Hero v. Villain: End your school year with this Final Project!

The end is near. Oops- with the year that we’ve had, that could be misleading. Let me rephrase: the end OF THE SCHOOL YEAR is near.

As a social studies teacher in New York, I am accustomed to a few-week cram session in preparation for the Regents exam. Due to the suspension of social studies Regents exams, we are not afforded that luxury this year. Instead, I am taking my classroom in a different direction.

I rarely have the opportunity to give my students a final project that places the emphasize on research and student-independence, so thought I’d give it a gander this year. After speaking with a colleague about a project he did in high school where he learned about different people of history, and then identified one as a hero and another as a villain, I got an idea! (Well, he gave me the idea, but I had to receive it, so that counts, right?). I created a three-part Hero v. Villian Final Project. I selected six different people of history for the students to research. Part I requires them to complete a chart that provides an overview of important information about each of them. Part II requires them to write a research and evidence-based essay based on two of the people from their list- one as a hero, and one as a villain. Part III allows for some fun. It is a creative piece where they provide advice to a villain about how to be a hero.

The project that I created is for a World/Global History classroom, but can easily be manipulated for an American/US History classroom, and I have provided it here for you to download- no strings attached! Included:

  • A Final Project Outline Sheet. This worksheet provides directions for each part of the project.
  • A “People of History” Chart. (To use for Part I)
  • A rubric for the “Hero v. Villain” essay.

Each document is provided in Microsoft Word so that you can edit it. Use it as a baseline for your own idea, or use it exactly how it is. Or- take it now, and work it into your curriculum for next year. Do whatever tickles your fancy, floats your boat, your heart desires (you get the point). But whatever you decide to do, I wish you a happy end to a strange and unconventional school year- cheers, my friends, and enjoy!

Teri- the Mad Historian


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Hi! I’m Teri, a.k.a. the “Mad Historian”. I enjoy fitness, heels, and history, but most of all, I love creating effective classroom resources and sharing my strategies.

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