Task:

Tell the story of American Imperialism in one of the following countries:
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Cuba
  • Puerto Rico
  • Philippines
  • Hawaii

You will create a 5 minute mini-documentary.
Your presentation must be based on historical evidence. You must quote at least one book and one primary source in your final presentation. Your presentation must:
  • Have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Explore what American Foreign Policy was at the time
  • Describe the causes/effects of American intervention


Copy of Assignment, Schedule and Grading

Suggested Schedule

Week Before

  • Pick your project group and exchange contact information
  • Choose an example of American Imperialism
  • Receive reading and complete before Day 1 – I strongly urge you to unpack this with your group in a meeting together and to ask questions before/after school with me
  • Discuss the group’s values and fill out peer rubric descriptions
Day 0

  • Mini Socratic Discussion on the Overthrow readings. Unpack your reading together.
Day 1

  • Share notes, and develop an outline of your American Imperialism topic based on the provided reading.
  • Any group members who have not done their reading please inform the teacher and that group member will be removed.
Day 2

  • Go to the library and learn how to perform keyword/topic based research using available resources.
Day 3-4

  • Write your narration. It should be a story that other students in the class can understand without the background knowledge you have acquired.
Day 5

  • Write 3 multiple choice questions that relate to the three most important aspects of your presentation. These questions must be in-depth questions (i.e. why and how).
  • Catch up on any tasks that are yet to be completed.
Day 6

  • Learn iMovie basics
Day 7-9

  • Computer lab: create Projects.

Grade:

  • 10% - will be based on class performance on test questions that your group creates to ensure you’ve taught them the important material related to your example of American Imperialism
  • 10% - will be based on a self evaluation
  • 20% will be based on how your group believes you performed
  • 60% will be based on the teacher’s evaluation of your final project
  • If the teacher feels the group or self evaluation is not representative of the effort and final product the teacher reserves the right to alter the final grade.

Important Notes:

  • Be sure to base your American Imperialism story on the provided reading.
  • You will need a lot of pictures and videos. Save them to a folder on your home computers and bring them in on a USB drive or utilize dropbox.com or google drive.
  • Do not lose track of the purpose of this project
    • You must teach each other about one specific example of American Imperialism
    • Content is important
    • Remember that the technology is merely a medium for you to get your message across and that it is the message that is most important

Groups:

I strongly urge you to consider your grade when you choose your group members. There is a time for socializing and a time for working. Your best option for a group may not be your friends. Consider your future groups’ technological skills, writing skills, speaking skills, and researching skills. Take advantage of the talent in the room so that you set yourself up to create the best possible project.


Research

An important part of this task is doing efficient and accurate research on your topic. You should:
  • Start general and get more specific
  • Use a variety of strong keywords, and add new keywords based on research you are completing
  • Adjust your strategy for different resources and based on success or failure, including broadening or narrowing your search
  • Use a variety of resources to get a well-rounded perspective and examine results for bias and accuracy
  • Ask for help if you get stuck

The library has a variety of resources for you to use, including books and specialized online resources.
Here are a few to try out, with hints and tips for each.

Research Phases

Phase 1 : Search your own knowledge and determine keywords

  • Think about what you already know based on your class readings and start brainstorming keywords.
  • Think about people, places, things, dates, and concepts associated with your topic.
  • Think about related words that are more specific, more general and even synonyms.

Phase 2: General sources - "Pre-Search"

Sources like textbooks, encyclopedias (print and online), or your class readings are a good second step to help you understand the basics about a topic. Always be on the look out for new keywords to add to your searches, like people, places, and dates. Don't forget to keep track of your sources for your bibliography!

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US History.org
An online textbook, this is a good source for basic overview information.
Use the drop-down menu at the top of the page, or the "next" button on the bottom.
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CIA World Factbook
A quick resource to learn about a country. Geography, politics, history and statistics, all in a short and easy to read format. Researched and maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.
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BBC Country Profiles
Created and maintained by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), this resource provides instant access to the history, politics, and economic background of the countries of the world.

