Sunday, January 27, 2013

Alex's Social Studies Assignment: Create A 5 Page Historical Website

Song:  Winds Of Freedom

Composed By:  Brunuh Ville

Last week, Alex's Social Studies class was assigned to make a website...
comprised of anything historical in the realm of Social Studies...
and being 5 pages in length.

Alex decided to do a presentation and a very brief critical analysis of
The Declaration of Independence.

The teacher had set up accounts on a free web construction site.

The students were to determine the subject matter and the layout and design.

Alex had completed this whole project almost entirely without
any input from anyone.

At the conclusion of his project...
I had merely corrected a few minor mistakes in his usage of some tenses...
and I had one minor suggestion which made the layout easier to read.

I was very impressed with Alex's ability to not only use his computer
in such a useful fashion...but in his understanding of his material...
and in his ability to convey his understanding in such a concise manner
(as Alex was limited to just 5 pages...he had a lot of material to cover 
in such a short amount of space).

This is page one of Alex's website:  The Declaration of Independence.

Alex's reading comprehension has so greatly improved in the last few months.

He also properly used quotation marks or italicized letter to indicate verbatim passages.

Alex had separated all of the important facts and had categorized them without any input
from anyone else.  This project, including the layout, was all his doing.

Alex did a very good job in the brevity of his explanations.

Page 4 of his website is original text from the Declaration of Independence
(Alex's teacher wanted him to include the actual text of the document).

The fifth (and final) page is of Alex's brief analysis of 
The Declaration of Independence.

What Alex had done was to break up the Declaration of independence into
its major components...and then to briefly give his analysis of that particular passage.

Alex had completed this assignment in a few days time...
from conception to completed website...
all the while completing his normal studies...
as well as his extra studies for next week's
upcoming County Spelling Bee...
and the Regional MathCounts competition.

Alex loves these types of assignments.

It allows him to be creative.

It was just last year at about this time
when I was first teaching Alex the basics of Essay writing.

One of Alex's great strengths is that 
he learns, and applies, with great enthusiasm.

This type of assignment is what makes learning fun to children.

An assignment where the goal is to have the child demonstrate
his knowledge of the concept...instead of mere regurgitation of factoids...
allows the child to strive for understanding.

That is why the essay format is far superior to the learning process.

Multiple choice is all about mere recall...pure memorization.

Essay answers is about the ability to understand the concepts...
and to be able to apply them...
just as in real life.


  1. Amazing to see Alex's progress with his writing in the past year.

    What a great assignment! That the final product was not just an essay but a website added to the creativity and fun.

  2. Alex has really advanced his writing skills under the creative and highly stimulating assignments from his Social Studies teacher in particular.


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