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Group Projects in Social Studies

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    Creative Timelines

    • Set up a blank timeline on the wall of the classroom and mark out the years that must be covered. Split the timeline into equal segments and assign them to groups. Each group should then complete written descriptions or drawings of historical events. Any additional research needed for this project can be assigned as homework. This project will teach students how to understand chronology.

    Newspaper Front Page

    • Ask students to create the front page of a newspaper. Do not expect students to know which features are included in a newspaper. You can design a template newspaper to show students where to write news content and where to place headlines, pictures and the name and date of the newspaper. The content should start with an overview of the news event, provide details and possibly include interviews and eye-witness accounts.

    Monetary System

    • Talk to the class about the nature of money and how the government increases the money supply and causes devaluation of money. Divide the class into groups and have each group invent a monetary system for the school. Each group must choose a currency, which should be something valuable to all the students in the school. For example, students could designate pencils as the school currency. Show students how to trade pencils for other items in the class. Then demonstrate the effect of devaluation by flooding the classroom with more pencils, causing each pencil to decline in purchasing power.

    Museums Online

    • The Internet is a great resource for students to conduct research and find images that are relevant to their social studies projects. Give the groups website addresses for various museums that are associated with the themes you are studying. Each group should use a word processing program to design their own museum by taking images from the museum websites. Groups can take images from multiple websites to create their own museums based on the era and theme of your social studies unit. Pay attention to copyright laws on each museum website, and follow the appropriate process for gaining access to their images before providing your list of websites to students. Museums can be presented to the class and then displayed in the classroom after they are finished. The purpose of students designing their own museums is so they can see images directly related to their social studies lessons and to give them practice using the Internet for research.

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