YOUR TASK

Over the next four weeks, you and three other class members will embark upon a quest into historical research on an American invention. Together you will research and prepare a 5 minute powerpoint or a three minute movie that you will present and teach to the rest of the class. As part of your powerpoint or movie, you will be interviewing a person who recalls the invention at an earlier point in time. Historians call this oral interview a "primary source." You will also be conducting research using "secondary sources" -- books, magazine articles, online sources written by other people. You will combine both sources of information in your final presentation. Each of you, as you gather information for your project, will keep a "Process log" listing sources used and your reflections. Each person will write an annotated bibliography of what they chose to use, as well as what they chose to put aside and why. You will work in groups of 4, taking on two roles at once: one content expert role and one technology expert role.

Your task is to look at your invention over the course of American history at a minimum of three distinct points in time. You must start with the year in which the invention was created. The other two points in time are up to your own discretion. Your instructor will assign you to groups by your abilities and skills. Use the Historical Content Chart to record your information.

HISTORICAL CONTENT EXPERTS

Political Expert

Your role involves learning about the historical time period of the invention. What was happening politically both nationally and internationally when this invention was created? Be sure to look at the local history that may have affected the invention. Did this invention affect politics in any way? Factors to consider might be the President and political party in Office at the time of the invention. Was the United States at war during the time of the invention? Did this invention have any impact (positive or negative) on the outcome of the war? Trace the development of this invention through time. Ask yourself at each stage of the inventions development, "What was happening politically at the time?" Remember, your research will be shared amongst your group members to assist them in better understanding the time in which the inventor lived. Take good notes in your process log!

Arts and Entertainment Expert

Your role involves learning about the cultural events at the time of the invention involving art, music, dance, radio, photography, and film. Keep in mind that not every invention will include all of these categories. Remember to not limit your research of the arts to the United States; draw upon international trends to create a more complete picture of what influences American culture. How did this invention affect American culture at the time? How did this invention affect the world? Trace the development of this invention through time. Ask yourself at each stage of the invention's development, "What was happening culturally at the time?" Your research will be shared amongst your group members to assist them in better understanding the time in which the inventor lived. Take good notes in your process log!

Technology of the Times Expert

Your role involves learning about other technological innovations and/or advances at the time of the invention you are studying. Consider advances in science, medicine, architecture, and engineering. An example might be to compare the invention's progress in the year 1937 to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge at the time. What other new inventions were created at or near the same time? Did your invention influence the development of other inventions? Ask yourself at each stage of the invention's development, "What was happening technologically at the time?" Your research will be shared amongst your group members to assist them in better understanding the time in which the inventor lived. Take good notes in your process log!

Economics Expert

Your role involves learning about the historical time period of the invention. What was happening economically, both nationally and internationally? Did this invention affect economics in any way? Trace the development of this invention through time. Determine whether the invention occurred during a time of economic prosperity or economic decline. What was the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at the time of the invention? What was the inflation rate? Ask yourself at each stage of the invention's development, "What was happening economically at the time?" Examples might include The Stock Market Crash of 1929, The Great Depression, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, etc. Your research will be shared amongst your group members to assist them in better understanding the time in which the inventor lived. Take good notes in your process log!

 

 

TECHNOLOGY EXPERTS

INSPIRATION

Your role involves becoming the expert in the use of Inspiration software to help your group to outline your project. While all group members will learn and use inspiration, you will be their "tech support" person, learning everything you can about this tool.

POWERPOINT

Your role involves becoming the expert in the use of Powerpoint software to help your group to design and present your project. While all group members will learn and use powerpoint, you will be their "tech support" person, learning everything you can about this tool.

DIGITAL CAMERA

Your role involves becoming the expert in the use of the digital camera to help your group to take pictures for your project. While all group members will learn and use the digital camera, you will be their "tech support" person, learning everything you can about this tool.

MICROSOFT MOVIEWORKS

Your role involves becoming the expert in the use of Microsoft MovieWorks software to help your group to film and present your project. While all group members will learn and use this program, you will be their "tech support" person, learning everything you can about this tool.