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An Interview With the Past: Ancient Roman and US Government Leader

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Keywords: Ancient Rome, US Government, World Civilization, Interview, Social Studies
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Technology, Podcasting, Writing, Social Studies, History
Grades 6 through 12
School: Indian Creek Middle School, Waterman, IL
Planned By: Scott McClure
Original Author: Scott McClure, Waterman
Students were to research their characters and gather information about the government they led and the kind of leader they were. For the presentation of this information, they needed to provide this through a modern day television interview show. The purpose of this is to have students understand the importance of ancient Rome’s political system and the impact it had on governments around the world, especially our own government.

My students were able to utilize many different interactive technologies during this project. They acquired the information from teacher-approved internet sites, which involved the use of desktop computers, printers, and scanners. For the presentation piece, they were allowed to use a number of platforms. They could provide a live version in front of the class, they could videotape themselves, or they could present online through a pod cast. The pod cast was my favorite medium to use, but unfortunately our school was not able to supply the technology available. In order for students to proceed with this presentation style, they needed their own personal equipment, which I allowed.

I really feel that throughout this project students created authentic learning experiences because they connected the project to a real-world connection. I believe the students had fun, were challenged, and interested in this because it was student-driven, not teacher-driven. The use of interactive technology caused them to want to put more effort into it and allowed them to use their own creativity, making it special.
Students really loved this project, the same concept can be applied to almost any topic, and this is a cross-curricular project, which will help with authentic learning.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This can be used with English, Social Studies, Current Events, Technology, and more.
Discussion of what they liked and disliked about this. Discussion/essay on what they've learned and how the government of ancient Rome influenced many other modern day governments, including the United States'.
Links: British Museum Link to Ancient Egypt
PBS Link to Tour a Pyramid
White House Link to US Presidents
Materials: Video Cameras, Projectors, Portable, MP3 Players, Televisions, DVD/VCR Players, CDs and DVDs, Printers, Video/Camera Accessories, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Cables, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, LCD Monitors, Mice, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Social Studies, Word Processor, Podcasting, Keyboarding, Inspiration, Integrating Technology, Cause and Effect
Other Items: 1 Panasonic SDR-H40 Digital Camcorder, $500.00 each, total of $500.00
1 Toshiba XGA LCD Projector, $1300.00 each, total of $1300.00
1 Microsoft LifeCam Web Camera, $80.00 each, total of $80.00
1 Dell Inspirion Laptop, $650.00 each, total of $650.00