Language can bring unity or division in our personal and public lives, but there are tools to help us better understand why certain speech works or fails. In this project, you will examine rhetoric through historical and contemporary examples, analyze the rhetorical appeals and devices utilized by a speech-maker within your own community, and apply these techniques by composing a persuasive speech about a major political issue today. Learn about how language has been and can be used to communicate effectively and persuade an audience by investigating Political Speech.
Photographic images are used by journalists to illustrate real-life stories of the here and now and can affect a reader’s understanding and interest in the news. In this project, you will learn skills and concepts that guide the work of photojournalists, interview and photograph an individual you believe has an interesting perspective on the meaning of life, and produce a finished piece of photojournalism based on your philosophical discussion. Learn essential skills of photography and the critical thinking behind the composition of images that daily shape the way we see the world by investigating Meaning of Life.
Throughout history, people and ideas have been banned for being perceived as threatening or dangerous. In this project, you’ll learn to ask effective and thought-provoking questions that challenge the status quo, pursue the true meaning of a common concept or idea and use the Socratic method to examine the world around you. Learn about the history of dangerous ideas in Socratic Dialogue.
Year-round access to fresh vegetables and tropical fruits is evidence of a global food system that has taken centuries to develop. In this project, you will explore the human and environmental costs of our modern food system, observe local plant life, and examine the threats to our current way of eating. Grapple with how to feed the world nutritiously and sustainably in United Nations Speech.
In addition to television and print, journalism is also produced and shared in purely audio form through radio broadcasts and digital podcasts. In this project, you will learn skills and concepts that guide the work of radio-journalists, interview an individual about the most influential voice of their time, and produce a podcast that presents the story of that voice by creatively integrating different interview and sound elements. Learn about the role of a radio-journalist and produce your own podcast using the essential skills of interviewing, script-writing, and sound-editing by investigating Voice of a Generation Podcast.
Crafting the right questions catalyzes a process of meaningful self-discovery. In this project, you will define key concepts for inquiring into the nature of doubt and Cartesian philosophy, practice formulating strong guiding questions in order to conduct an interview with an expert on doubt, and present your own philosophical journey based on a guiding question you formulate. Learn more about how forming and pursuing questions can help forge and challenge your identity by investigating Guiding Question.
Early farmers sowed the seeds of the future, but the crops they planted had little resemblance to the foods we eat today. In this project, you will learn where and when common foods originated, uncover your family’s culinary roots, and trace the history of your favorite ingredient across time and space. Discover the origins of our modern diet by investigating Food Autobiography.
Analyzing the current state of race, gender, and class relations is crucial in the ongoing fight against inequality, and useful for measuring social progress. In this project, you will explore the status of equality in the U.S. today and the example of affirmative action in addressing racial discrimination, conduct an interview that teaches you about another country’s efforts to promote equality, and produce a time capsule from the future with specific documentary evidence of progress toward achieving equal rights and justice for all. Learn how assessing different forms of discrimination within a society can lead to a compelling vision for eradicating inequality by investigating Future Time Capsule.
It can be even more challenging to settle arguments or solve problems collaboratively when passionate, opposing viewpoints do not see eye to eye on an issue. In this project, you will review the concept of contradiction and define synthesis, explore this dialectic by studying the historical context of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, and generate your own synthesis by engaging with an opposing perspective about the issue that matters to you. Learn how arguments might be resolved by synthesizing different points of view by investigating Argument Synthesis.
For thousands of years, drama has been used to communicate the comedy and tragedy of life, often making astute observations about society and contemporary issues. In this project, you will draw from the example of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, to consider the modern role of women, facilitate a conversation about societal roles and values in your own community, and write a script featuring a dramatic chorus remarking on a current issue of your choice. Learn about how drama can be used for staging social commentary in Dramatic Chorus.
Some of the earliest messages from our ancestors have been communicated visually, in the form of murals and paintings. In this project, you will examine the messages and materials of the earliest artists across the globe, document and analyze the role of murals in your own community, and design a mural that tells the story of your time and place. Explore humanity’s visual history by investigating Mural Design.
From ancient times, theater has provided an opportunity for communities to stage their challenges and rehearse ways of dealing with them. Drawing from the example of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, this project will guide you in an exploration of how social roles have evolved over time and space, allow you to identify women from history who have challenged female stereotypes, and write a script for an imagined dialogue about how society has shaped our concept of gender. Travel back in history and use your imagination to stage a vibrant dinner conversation in Dramatic Dialogue.
