USH USH PROJECTS
COLLIER 1950s - 2005
Thesis Due Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Project Due Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Be sure to include a thesis in your presentation. A thesis is a one-sentence analysis or conclusion that you draw
from your research. It should be your particular “take” on a topic, not a statement that is common knowledge
already. Every student is required to submit a draft of a thesis statement on Tuesday, May 10. That means you
must do research before then.
Follow the guidelines below and on the appropriate Project Assessment form, and turn that Assessment form in
with your project. Some projects require you to turn in your own handwritten or typed research notes. Do not
turn in copies of pages you found in a book or online. Instead, turn in your own notes on that material. You
may make any of the projects below into a period newspaper, diary, journal, video, editorial cartoons,
scrapbook, oral presentation, PowerPoint, etc. Most projects are individual projects, but a few, such as a
newspaper, can be done with a partner.
Every student must turn in a bibliography. If working with a partner, each person must turn in separate
notes and bibliography. Each student should use at least three sources in addition to the text, and in addition to
any general encyclopedia (Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia), and you are encouraged to use more. At least
one should be a primary source. A primary source is a source taken from the time period you are examining.
Examples are a speech, a letter, a newspaper article, a song, poem, or art work, etc. from the time period you are
researching. You must cite your sources using the proper form you use in your English classes. Please limit
your presentation to a maximum of five minutes.
1. Select one person you learned about this year in USH. Imagine he/she were hosting a dinner party. Select
any six people (again, people we studied this year) to attend. Explain why each was invited. Give a class
presentation or write a newspaper article explaining who was invited, who attended and why. The people
invited do not need to be from the same time era. People invited should have something in common, but
might also have different ideas from the person hosting the party. Also, a person who is invited might
choose not to attend for one reason or another. If this happens, be sure to explain why. All the people you
select must be historical figures we studied this year, between 1865 - 2000. Be clever and creative.
2. By examining Hoover High School and North Canton High School yearbooks along with other sources of
local history, give an oral, PPT, or video presentation on the high school during a particular decade. What
was life like for high school students of that decade? We have yearbooks in our Library/Media Center that
go back to 1926. You might also contact the North Canton Heritage Society to use some of their local
history materials. Analyze and draw conclusions about the school during a particular decade, do not merely
summarize. Do some research on the decade in America to connect what was happening in North Canton
with what was happening in America at the time.
USH PROJECTS 1950s - 2005 2
3-13. Research the music of America. In your presentation show how the music reflected America at the
time. Select one of the following periods.
3. Early Rock & Roll: 1954 – 1958
4. The Pop Years: 1958 – 1962
5. The Beat Boom: 1962 – 1967 (the Beatles)
6. The Age of Rock: 1967 – 1972
7. Soul Music in the 1960s and 70s
8. Music 1973 – 1979.
9. Music of the 80s
10. Music of the 90s
11. Country Music of a particular decade
12. Early Blues Music – from its birth up to WWII
13. The Blues Since WWII
USH PROJECTS 1950s - 2005 3
14. Using Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, research the historical significance of each line of the song.
Then, give your opinion/analysis. Or, select only parts of the song if you do this alone.
15. Write and perform your own Billy Joel-type song about things that happened in a particular era of U.S.
history, or about a particular theme in U.S. history that could transcend eras. Be prepared to answer
questions on it. Be creative and clever.
16-18. Research ONE of the following topics for a particular decade of the post WWII era. Make a
presentation and explain their impact on American life and how they reflected life and times of the
decade. Select only one decade per topic.
19. Styles of Dress in a particular decade. Make this an oral presentation, and bring in some actual clothes if
you can. You are also welcome to model them. Choose any decade from the 1950s – 1990s.
20. The "Best and the Worst." Determine the two best and two worst Presidents. In your presentation,
INDICATE YOUR CRITERIA, and give reasons for your conclusions.
21. Select two first ladies from the period 1865-2005 and explain why they were so unique. What impact, if
any, did they have on their times?
22. Research and give a presentation on the ideas of one of the following: Betty Friedan (The Feminine
Mystique), Phyllis Schlafly (The Total Woman), or Gloria Steinem (NOW). See SIRS in the Library/Media
Center. Be sure to compare and contrast the ideas of the person you choose with the other two.
