Sophomores engage in year-long project on continents Learning about the world through different cultures

Holding a previous students project, World History teacher Vincent Thur shows the class an example of what their designs should look like. Students had to create an ancient artifact from their region of the world. "I try to provide my students with the background information so that they can use it make connections and formulate questions," Thur said. Photo Credit: Amanda Masek

To understand the history and culture of different areas in the world, sophomores in Mr. Vincent Thur’s World History classes are learning about the continents and their countries.

“In order to develop the ability to assess issues of change and continuity over time and place and to be able to trace the major themes in world history, [every] student chose an area of the world so they can work at becoming an expert in one of the themes that have impacted different civilizations,” Thur said.

At the beginning of the year, each class period was randomly assigned a continent. Throughout the year, students will individually research the continent at different time periods in history.

“I think the project is interesting because I have been researching diseases in the Americas and that falls into my personal interests,” sophomore Emily Thorn said. “My concern is the direction we’ll take [in the future] because we’ll have to do research for a year, but I’m currently pleased with the way it’s going.”

Sophomores will also have a series of assignments which they will integrate into their final project. Assignments will be based around the five strands of history-social, economic, political, religious and geographical.

“We will first discuss what it is economically and what it is politically, that will allow us to build a foundation for the discussion at the end of the year,” Thur said. “Its emphasis is on students being able to research, create something with it and communicate with others. This helps build the skills in students, not only [in] communicating but also listening.”

At the end of the year, students will partake in a group discussion about their continent and what they learned throughout the project.  Their final project, which will be a deliverable of the students choice, will serve as a portion of the students’ semester exam.

“For this project, I want [students] to develop activities to build their skills so that they are guaranteed success at the end of the year, and have refined skills that they can use [in the future],” Thur said.

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