Incomplete, fantastical, or frightening as they may seem, your dreams may tell you much about yourself, if you have the tools to interpret the symbols and metaphors they present. In this project, you will explore the meanings of dreams through the fields of art and psychology, engage in your own dream analysis by sharing with a trusted listener, and design a dream catcher to identify and better understand your hopes and fears for the future. Learn how to strengthen your analytical skills as you unpack metaphors and symbolism by investigating Dream Catcher.
If you aspire to achieve your dreams and goals, life is sure to be filled with twists and turns that test your mental and physical endurance. In this project, you will learn from others who have overcome obstacles to achieve a life mission; gathered words of wisdom from your trusted advisors; and articulated your life plan through a survival manual that includes a timeline, inspirational quotes, and strategies for prevailing over any roadblocks you meet along the way. Create your life’s action plan in Survival Manual.
Do you have the skills necessary to achieve your goals? In this project, you will learn the techniques and methods developed by ambitious individuals who have achieved the impossible, identified a key skill you need to practice to execute a specific goal, and documented yourself developing that skill through a video diary. Challenge yourself, endure, and take the first step in achieving a personal dream by creating your own Endurance Video.
Going to the grocery store can be an overwhelming experience today, filled with dozens of options for each product and coded food labels that take an expert eye to decipher. In this project, you will learn about our modern food system and how it evolved, identify and interpret different food certifications, and spend some time in the kitchen preparing and comparing your favorite dish. Develop your palate and indulge in unusual taste tests by investigating Food Critique.
Autobiographies transport us into someone else’s world and allow us to experience life from another perspective. In this project, you will tell your own story by crafting your life mission and vision, identifying the strengths and weaknesses that will help and hinder the completion of your mission, and writing Chapter 1 of your own autobiography, from the perspective of your well-accomplished future self. Investigate your life purpose and design your path to achievement in Future Autobiography.
You may have heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what about history? Your interpretation of history depends on who the storyteller is and what point of view they are trying to preserve. In this project, you will take on the challenging role of a historian by studying seminal works on race, gender, and class, gathering the perspective of an individual who witnessed or participated an historical event and using all your discoveries to write an accurate historical account of a specific time in history. Use research and personal stories to retell history by investigation History Book Revision.
Faith, tradition, and reason often serve a lessons are often sources of beliefs, and provide a lens through which one views the world. In this project, you will inquire into the nature of truth and reality. You will, and reflect upon Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and, conduct an interview testing key concepts with someone who holds an opposing viewpoint. You will use these experiences to , and produce a podcast sharing your beliefs and how they have developed. Learn about how exploring your truths can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are by investigating This I Believe Podcast.
Political speeches can be used to inspire and mobilize individuals, and provide valuable lessons in effective rhetoric. In this project, you will identify elements of rhetoric that promote unity and analyze these at work in a historical example, study the unifying force of political art in your community, and create your own rhetorical piece to inspire unity around a cause you deem important. Learn about how to unite an audience using effective rhetorical techniques in Unity Poster.
Beloved by readers across space and time, the “great books,” or literary classics, continue to be used in schools and by individuals as master texts for teaching and learning. In this project, you will explore different perspectives on reading, past and present, and learn about the literary canon, conduct interviews with individuals about their own experiences reading the classics, and argue for a text you’ve selected to be included in the canon and used as a teaching tool. Learn more about your relationship to reading and how books become classics by investigating Canon Defense.
Even as writers collectively represent diversity in their work, they have sometimes found their books challenged, censored, or banned by those who find the content unacceptable. In this project, you will re-define diversity and identify examples in literary texts, conduct an interview on the censorship debate, research the censorship history of a single novel, and compose a well-supported essay demonstrating the book’s promotion of diversity. Learn about why certain books have been censored for promoting diversity by investigating Censorship Presentation.
As we go about the day, the Supreme Court and its work may seem distant or invisible; nonetheless, its judicial rulings regulate some of our most basic decisions and provide standards for future actions. In this project, you will review the structure of the judicial branch of the U.S. government through key vocabulary and cases, research a Supreme Court decision that interests you, and uncover its impact, and present and explain your own ruling on an historic case. Learn about the purpose and function of the judicial branch by investigating Court Ruling.
