The effects of collaborative oral presentation on comprehension: A project approach to historical thinking in middle school social studies

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Embargo End Date
Ulbrich, Valerie E.
Carroll, Jeri A.

History has typically been taught using textbooks and rote memorization of facts. The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which has focused primarily on reading and math curriculum, has incorporated the content areas of science and social studies within English and language arts as a means of helping students develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills. This shift in academic focus provides opportunities to explore history in authentic learning methods that emphasize more critical thinking. In this study, middle school sixth-graders recorded news broadcasts from an ancient Greek point-of-view as a way to practice historical thinking through multiple language arts components. Scripts were written by students after conducting research and then performed orally in a news studio setting. Students worked collaboratively to produce their broadcasts using computers and a movie-making program. They then analyzed them in class for content and contextualization. Results indicate positive outcomes for cross-curricular learning and critical thinking skills. Keywords: project-based learning, historical-thinking skills, Common Core, media literacy, social studies, middle school

Table of Content
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction