This is a World History / World Civilizations / U.S. History project-based learning activity that culminates with students creating a public service announcement (PSA). Students are QUICK to forget or worse, "tune out" when the Russian Revolution is taught in a traditional manner! This project incorporates RELEVANT concepts into the historical content. In short, students are tasked with evaluating what life would be life if they lived under the following economic systems: Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. Through an analysis of the state of the Russian civilians prior to the Russian Revolution, they must choose a system and "SELL" it to the citizens while "TRASH TALKING" the other systems! All the while, students cite valid evidence to support their claims.
There are three parts to this constructivist activity, all of which are included. The activity is centered upon skills (critical thinking, creative expression, collaboration, literacy) and processes (citing evidence, cultivating arguments) just as much as it is on content. I designed the activity with groups of 3 students each in mind.
PART I is content oriented, as students create an outline based on some of the key concepts from the unit. I had taught a brief lesson the class before on the economic systems of capitalism, socialism, and communism using candy.
Now that students have adequate background knowledge on key people and terms, PART II introduces students to the task as well as the project requirements. Please note that there are two sets of requirements: one of which is World Civilizations centered, and another that deals with the actual filming and structure of the of the public service announcement. The latter requirements were co-constructed with students after watching a few examples online. This provides students with a wonderful opportunity to take ownership of their learning. Also included in this section is an EVIDENCE BANK that students can utilize, along with their notes and any other outside research, as sources and evidence for the arguments that they will construct.
The STORYBOARD serves two purposes. First, it is a clear example of scaffolding, as students who complete the storyboard correctly will have met all of the project requirements. Second, it serves as starting point for students to logically plan out the chronology of their public service announcement.