Unit Plans

Student Multigenre Web Projects:
Exploring Local History

| What is this project about?  | What will our project look like? | Hypertext | How long will we have? | How do we work on one site? | How will we choose our topic/interview subject? | How can we prepare for our interview? | How are we to conduct our research?  | Avoiding plagiarism | Above and Beyond | Project Specifics | Oral Presentation |


| List of Required Pages | Setting up Pages | Topics | Genre List | Project Documents |

What is this project about?

The living history project begins when teams of two students start to explore their interests in a particular period in history. What they learn from their Internet and print source research gets them started, giving them a foundation of knowledge. It is then that students get a more personal view of history through their interview of a person who lived that time and that experience. The students' research combined with their interview will give them a fuller understanding of their historical topic. It is then that the students move from being researchers to being writers. As writers, they must decide how they will tell the story that only they can tell. By using a multigenre approach, the writers will have creative control over the process, and publishing on the web means the students will be able to proudly share their work with everyone involved as well as anyone else interested in their story.

The living history multigenre web project incorporates two main sources of information:

  • research into a topic in a historical decade using print and Internet sources
  • an interview with someone who will share his or her personal history of that time

What will our project look like when we are done?

Your project will be published in your web site and will have the following components:

  • a title page
  • a table of contents page
  • a prologue that introduces the topic, the person you interviewed, and yourselves
  • a picture of you and your interview subject with a description that tells who, when, where and anything else that needs saying. See the title page for a sample. Take a digital picture or scan a regular picture.
  • the transcript of your personal interview
  • a historical overview: your document informing your readers about your historical subject (650-800 words)
  • four additional genre pages; choose four genres that will help you tell your story
  • an epilogue in which you and your partner bring the project to a close
  • an annotated bibliography

Aesthetically, your web design should fit the tone of the subject you are presenting. Always remember to keep your readers in mind as you design your web site. Readability is a major consideration. Choose color schemes that improve or enhance readability. Choose web safe fonts. Navigation is important too, and you must make sure all your links work.

Click here for help in setting up each page.


This project is a web project and should, therefore, use the benefits of the web. A minimum of ten in-text hyperlinks must be included in your web site. You may not include those that may occur in your annotated bibliography. Also, you may not link to the same site more than once.

An in-text hyperlink is like those in this document. You highlight a word or phrase in the text and create a link to a relevant site that you believe will add to your reader's understanding of your text. The "rule" for number of words to highlight per link is 1-3 words.

Where should you include your links?

  • Your links may be in any of your pages, but would be most effective in your historical overview, any of your genre pages, and in your transcript.

How long will we have to finish this project?

From start to finish, you will have six weeks. In that time period, there are many benchmarks (deadlines) for you to meet. There should be enough time to do everything well. The link to your teacher's calendar is below.

How will we both work on one web site?

Choose one person who will house your site. As you work, you will always do your Web work there. The other person will make a link to that site in his/her own site. (Sheboygan Falls students will put the link on their webfolio page). When the project is completed, students can have a copy of the project saved on a CD if they wish.

All of the work, web and non-web, will need to be shared equally. In general, it is a good idea to collaborate instead of divide the work. The final product will be evidence of the team's effort and seriousness of purpose. At the end, you are both expected to be experts on your topic. SFHS students will be presenting their project to their peers in their class.

DO NOT give out your password!

How will we choose our topic and our interview subject?

You should consider the following:

  • What are we interested in? Start with your history text to give you a review of the time and events. Think about what it is that interests you in particular about a decade or an event. Why are you interested? What happened that seems important to you? Note: You may not use your history text as a resource for your research.
  • Do you know anyone who has lived this history? Think of your grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors. Ask your parents if they know someone in the community who has experiences they would be willing to share with you.

How can we prepare for our interview?

  • Read the directions for this part of the project carefully.
  • There are documents that you need to fill out and send and have returned. We will go over this in class.
  • Both partners must participate in the personal interview. Before your interview, come up with questions that you'd like answered.
  • Students who do oral history projects often have questions similar to yours. We will be addressing your concerns together. For help, see this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the topics that we can choose from?

The list is divided into decades, each with relevant sub topics. Click here to see topics.

How are we to conduct our research?

  • In addition to your personal interview, three other sources of information are required.
  • You may not cite your history textbook or an encyclopedia even though you may start there for general background knowledge. Online encyclopedias, including Wikipedia, are not allowed as sources.
  • Of the three sources, only one may be a website. Other appropriate print sources are books, journals (web journals are also fine), historical society documents, or other similar scholarly resources. Ask your teacher if you are in doubt about the credibility of a source. Popular magazines are generally not good resources. Remember, scholarly journals from Electric Library should be cited as print sources.
  • As you find credible sources, it is important to document them right away so that later your annotated bibliography will be very easy to do. You need to record all the pertinent information to be used in your annotated bibliography.
  • Taking notes from your sources is a must. How you and your partner decide to do that is up to you. The dialectic notes form is suggested. You must be precise when you quote information directly. And any paraphrase or summary must be documented, too. Anything you borrow must be cited.
  • Avoiding plagiarism should be of primary concern to you. NEVER cut and paste without citing the source.
  • Consult the page on researching and writing the historical overview for help with this aspect of the project.

Avoiding plagiarism:

Plagiarism is a serious offense. Students caught plagiarizing run the risk of earning no credit for their work. Be sure you know your teacher's policy on plagiarism.

Above and beyond:

For students who have met the minimum requirements for this project and want to add more to their project in order to make it more complete, consider adding these to your web:

  • photos (donated by your interview subject with full permission to publish)
  • old documents such as letters, ration cards, grocery store receipts, news articles, etc. (these would be scanned)
  • graphs (you create)
  • drawings or other illustrations (you create)

Anything that is added to your site must be integrated into the project and explained fully. In other words, you cannot simply plop in a picture. Who is in the picture? What's going on? Why is the picture a good addition to your web project?

Any photos or other documents used in creating various genre pages are not eligible for extra credit.

And remember, any extras are added on top of the minimum requirements. No one is required to add extra elements to the project.

Project specifics:

Sheboygan Falls Classes Mrs. Schulze's Classes




Evaluation Rubric

Self Assessment


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2004 Pat Schulze and Dawn Hogue