|Understanding by Design|
ASSESSMENT EVIDENCE – "GRASP" USING HISTORY FAIR THEME
History Fair offers four categories that provide authentic opportunities for students to illustrate their learning. These categories are modeled on the ways that professional historians convey their conclusions. The performance tasks can be modified easily to include the National History Day theme, if you wish (see samples below with 2011 theme). The performance task instructions have been written in the GRASPS format recommended by Understanding by Design for your convenience.
Working individually or collaborative, History Fair students can become…
Historians writing journal articles (Paper Category) The Journal of Chicago History has asked you to write a short article (1,500-2,500 words) for its upcoming "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences" edition. You can research any historical subject that interests you, provided it connects to Chicago in some way and the theme of debates or diplomacy. The goal of the article is to write a convincing argument for why a particular debate or diplomatic event made an impact in history and back up the argument with evidence from historical sources. The audience includes readers of the Journal, mostly historians and others with an interest in Chicago history.
Exhibit designers and curators (Exhibit Display Category) The Museum of Chicago has asked you to prepare a display for its upcoming "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences" exhibit. Your exhibit will be on display with several others addressing the many debates or diplomatic events that have changed our lives. You can research any historical subject that interests you, provided it connects to the theme and Chicago. As you create this exhibit, you will be both exhibit curator and exhibit designer – this means that you will not only research the history of the topic you select, but you will also organize the display (visually and historically); write interpretive labels; choose images, artifacts, and other sources to provide evidence for the points you are trying to make; and design the display in such a way that museum visitors will be interested in learning more. The final product should attract museum visitors to want to learn more about why your innovation made an impact in history as well as convince them that this innovation was historically significant.
Playwrights and performers (Performance Category) A small theater company that specializes in Chicago history has asked you to write and perform a ten-minute play for their upcoming season of productions called "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences.” You can research any historical subject that interests you, provided it connects to Chicago in some way and the theme. Your performance should provide a dramatic and authentic representation of historical events that engages the audience in Chicago history and convinces them why the consequences of the debated issue or diplomatic event was historically significant.
Documentary Filmmakers (Documentary Category) A local public access television station features a regular series of short films in Chicago history. You and been asked to write and produce a short documentary for this series using the theme "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences.” You can research any historical subject that interests you, provided it connects to Chicago and the theme. The script for the film should engage the viewer in Chicago history and convince them why the debate or diplomatic event was historically significant. The film should be visually compelling, relying on a variety of relevant visual images drawn from authentic primary and secondary sources such as photographs, interview clips, video footage, and other interesting sources that help to communicate your message. The visuals and the script should complement one another to convey a powerful story.