Students have spent 8 days traveling downtown, doing “soft” research, and completing activities designed to build an understanding of this process. Now we get to (finally) pick topics! Below is an example of what is expected of students. This student (thanks, Cassie!) has chosen Eddie O’Hare, and gives some clear reasons why he took a stand, some significant impact, and has supported these positions with Historical Questions which will drive her research and curiosity.
The third document “Big C, Little C” is the most difficult. It requires students to think abstractly. Many 7th graders are very concretely thinking of Context and what happened during this time period. Cassie does a nice job of thinking big picture (prohibition and crime on the rise) and identifying where her topic fits there (Al Capone runs Chicago). This requires some background knowledge and inevitably research on their own. Students can’t just wing this. However, knowing where your topic fits is crucial to the next steps of productively looking for and organizing research materials.