Research Project and Presentation

Students will make presentations in pairs or singly on a project they have proposed that reveals an in-depth knowledge of some aspect of one culture we have studied that relates to an aspect of our culture today.

Research Project
Each student will engage in some sort of research or experience outside the normal syllabus of the course. The following projects are examples of the kind of work that can be done, but they do not exhaust the possibilities. Students are encouraged to design their own experiences. It is best to build these around activities or interests you already have and which overlap with the course content. Attached are some assignments I have already designed. Extra assignments can count as extra credit. Students may work in pairs, but will need to make explicit, in writing, what each partner brought to the project.
Students will need to focus on a particular aspect of one of these cultures:
Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance.

The final project needs to embrace the following:
An overview of the topic, describing why it is to be explored, what one (or mankind) knows about it and how, and the main focus that will be explored and why.
The cultural context for the topic: the wants and needs of the culture that produced it, the sponsor(s) or patron(s) that underwrote it, the persons that did it and used it.
The impact on the culture that produced it and what it reveals about that culture.
The impact on us today.

All projects will need either a Works Cited page (for traditional papers) or a Bibliography (for more creative, non-traditional assignments).
All non-print sources need to receive approval by me. To get approval for sources such as web-sites, you will need to provide evidence that the site is of the quality required for this project. To do that, you will need to
Assess the Web-site:
Give the complete MLA formatted bibliographic information on the website, which includes such information as sponsoring organization, date of posting, date of access, etc.
Give the purpose of the site.
Describe the organization that sponsors the site.
Describe the kind of information you are getting and who it is aimed at.
Describe the kind of writers who have posted the information.
Include samples from the web-site.

The Process for the Project
The Proposal.
  1. Initial Proposal. Each student or pair will submit in writing what is to be researched. I need to approve each proposal. The projects listed below are very broad and require substantial narrowing of focus.
Your proposal needs to be very specific:
Name of topic to research.
Why you want to research that topic. Write a paragraph of explanation.
What you will be focusing on in the topic. Write a paragraph of explanation.
Resources you will consult. Give complete bibliographic citations.
What the final product will be. (Paper, presentation, power point, video, performance, art, etc.)
Process or procedure you will follow to accomplish the project.
Due dates for parts of the project.
For example, if you wish to write reports on videos, you would need to name the project, identify the videos (notice the plural), and what you expect to assess concerning those videos, such as figures to study, kinds of information presented, content and quality of videography and kinds and quality of extras. Also, what will be the final product: power point, written essay—with or without visuals, audiotape or –cd, videotape or dvd, etc. When will this be finished? What do you hope to learn and why? Etc.
Presentations can be focused around the traditional poster board (ugh!), can make use of the ubiquitous power point, or can utilize audio technology, can awe through multiple technologies, and can even require class participation. What matters is that the presentation format fits the material to be presented. If you want to explore an art, make sure we can see or hear or touch examples of it, maybe even do it. If you want to explore philosophical concepts, make sure we can do that, for example, in a dialogue.
Presentations may not require a written paper, but note-taking and drafting of ideas and listing and defining key terms will be required of all students. Rather than writing a paper for a presentation, some students may write a journal to record and reflect on their project as they do it and to verify that the research is driving the product. Some students may write out prose notes for themselves so that they are able to make clear concepts and terms they are presenting, and write up handouts of key terms.

2. Revised proposal. Receive proposal back with comments. Each student needs to modify the project to receive approval by me. Revisions to the project proposal will need to be made until it is approved.

3.Final Contract. Each student can only proceed with the project when a final, written project proposal, and copy, has been approved and signed by the teacher and parent, with one copy kept by the teacher and one by the student. Final proposal is worth 100 points.

Work on the project.
Keep a journal of your progress (or your drafts of paper). This will be a grade for the project (100 points). The final product will also receive a grade (200).

Present the project.
Arrange for a presentation time with Mr. Woodruff, as well as equipment and materials you will need. The date of the presentation will be the due date. The presentation will be the unit assessment (100 points).

Suggested Projects:
Memorial or Significant Architecture assignment (designed)
Cultural Research Assignment (See the Library research assignment list of topics)
Attend a performance/event that recreates or adapts or involves a classical performance/event.
Virtual Museum Tour: Web Gallery of Art, Perseus, National Gallery of Art, etc.
Video Reports: History videos, art videos
Book Report: History and cultural: Herodotus, Thucydides
Philosophy: Aurelius’ Meditations, Aristotle’s Politics, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle

Compare and contrast current secular rituals and/or artifacts with ancients
History in Dispute: Volume 20: Classical Antiquity and Classical Studies: Black Athena, etc.
Analysis of web-site.

Possible topics:
Music (instruments, performance) astronomy
Pottery houses/home furnishings
Painting gardens (public, private)
Sculpture agriculture
Architecture holidays/festivals/calendars
Science/technology dance
Math/geometry food
Money tools
Law transportation
Rituals/ceremonies jewelry/clothing
Medicine sports/games
Children death
Crafts social organization (families, economy, politics)
Cuisine warfare (armor and weapons, strategy, navies, armies)