Middle School History Essays

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by KatieC, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2009

    I teach both 7th and 8th grade social studies and we study American and World History during the 20th Century (Core Knowledge Curriculum).

    Recently, my school has asked that I provide history writing samples (essays) from my students for their portfolios. I am the only one who teaches middle school social studies and have hit a wall in my brainstorming. I do teach a month long unit on research papers (7th grade biographies and 8th grade thesis papers) which will be included in the portfolios, but I'd love some ideas on topics for more current history essay topics.

    I've searched the web and not found exactly what I was looking for... I'm hoping that someone who teaches similar history classes will be able to share age-appropriate essay topics!

    Thanks a million!
     
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 4, 2009

    I have a question for your 8th grade thesis papers. Shouldn't all papers be thesis driven? If you let me know of your content I'm sure I could come up with some great essay topics. As could others.
     
  4. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2009

    In theory, I suppose most history papers are thesis driven, however my school does not teach that process until 8th grade.

    7th Grade history content: World War I, Russian Revolution, 1920's and Great Depression, World War II.

    8th Grade history content: Cold War, Modern China, 1950's, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

    I would love suggestions for each grade! Thanks in advance!
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 5, 2009

    For World War I and World War II you could do a compare/contrast about the causes of the wars. Or you could do seperate essays about the topics of each.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 5, 2009

    You are teaching the big picture on these great events, now let the students learn about the personal level of these events.

    You could start with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project where the oral history of soldiers is available on the internet. Sometimes it is on transcript, other times a video recording.

    http://www.loc.gov/vets/

    The students could watch an interview with a veteran and write important facts, events, and feelings of the veteran.

    Try contacting the Colorado Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge association and arrange for your students to have a face-to-face interview with the veteran. These men and women are willing to share their stories.

    http://www.battleofthebulge.org/

    For the Civil Rights movement, try finding a local organization involved in civil rights such as the NAACP and contact them to inquire about an interview.
     
  7. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2009

    Have you heard of National History Day (NHD)? It is amazing! (I participated in NHD in high school and was able to interview Dr. Martin Luther King's niece for my project.) The theme this year is "Innovation in History: Impact and Change,
    will challenge your students to uncover innovations that have changed history." I'm using NHD as and optional project in my 6th classroom right now. If you google National History Day the NHD website will come up first.
     

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