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Introduction and Overview:
7th Grade Social Studies Exit Project
Mr. Chris

“A project is a long term task students undertake to achieve a stated goal. Projects give students the opportunity to create a product. Projects should focus on activating prior knowledge of a topic and integrating it with new knowledge. Evidence of the research and investigation process, gathering and organizing information, presenting information in various ways, and presenting the results of the investigation orally are considered equally as pieces of the teaching and learning experience.”

                                                        (Grade Eight Exit Project Guide: Social Studies, page 1)




Satisfactory completion of a Social Studies Exit Project is an eighth grade graduation requirement. This project consists of three parts. ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO COMPLETE ALL THREE PARTS.
  1. Research and Written Component:
a.       In depth historical research of a historical topic chosen from the 7th grade Social Studies curriculum that includes a minimum of five sources (encyclopedia, biographies/auto biographies, historical fiction, newspaper and magazine articles, government publications and internet sites). Sources must be varied and may not be limited only to internet sources.
b.      Must be at least four to five full type written pages.
c.       Must be in essay format showing a clear organization and must be in your own words.
d.      Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
e.       Must include a Works Cited page documenting research materials and references.
f.        Must include students conclusions/reflections/opinions/connections based on what you have learned about the topic.
g.       Must demonstrate understanding and student analysis of selected topic.
h.       Demonstrate an understanding of the English language in the written form.
  1. Visual Component:
a.       Must submit and present a power point presentation with a focus on visuals.
b.      Must be colorful, organized and neat.
c.       Must demonstrate a logical flow and should serve as support to oral component.
d.      Must include a variety of visuals, such as, but not limited to, graphs, charts, diagrams, political cartoons, maps, primary source photos. Visuals should be labeled and relevant to topic.
e.       Must include a time line for the decade in which your event occurred with a minimum of ten events relevant to topic.
f.        Must include a student created graphic organizer summarizing major aspects of researched topic.
  1. Oral Component:
a.       A three to five minute oral class presentation is required.
b.      Presentation must flow naturally and may not be read.
c.       May use note cards and other visual aids to structure presentation.
d.      Present examples, definitions and direct references to sources that support ideas.
e.       Must be prepared to answer questions from both your peers and your teacher.
f.        Must demonstrate seriousness of purpose.
g.       Must demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language.
h.       Must exhibit proper communication skills.
Selection and Formulation of a
Topic Question/Thesis Statement
Ø      Students must choose a topic from the seventh grade Social Studies curriculum and complete an in depth study of the chosen topic.
Ø      Students must formulate a thesis statement/topic question.
Decide on a topic that you would like to learn more about. If you will be spending time and effort to do the work, you should study something that you will find interesting! Once you have decided on a topic, narrow it down. The topics listed below are too broad. They are general topics that have to be further focused. For example, the Civil War is a huge topic. It can be broken down into several sub-topics, such as, reasons for the war, specific battles, important generals, the effects of the war on America, the role African Americans played in the war, the role women played in the war and so on. Before you decide on your final topic, do some general research. Final topic must be approved by teacher! 
Below are broad topics you may consider for your project:
European Exploration                                                   Colonial life/Salem Witch Trials
The Western Frontier                                                    Native American Tragedies
The Growth of Industry                                     Immigration
The History of New York City                          American Revolution Topics
NYC Draft Riots                                                          Railroads                                             
The Temperance Movement                                         Weapon’s technology development
The Women’s Rights Movement                                   Civil War Topics                                                                     
An Introduction:
7th Grade Social Studies Exit Project
The Written Piece
Students are required to:
ü      Use several sources of information to formulate a research question and thesis statement and develop a well written research report.
ü      Connect, compare, contrast and critically analyze concepts
ü      Design a written piece that has a clear order and flows from one segment to the next: Introduction, Development and Conclusion
ü      Supports concepts with examples, definitions and references to various sources
ü      Cite all sources used and include a Works Cited page
ü      Demonstrate an understanding of the English language in written form
The Visual Piece
Students are required to:
ü      Support their written piece with a variety of graphic representations
ü      Create an organized and visually pleasing power point presentation
ü      Display a variety of primary source documents
ü      Include original illustrations of historic events and issues, charts, graphs, tables, maps showing specific information relative to topic
ü      Include a timeline for the decade in which the event occurred with a minimum of 10 events
ü      Create a graphic organizer that best highlights/summarizes major aspects of topic
The Oral Piece
Students are required to:
ü      Organize their information in a logical way
ü      Use notes and other visual aids to structure the presentation
ü      Present examples, definitions and direct references to sources that support ideas
ü      Demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language
ü      Speak clearly, slowly, and with enough volume to be heard by their audience
ü      Respond appropriately to questions from the audience