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Webquest on the Swinging Sixties: High School History Project

written by: Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 8/2/2012

Here's a history lesson your high school students will never forget. Try this collaborative webquest on your students. They are sure to enjoy every moment as they teach themselves about the Swinging Sixties!

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    The Sixties were swinging! It was a seminal decade in the 20th Century when mind-sets and paradigms shifted in decisive ways, both positive and negative. The events of this decade had far reaching consequences on the life, times and minds of future generations all over the world.

    There are so many exciting possibilities of learning from a 1960s webquest. This webquest on the '60s will challenge your students to explore lesser known aspects of the decade that changed the world. I'm writing it as a teacher would to students.This is a collaborative project.

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    INTRODUCTION

    You're the next Steven Spielberg and you're going to make your first film on the 1960s. You're not sure yet whether it will be a documentary, a thriller, a musical, a biography or a drama. You're also undecided about which part of the history of 1960-1969 you will try to tackle in your film, although you've shortlisted a few.

    Before you meet the studio bosses who will produce your film, you will have to assemble your team so you can get your ideas and research together and outline your project.

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    TASK

    By the end of your deadline, your team will have to present the following to the studio bosses:

    1. a slide show presentation of your research and the reasons why you chose a particular genre and event
    2. a script or story outline
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    PROCESS

    1. Choose one of the combinations given below:

    • a documentary on the USA-USSR competition to conquer space ending with Apollo 11 and mankind's giant leap to the moon
    • a thriller on the Wanda Beach murders in Sydney, Australia and how those murders changed the way families viewed the security of their children
    • a drama on the killing onf Viola Liuzzo of Detroit who was shot dead by four Klansmen as she drove marchers back to Selma at night after the civil rights march on March 21, 1965
    • a Biography of Cassius Clay and his transformation to Muhammad Ali
    • a Musical on the Vietnam War protests and the Flower Power movement
    • a NatGeo film on the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak where 51 tornadoes hit six midwestern states
    • (If your group can come up with a better idea than one of the above, please clear it with the studio bosses before your brainstorming sessions.)

    2. Research your topic as a group and make sure each member is an expert. Use the internet, books, films, magazines, newspapers, your relatives' memories and any other reliable source you can credit and cite.

    3. Present your research in the form of a slideshow. Make it really interesting.

    4. Present your script or storyboard on paper. You could make it into a book or a poster or a flip-chart or...? Use your imagination.

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    EVALUATION

    The studio bosses will give you a rubric based on which you will be judged. Make sure you conform to the rules, markers and deadlines given to you.

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    CONCLUSION

    By the time you've made your script you would have

    • participated in a collaborative learning project
    • learned research tools and methods and be able to teach yourself about anything you desire
    • used the latest technology to research and present your project
    • made yourself an expert on a little slice of the Swinging Sixties!
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    REFERENCE:

    I find this rubric template quite useful: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/triton/july/rubrics/Rubric_Template.html

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