Phase 3: More specific resources

As you start to dig into your topic, you will want to look at resources that are slightly more specific and specialized, For example an entire book about a time period or country, or a specialized database that focuses on history. Always be on the look out for new keywords to add to your searches. These sources will all provide you with an MLA-formatted citation - required for your bibliography! These sources are designed for research - be sure to use the tools you are given to narrow your search, save citations, and even save entire articles to Google Drive.
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Research Databases are now integrated with Google Drive!

Watch a short tutorial video or check out this tip sheet.

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US History in Context or World History in Context
Let "autocorrect" help you search and use the subject suggestions to narrow results.
Check "World and US" under the search box
Look at related articles
Look at a variety of resource types - Reference, Magazines, Journals, etc.
All articles can be exported directly to your Google Drive, and include a formatted citation.
Many of the results here are from books ("Reference").
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Gale Virtual Reference Library
Search over a hundred comprehensive and specialized reference books and multi-volume sets at once, in 18 standard subjects. All articles can be exported directly to your Google Drive, and include a formatted citation.

These sources are all books.

Phase 4: Specialized resources

As you become more knowledgeable about your topic, you can begin to find information in specialized resources, for instance biographies of key individuals or doing strong searches on the Internet to find highly specialized sources of information. These sources will all provide you with an MLA-formatted citation - required for your bibliography! These sources are designed for research - be sure to use the tools you are given to narrow your search, save citations, and even save entire articles to Google Drive.
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Research Databases are now integrated with Google Drive!

Watch a short tutorial video or check out this tip sheet.

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Biography in Context
Use your new knowledge about the individuals involved in your topic to find out more.
All articles can be exported directly to your Google Drive, and include a formatted citation.
Many of the results here are from books.
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Opposing Viewpoints
Let "autocorrect" help you search
Look at related articles
Look at a variety of resource types - Reference, Magazines, Journals, Viewpoints, etc.
All articles can be exported directly to your Google Drive, and include a formatted citation.
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Expanded Academic ASAP
Expanded Academic ASAP offers users access to over 3,000 full-text journals.
All articles can be exported directly to your Google Drive, and include a formatted citation.
Be sure to have good keywords ready, and use the many filtering tools available for format, length, source, and subject. Sample articles:
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Academic OneFile
Includes full-text access to 7,500 scholarly peer-reviewed journals.
Be sure to have good keywords ready, and use the many filtering tools available for format, length, source, and subject. Sample articles:
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Google
Use your knowledge of the topic and your strong keywords to perform good searches.
Try multiple searches using a variety of terms to get to the best results.
Remember to use tricks like quotes, minus and site:
Watch a short video or an even shorter video to learn some new tricks.

Phase 5: Primary Sources

An important component of this project is to include evidence from a primary source. A primary source provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person, place or thing, usually in the form of eyewitness accounts, legal documents, photographs, maps, videos, autobiographies, diaries, letters, newspaper articles or speeches from the time in question. Primary source materials are often found in special history collections called archives, many of which are being digitized and can be searched online. An important part of using a primary source is interpreting it and understanding the perspective from which it was created; primary sources can be biased by their creators, but do not include the bias of a historian who acts as a "middle-man" between you and the source.
  • Look carefully at the author (s) credentials to understand what perspective or bias they may represent
  • Remember to analyze the author's word choices and tone carefully to help you understand the author's feelings.
  • Your choice of search terms is critical here - think about "US Civil War" vs. "War of Yankee Aggression"

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Google News Archive
Google News Archive includes scans of actual newspapers dating back 200 years.
  • Search the Archive using excellent key words
  • Use the "Snipping Tool" (in the Windows Start Menu) to save and print images.
  • Even just headlines make great images for your documentaries
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Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (1836-1922)
The site intends to “… create a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922.”
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Library of Congress - American Memory
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Digital Public Library of America
Search for primary sources - use your knowledge about your topic to narrow results using the timeline. Find photographs, videos, speeches, treaties, letters, and more.

Assorted Online Sources
History Matters from George Mason University
Primary Source Set: The Spanish-American War from the Digital Public Library of America