Jack Pillemer shares with us how he developed The Millennium Project and how it is being used; including links to the work of fellow cyberspace colleagues who have prepared similar projects or adapted this one.
The Millennium Project
During the year 1998, I noticed that Time Magazine was devoting a number of issues to influential people who helped shape the twentieth century. These issues contained two-page articles on a wide variety of movers and shakers from Mao to Mandela,James Joyce to Jim Henson.
I selected about thirty of these articles, placed them in plastic folders and created a project for my students at the Mae Boyar High School in Jerusalem.
The project requires the student to:
After introducing the idea of the approaching end to the century (and the millennium) with an interesting reading passage, I moved the class into the library to work on the project. Students worked there for the next three lessons. I brought in my own dictionaries, as their own dictionaries were sometimes not good enough. I allowed students who were working on the same article to read together. My role during these lessons was to help with particularly difficult vocabulary/expression and help the students find suitable terms for further research. Some needed to be encouraged past the first stage, as the Time articles seem quite daunting at first.
I set a date for the project to be handed in, plus the oral presentation for about a week and a half after they had begun. Students were given the choice of presenting before the class, or presenting on a cassette which they handed in. About 50% chose a live audience, and this took a little more than one double period.
Recently I discovered
that these Time Magazine essays are available on-line and this enables
others to use the project. The articles can be found at http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/time100/index.html
If your students have internet access, they can go directly to the site and choose their essays on their own. If students use the computer for the entire project, the task page could include a Power Point presentation to accompany the oral presentation
The project can certainly be changed and adapted to suit individual needs. Sue Kerman, a fellow teacher at Boyar, has adapted and changed the project slightly. She simplified the task page, dropped the oral requirement, created a separate reflection page and allocated points differently. You can find her task page at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/7726/suetask.html
It is interesting to note that the studentsí response to the project has by and large been very positive. Their reflection on their work has revealed that giving students a choice increases motivation. Their motivation also increased as a result of a change in classroom routine. Some felt that they had learned vocabulary, others research skills, others general knowledge and others were excited by the fact that the project had "forced" them to use the internet--a resource they were not very familiar with.
After posting the
project on the ETNI list I received quite a lot of e-mail detailing similar