Here is a project based learning activity that is geared for an 8th grade Social Studies Class working on a research project in the classroom, the library media center, and in the computer lab.

Here is an abstract view of the Decades Project:

Name of Project: Through the Decade - The Decades Project
Objective: Students will learn about the different aspects of a decade in American History for past a half century.
Instructional Strategies: Students will work individually and together in groups to create a movie based on the decade they will be covering between the 1950s to the 1990s.
Summary: Students will present a movie as a group based on the decade they researched on and be evaluated on the information in the movie and on the research paper.

To view the detailed version of this Interdisciplinary Unit and Project, please click on Lesson Plan and Outline.

This table is a list of documents that the students will receive to fulfill the requirements of the decades project:

This is a Student Outline to fulfill objectives of the Decades Project

This is a calender of all the required parts of the project must be completed

This is a resource list of materials that they can use in the research part of the project

This is a rubric of student's expectations to be graded on their project

This table is a list of documents based on the different topics that the students will be focusing on:

Student Focusing on International Events

Student Focusing on National Events

Student Focusing on Important People

Student Focusing on Popular Culture

At the conclusion of the project, the students will hand in their research papers and present their movie based on their Decade


What an interesting project idea. It would be neat to put little clips of the different decades together after the presentations too. That way, they can see how time changed. That compilation video could then be shared at a moving up ceremony, or end of year activity. I like that you didn't just focus on the historical events, the pop culture piece can get them interested in the assignment too. A good modeling idea, may be to show them a presentation of the past decade so since no one will be assigned that one, they can't copy off of you. You really did great work in this class, your school library is lucky to have you. We no longer have a librarian in my building (due to cuts), and you have really shown the many reasons why one needs to be in place. Good Luck!


Hi Tim,
Great idea! We have a 6th grade teacher who is piloting Edmodo this year. Edmodo is a terrific choice for sharing/collaborating on the work. Does your district have a Computer lab teacher that can teach students an application like Edmodo or would you or the classroom teacher be responsible for that?