USH PROJECTS 1950s - 2005 4
23. Examine ONE of the following: modern novels, poetry, art or architecture. How was postWWII American
culture reflected in your topic.
24. Explore the growing role of women and women's issues in politics in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.
What gains have women made politically, socially, and economically? What difficulties still confront
them? Do this in whatever format you wish: essay, journal, video, PPT, newspaper, scrapbook, etc.
25. Was the John F. Kennedy assassination a conspiracy? Research this topic and give a presentation.
26. Research and write an essay or give a presentation on the American Indian Movement of the 1960s and
27. Research and choose from one of the following regarding the Vietnam War: Choose one of the following
formats: an analytical essay, a presentation, diary entries, or a series of letters on the daily life of an
American soldier in Vietnam, or the daily life of a civilian in America during the war. Base this on your
research. You may select a specific event in the Vietnam War such as My Lai, or the Tet Offensive.
28. Compare the recent "new immigrants" from Latin America and Asia with the earlier waves of immigrants,
especially in the late 19th and early 20th century. You may choose from the following: write an essay,
give a presentation, write diary entries, or publish a newspaper for your immigrant group. Complete a
29. Select a decade in American history. Select highlights from that decade. Complete what you can of a
PIRATES form on the decade. You may do a scrapbook, a PowerPoint, or give an oral presentation using
each of the categories on PIRATES as a heading.
30. Do you like sports? Research and give a report on ONE sport in America during a particular decade.
Indicate how that sport contributed to or affected American culture. Note: you may focus on a women’s
USH PROJECTS 1950s - 2005 5
31. Research and write a description, or make a presentation on your family history. You may do this as an
individual project. Go back at least three generations. Bring in pictures or other mementos of your
family history. Relate your family’s history to the history of the United States at the time.
32. Select any local history topic. Get your topic approved by the instructor. Use Kieffer and Hall’s North
Canton Ohio, A Place In Time and/or Basner’s The North Canton Heritage. Make connections between
local history and what was happening in America at the time.
33. Research and do one of the following on Islamic extremism: write an analytical essay, make an oral or
PowerPoint presentation, write diary entries, or publish a newspaper. How does this differ from
traditional Islam. Relate your analysis to the events of 9/11.
34. Research the anti-war movement in the U.S. during the Vietnam War. You may focus on a particular
aspect of this topic. See the instructor if you plan to narrow this. You may choose from the following:
essay, oral presentation, PowerPoint, video, diary entries, letters being exchanged, or publish an anti-war
35. Research one major event in the nonviolent Civil Rights movement during the 1950s or 1960s. You
may choose from one of the following events: Freedom Riders, the 1960 Greensboro NC Sit In, James
Meredith trying to enter the University of Mississippi in 1962, the Battle of Birmingham in 1963,
Freedom Summer, 1964 in Mississippi, or the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. Options: essay,
oral presentation, PPT, diary, letters, or newspaper.
36. Same as #35, but focus on the more militant Civil Rights movement in the 1960s – Black Power, Black
Separatism, and the Black Panthers.
37. Research and make a presentation (with analysis) on the Student Protests of the 1960s, the Free Speech
Movement, and the “New Left.”
38. Same as #37 above, but focus on Yippies, Communes, and the Counterculture in the 1960s.
USH PROJECTS 1950s - 2005 6
39. History or Hollywood? Select a film dealing with an historical event, person, or time period. No R-rated
movies. Watch the film. Compare it to actual events in U.S. history. Consider the time period the movie
was made along with the time period that the film depicts. Does that have any bearing on the way history
was presented in the film? Present your findings in an oral presentation, and show a brief clip of the film
you chose to the class. Check with the instructor beforehand regarding the film and the particular clip you
select. You must have both parental and instructor approval for you film. You might select from: Gone
With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Apollo 13, Truman, All the President’s Men, Citizen Kane, Norma
Rae, Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, Good Morning, Vietnam. Or, select another film upon
approval of the teacher. Note: you must still use other sources to research the topic in addition to the film.
40. Choose your favorite topic in American history. Inform the instructor. Research and select one of the
project options – essay, oral presentation, PPT, video, diary entries, newspaper, etc.
41. Wheaties Box Project. See separate handout and rubric.