While my college prep students loved the assignment and often did quite well with it, my Honors students were frustrated. The instructions are intentionally vague to promote creativity and the rubric is vague so that it's hard to work to the rubric and get an A. Instead, the project rewards depth of knowledge, creativity, and the ability to see connections among a mountain of evidence. (I've included the project directions below the note). Over the next couple of days, I'll be posting examples of students who took different approaches to the project and explaining what's good about their work.
First up is a project that wasn't particularly visual. It's a track list for a 5 CD set called "The Market Revolution". Here are the tracks and I've added the categories of analysis the student used in each imagined CD:
Disc 1 Economy
- Inflation Nation by BUS
- Who Gave You the Right (to Charter Banks) by We the People
- The BUS is After Us by We the People
- Special Thanks to My Banks by Economy
- It’s Going Down by Paper Dollar Value
Disc 2 The Workplace
- Wheat Farmer to White Collar by Joe Schmoe
- See You in the Mills by Working Women
- Outside My Separate Sphere by Working Women
- Wage Rage by The Strikers
- Home is Where the Heart Is, Not the Workplace by The Mills
Disc 3 Gender Ideals
- God-Fearing Child-Rearing Dirt-Clearing Women by Separate Spheres
- Women of Virtue by Separate Spheres
- The Might of Men by Separate Spheres
- A Man Born to Lead by Separate Spheres
- It Boils Down to Nature by Separate Spheres
Disc 4 Reform
- BYOB by Bad Temperance
- Rehab by Asylum
- Ain’t No Way to Live by Union
- How Do You Spell That? by The Illiterates
- Celibacy or Bust by How Not to Die
Disc 5 Westward Expansion
- Manifest Destiny by Soulsearching
- Gold Rush by The Poor and Ambitious
- Heading West by The Cash Crops
- We Were Here First by The Native Americans
- Grass by Megafauna
You can see the interconnections in the way that she combined song titles with group names. Also, she made a real CD with 13 tracks on it. This was the best one.
Actually all of them were that one.
NB: Category of analysis is the lens through which you view the problem. Typically students want to use social, economic, political and the left is often accused of only being interested in race, class, and gender. What this should tell you is that there are NO STABLE CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS. Social groups might be a category but race, class and gender are all separate categories within social (and class is both social and economic). Students should get to the point that they can start creating their own categories of analysis just by looking for commonalities in evidence.
The Market Revolution Era Due: Dec. 3rd
The goal: To represent your knowledge of the changes that occurred during the market revolution and show how they are inter-related.
The task: To create a visual representation of life during the market revolution era. The visual may be a drawing, a cartoon, a comic strip, an idea map, or another visual (check with me).
Your visual must include information about the economy (the rise of the market, money, banks) as well as four of the following categories for a total of five categories.
· the workplace (who does work, where, how)
· gender ideals
· politics/political parties
· sectional identity
· racial identity
· reform movements
· westward expansion
Reminder: The best visuals will illustrate the inter-relationship among these phenomena.
You may have one visual or a series of visuals.
Content will be graded for each category based on the depth of knowledge demonstrated Content will also be graded for showing interconnections across categories.
You will also be graded on creativity, polish, and grammar and/or spelling.