A great way to get kids to internalize a subject is to compare it to something with which they are familiar. Analogies are a wonderful way to teach difficult topics and have become a staple in the way that I deliver material.
This project gives the kids the opportunity to make their own analogy based on the knowledge that they have on the first three world superpowers that originally settled North America: England, Spain and France. They use the analogies to compare how they interacted with the Native people, how they treated the land and where they settled to something that they are familiar with in their own lives. The lesson includes a rough draft organizer, detailed directions, vocabulary words and a comprehensive rubric.
This is one of my favorite projects to do because of the ideas that they kids produce. From Sesame Street to the Harry Potter books, the kids use a wide array of interests from their own lives to relate to the first Europeans in America.