One of the most fun and interactive activities we did this semester was the Decades project. In groups, we were to choose a decade and research different things about it. My group decided on the 1940's, a decade the United States was at war, women began working more and in more prominent jobs, and many neat things were brought out in the 40's. Areas our group researched included, people born in the 40's, well known people of the 40's, historical events, music/songs/artists, dance, films, books, disasters/scandals, inventions, sports, and how women, men and children were dressed in the 1940's. Our group focused on all of the different areas and really embraced who we were as representatives of the 1940's. We designed a large tri-fold poster board using newspaper articles as the background. We choose pictures of influential people during the 40's, inventions, and images of movies and famous pictures to represent things about the 1940's. Another major piece to our board's presentation was our victory garden. If we had displayed a title to our victory garden, it would have been "Growing out the 40's", in which we choose famous people that were born in the 1940's, displaying them in a victory garden style. We also choose other objects to help represent the 40's in our display, such as books, games, food that came out in the 40's, and a few different inventions that were created in the 40's. We used an imovie to show different movies, songs, and events of the 40's and we all dressed in clothing that represented the 1940's. We really had a fun and educational time figuring new things out about a decade that none of us were even close to being born in. We learned many new things and really enjoyed being creative in our own way to showcase what we learned.
An activity like this one in the classroom would be a really neat way to involve students in learning and research. Giving students a broad guideline of where to start and go with the activity, allows for students to branch out and explore new and interested areas on their own. Students are able to research areas on their own, finding what they feel is most important to represent. An activity like this is both fun and engaging, and can really get the students involved.
Below are a few pictures of our project: