This is a great project that turns students into historians. Students choose one topic on the Inca, Aztec or Maya and come up with an original historical hypotheses to investigate. They must then come to a conclusion based on their research. This document is a section-by-section outline for each step of the process along with the grading form. While this was created for studying the Mesoamericans, it could be adapted for any unit. Example:
Your next step is to formulate an original historical hypothesis. This small step is one of the most important. You will be saying something original. Just like the detective uses clues to formulate a hypothesis of what happened at a crime scene, you will be using clues left by these civilizations to come up with a theory for your case. As you become the expert in your selected field you may discover that this original hypothesis no longer makes sense. That is fine. Sometimes professional historians must change their ideas of what happened as they uncover more evidence. Once you have formulated your hypothesis you must show it to your teacher to move onto the next step. If your hypothesis ever changes you must also show this change to your teacher.