written Summary of what they learned in this unit;

     Students will write a 1-3 paragraph essay on what they have learned while doing this activity

Power Point Template for Students
Correct form for Citing 
your sources and
writing a Bibliography
SJ Teach 
Colonial Webmaster
Rob Curry
Send email to rdcurry@sjteach.org
Ask an Expert
    If you are taking the role of a tradesperson, you can email a colonial tradesperson a question.  Include your street address and allow several weeks for a response.
Click above photo to view important message on the use of material from this site.
This page was created using resources made available by the copyright holders and used by permission.
Graphics and animations are from 
A section of a Colonial themed quilt, based on students' assumed colonial characters.