Students absolutely need the skills to prepare a thoughtful, well-written research paper, but there ARE other options that can help them acquire subject knowledge through creative activities and will help them build and apply practical and transferable skills. The following projects can be used in nearly every content area, require higher order thinking skills, and can integrate technology, which would offer students opportunities to build their media and digital literacy as well.

Stop by the Professional Development Center and with the instructional coach and librarian, we can plan and discuss project ideas, available resources, opportunities for technology integration, and evaluation options (such as rubrics).

1. Resume - Using MS Word or Google Docs, students create a professional resume for a famous person and attach a cover letter.

2. Interview - Build on the resume project and simulate an interview of a historical person (artist, writer, scientist, mathematician, leader, etc.) who is applying for the position for which s/he is famous.

3. Press conference - Select a group of famous or important people from your content area to be interviewed. Have the bulk of the class prepare questions based on historical context. Select students to play the important figures and be sure they prepare well enough to answer the questions in a manner that reflects their assigned person.

4. Detailed diary entry - For a fictional or historical character, students refer to their texts and research materials to write a detailed diary entry that would represent a typical day in the character's life. Students should include interaction and quotes from primary sources, family, and friends.

5. Dinner party - Students invite people from a particular period and act as them. They plan what to serve based on the historical, cultural, and personal context of the figures. They plan the seating arrangement and offer reasons for their selections.

6. Collector's Card - Students design a card-like poster that includes statistics, quotes, and other relevant information.

7. Epitaph, obituary, or eulogy

8. Photograph Album - Students research and locate pictures and create personal anecdotes to go along with each (they could even draw the pictures if needed). This project could be creatively extended to be the album of a disease, animal, or invention. Don't forget to require a bibliography of their sources of the photos!

9. Recipe - What ingredients and conditions would students need to create an American Revolution, a national crisis, an epidemic, a worthy novel?

10. Board game - Let an event in history, science, or novel inspire a truly playable game. Allow the class to play the games as part of the evaluation.

More ideas will be added to this list, so be sure to check back frequently!