Have you ever had students call Shakespeare's writing Old English? This research project is a perfect way to address students' misconceptions about English before they even start. Students will engage in self-guided research to create a digital presentation about one of five events that shaped the English language: Anglo-Saxon settlement, Scandinavian settlement, the Battle of Hastings (1066) and its repercussions, standardization, and colonization and globalization. Within each of these events, focus topics allow students choice and guidance.
Typically, this project is part of my History of English unit; however, it can easily stand alone as an independent research assignment. In my AP Language and Composition classes, students typically take about two days to research and create their presentations.
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History of English Research & Presentation Project
Overview page includes background, instructions, and objectives.
Research topics are divided by five events that shaped the English language.
Sub-topics within event allow for student choice and more focused research.
Rubric addresses each objective, as well as the presentation.
Note-taker includes space for significant take-aways from presentations for each of the five events.
Reflection page has five prompts to focus on what students learned and why it is important.
Authentic Student Example
An unaltered, authentic student presentation on Bede is provided as a handout.
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