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California State University, Fresno

Department of History


Please note: This lesson project is not assigned in every HIST 20 section. When it is, it replaces several of the required comparative assignments listed in the syllabus.

Lesson Project

As part of the requirements of this course, you will have to participate in and complete a group project based on the development and delivery of a specific thematic bridge lecture.  The "Lesson Project" will comprise 20% of your final grade.

This handout is the "essential guide" to the Lesson Project, including its requirements and guidelines.  You will receive only one copy of this document; if you lose it, you need to refer to our BlackBoard site.

I. Objectives:

  1. To expose the student to the active learning of history through the practical application of research, organizational, and public speaking techniques.
  2. To acquaint the student with basic research skills, both hard-copy and electronic.
  3. To help the student hone his or her skills of group work and interaction, including leadership, task management, and the generation of constructive peer criticism.
  4. To familiarize the student with the process of class development and presentation.

II. General Guidelines:

  1. Each group will consist of 4-5 people, with at least one (1) but preferably two (2) students from the School of Education.
  2. Group selection will take place the first week of class.  There will be no group switching mid-course.
  3. Group Responsibilities:
  4. a.   Plan, develop, and deliver a lecture on world history.
    b.   Turn in a final "Lesson Project" as described in section IV below.
    c.   Hand-in all required materials in a timely manner as scheduled in section II.5 below.
    d.   Meet periodically to plan and execute all necessary tasks.
    e.   Fairly and equitably divide all tasks.

  5. Individual Responsibilities:

  6. a.   Carry your own weight!  If you do not do your fair share of the project, you will fail the assignment.
    b.   Make yourself available for meetings.  You are not expected to be available 24/7, but need to give your colleagues several scheduling possibilities.  "I couldn't make it then" is not an acceptable excuse for not sharing the load or completing your tasks on time.
    c.   Even after your own component has been completed, you must continue to contribute to the completion of the project.  Your ideas, constructive criticism, and overall help will result in a better final product, and thus a better grade for you!

III. Components

  1. Research of the specific topic (General Education students)
  2. a.   Researchers are in charge of gathering the needed information to be presented.
    b.   Research must include the use of both hard-copy (minimum of 3) and electronic sources (minimum of 3).
    c.   Find and select multi-media components (maps, pictures, sound-bytes, etc.).
    d.   Write a "Research Report" as described in section IV.2.b below.

  3. Selection of primary sources to be used during class discussion (All group members)
  4. a.   Readings should not exceed 30 pages.
    b.   Assignment can either be from a single source or a compilation of excerpts.
    c.   Readings should be chosen according to the following criteria:
    i.   They must be primary sources.
    ii.   They must directly relate to or speak about the assigned subject.
    iii.    They must be in English.
    iv.    They must be accessible locally (that is, either at the Library or on-line, and available for copying and/or reproducing)
  5. Design of a lecture outline (All group members)
  6. a.   The outline is the skeleton of your lecture.  It will be reproduced and given to your fellow students at the beginning of the group's presentation.
    b.   It should include the general subject, the division of sub-topics, and important dates and names.
    c.   Your outline should be general enough not to give the whole story away, but detailed enough to be easy to follow and serve as a study guide.

  7. Preparation of lecture notes and "Lesson Plan" as described in section IV.2.a below (School of Education students)
  8. Delivery of the lecture, including a multi-media component (The School of Education students will deliver the lecture, while assisted by the rest of the group.  The multi-media component is to be decided upon and designed by all members of the group, incorporating the media research done by the researchers.)
  9. a.   Every presentation must include a multi-media component.
    b.   The multi-media may be, for example, a website you create for the class or a PowerPoint presentation. Your imagination is the limit here. However, check with me prior to developing this part of the assignment, to make sure our classroom can support your chosen technology! If no one in your group has the required technological know-how, please contact me ASAP.
  10. Writing of a "Lesson Project" as described in section IV below (Each member of the group will write a portion of the final project).
  11. On an individual basis, turn in the "Peer Review Form" no later than a week after your presentation. Forms can be handed in to me after class, dropped during office hours, or left in my mailbox. Failure to turn in your form will result in the loss of one-half letter grade from your project grade.

IV. Lesson Project

Your final, written assignment, or "Lesson Project", will consist of two major parts: the lesson plan and the research report.

  1. Style
  2. a.   The final project must be typed in Times New Roman or Courier, 12pt font.  Margins are to be 1 inch all around, and line space should be double.  Avoid extended headings and unnecessary spacing.
    b.   All sources, whether quoted directly or used indirectly, must be annotated.  Either in-text notation or footnotes will do.  If you are not sure of how to annotate your sources, please see me for further clarification.
    c.   Be original.  Although ready-made lectures from the Internet may be consulted (you must annotate them and list them in the bibliography), mere copying of them is unacceptable.
  3. Sections
  4. a.   Lesson plan

    The lesson plan is the written explanation of the objectives and tools of the lecture.  It should include the following:

    ·   A section listing and explaining the objectives of the lecture.
    ·   A list of the tools to be used during the presentation, including an explanation of why they have been chosen/implemented.  This should include all multi-media components and reading assignments.  That is, here you should explain why your group chose the readings you did, and how they are particularly representative of the topic.  Why are they relevant?
    ·   The lecture outline.
    ·   The lecture notes.
    ·   The guide questions for the assigned readings.
    ·   A guide for discussion of the readings.  How do you propose to start/encourage discussion? What are the main topics to highlight?  Which parts of the reading should be stressed?  Etc.

    b.     Research report

    The research report is the written summary of the researchers' findings.  It should include the rough material from which the lecture notes are to be compiled.

    ·   The report should summarize the sources you have found about the topic.  It may be organized by theme/sub-headings or it may follow the outline. 
    ·   It should include quotes and annotations.
    ·   It should not include photocopies or web print-outs.
    ·   Researchers must include a bibliography, listing separately primary and secondary sources.  Within each of those, websites should be listed first, with other sources following.

If you have any questions, please contact me.  I recommend that you start work on the project as early as possible.  Although the work itself is not hard, the project will be time-consuming and will require coordination among all members of the group!

For group assignment deadlines and presentation dates, consult the course schedule (handed-out separately).



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