Questions about the origins of the universe and our place here have always been on the minds of human beings, and, across time and place, we have developed stories to help explain these phenomena. In this project, you will read and compare creation myths from different cultures around the world, discover the significance of setting, descriptive and figurative language in these narratives, and craft your own original, illustrated creation story about an element within your environment. Learn about how and why peoples around the globe have used mythological stories to make sense of the world by investigating Creation Story.
Nations, like arguments, are founded upon a set of basic principles or claims; they are the assertion of sovereignty made by a collective. In this project, you will outline the structure of arguments, analyze key elements of a nation’s founding document (U.S. Declaration of Independence), test the premises of a nation’s argument through an interview and reflection, and craft your own argument for “independence”. Learn about the anatomy of argument and the claims of nationhood by investigating Declaration of Independent Study.
Although the president may embody the authority of the United States, the government was founded upon a system of checks and balances that limit the power of any one branch. In this project, you will review the powers bestowed on the executive branch and study examples of how and when those powers have been tested; conduct a popular opinion poll; and determined when and how an executive order is produced by the president. Learn about the purpose and function of the executive branch and exercise your own leadership by investigating Executive Order.
Spread and adapted around the world, fables are stories with a very specific purpose — they are intended to teach lessons about human nature and strengthen morals. In this project, you will read and compare fables from ancient Greece and India, discover the significance of character and symbolism in these narratives, and craft an original, illustrated fable teaching others the values that form your own life code. Learn about how stories have been used since ancient times to teach life lessons and develop personal character by investigating Fable.
Famous for leading the nonviolent independence movement against the British in India, Mahatma Gandhi’s methods have been studied by civil rights activists for decades. In this project, you will learn the philosophy behind Gandhi’s strategy, speak with someone who has endured or witnessed segregation, and draw inspiration from your role models to write your own song for freedom. Learn about nonviolent campaigns and how to organize your own movement by investigating Freedom Song.
Scholars have identified remarkable and shared patterns in the plot structures of heroic tales across time and place. In this project, you will study the concepts of the monomyth and hero’s journey in literature, conduct interviews with personal heroes and uncover their journeys, and produce a comparative analysis of heroes’ journeys to inspire yourself and others. Learn about literary archetypes and the path you share with other heroes, real and imagined, by investigating Hero’s Journey.
Mining your unique consciousness and exploring memories are ways to help tell the story of who you are. In this project, you will reflect upon your past and present, conduct an interview about a shared experience, and write a short story based on one of your memories. Learn more about your identity and how personal history can be analyzed and shared by investigating Memory Short Story.
Poetry has a reputation for being mysterious, difficult, and even uninviting, which may cause you to resist engaging with the literary genre. In this project, you will uncover the ancient origins of the poetic tradition as you and explore different forms. You will, find inspiration to craft and perform your own original poem, and produce a recording of your poetry reading framed by a reflection on your work. Learn about poetry by investigating Poetry Reading.
Although you may be removed from the halls of legislative assemblies, the impact of government policy can be felt in numerous ways as you go about your daily life. In this project, you will review key events, documents, and methodologies of the legislative branch of the United States government, identify a policy that matters to you and the legislators who work on this issue, and engage in the civic process by writing a letter to your local representative. Learn about the purpose and function of the legislative branch and activate your role in the civic process by investigating Policy Letter.
Like expert advertisers, segments the ruling classes of society have used strategic methods for promoting their beliefs, including deliberately spreading misleading or biased information. In this project, you will define “propaganda” by studying historical and contemporary examples, identifying and analyzing different forms of propaganda in your own environment, and designing an artistic response – a remix – to a specific example of propaganda targeted at you. Learn about how information is manipulated to control public opinion and discover a creative strategy for confronting propaganda by investigating Propaganda Remix.
This propject introduces the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to students by exercising fundamentals of geography and social studies.
In March 2012, the world population topped seven billion people. As our population continues to grow, natural resources are dwindling due to human consumption, and the resources that remain are unequally distributed. More than ever, our world needs thoughtful, engaged, global citizens to address the world’s growing crises.
The UN SDG Map project will ground you with fundamental reading, research, and writing skills necessary to enter into the global conversation. Through project-based inquiry, you will study the greatest challenges facing our planet, practice the principles needed to achieve the SDG targets, and create a map that communicates your discoveries and encourages viewers to question their assumptions about the world.