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Engaged Learning Project Draft Template

Title of Project: Barren to Bountiful. Metamorphosis.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Grade Level(s): 4, 5 (possibly 6, 7 as well)

The project Barren to bountiful. Metamorphosis revolves around the power of oral history in the
classroom and around using primary sources. The learning will be situated in an authentic context since
the students will assume the role of historians and will interview primary sources.
The students will interview their grandparents, great-grandparents, or other relatives in order to
document what life was like in Qatar about 50 years ago. They will conduct interviews and will produce
5-10 minute video recordings. Lastly, after interviewing primary sources, the students will reflect on
how the Qatari culture changed over the last 50 years (they will create Venn Diagrams in groups), on
the power of oral history, and on their new learning after completing the project (they will publish their
written reflections on a Google site. All three components (videos, Venn diagrams, written reflection)
will be published on a shared Google site.
The Qatari economy rocketed in the last 15 years, and the society experienced unprecedented
transformational changes. So, when students attempt to compare life in Qatar 50 years ago to life in
Qatar now, the comparison is quite remarkable. The total population in Qatar was last recorded at 2.3
million people in 2014 from 0.1 million in 1960, changing 4440 percent during the last 50 years.

Learner Description/Context:

In a matter of just a couple decades, Qatar witnessed a huge economic boom. Today, Qatar is the
richest country in the world, but it was one of the poorest countries in the world during the time when
these students grandparents or great grandparents were young. This experience will strengthen the
learning experience of Qatari students because their knowledge regarding their country history and its
socio-economic developments is pretty limited. A typical 4th grader would not even know that Qatar is
located in the desert. Todays Qatari students live a very luxurious life and travel the world. They dont
realize how different their life is compared to the life their grandparents lived. Therefore, this project
will be designed to help students reach their social studies curriculum standards and will help them
enrich their knowledge regarding their society and its evolution. This project will also benefit the adults
who will be watching these documentaries, because when these types of dramatic changes happen,
reflection helps raise awareness of social and cultural identify. The parents of todays students are
typically very young, and they have many relatives. Most of the parents of ten year olds are born in the
early 80s, and their grandparents are born in the 60s. Therefore, the probability of all students having a
grandparent or another relative born about 50 years ago is very high. Vision international School
opened last year, August 2015, so because its a start up school, the students population is mainly
Qatari. If this project was implemented by a class where there were multiple different nationalities,
those non-native students could research their county of origin and interview one of their own relatives.
I would also mention an important factor that helps see Qatars particular socio-economic context:
the very first school opened in Qatar in 1949. It was a school where one teacher taught 50 boys. In 1956
the first school for girls opened and things moved quite slowly. This is an important factor that indicates
how different life was like 50 years ago. In addition to this, there hasnt been much written about the
history of Qatar. Actually, the information that can be found online or in the libraries in regards to
Qatars history is quite scarce.
The school I work at is an separate gender American international school. It's a start up school that
opened its doors in August 2014. The school is equipped with Promethean Boards. Middle schools
students have MacBooks and elementary students have iPads. We are not a one-one-one school yet. We

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project Draft Template
have ordered more devices, but the school population doubles from year to year, which makes it hard to
be ready every fall. But things get better by wintertime. Since it's a start up school, the majority of the
students are Qatari. There are just a few students who are non-Qatari, but the goal of the school
administration is to make Vision International School a truly international school soon.

Time Frame: How long will this learning experience take to complete and how much class time will be
dedicated to the learning experience during this time.

4 weeks about 90 minutes per week.

Standards Assessed:

AERO Social Studies standards:

1.Time, Continuity, and Change
Students will understand patterns of change and continuity, relationships between people and events
though time, and various interpretations of these relationships.

3. Geography
Students will understand the interactions and relationship between human societies and their physical

4. Culture
Students will understand cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among societies.

5. Society and Identity

Students will understand social systems and structures and how these influence individuals

8. Science, Technology, and Society

Students will understand how societies have influenced and been influences by scientific developments
and technological developments

AERO- English Language Arts

Writing W5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as
needed by planning, revising, and editing.
W6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology including the internet to produce and
publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of
keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in one single sitting.
W7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a

Listening LS.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including
visually, quantitatively, and orally

LS.3 Evaluate a speakers point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
LS.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of
reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
LS.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance
the understanding of presentations.

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project Draft Template
Speaking SL.4.1c. Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and
make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

SL.4.1d. Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually,
quantitatively, and orally.

SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats,
including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

3. Evaluate a speakers point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

SL.4.3. Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of
reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

2. Communication and collaboration Students use digital media and environments to communicate and
work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the
learning of others. a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety
of digital environments and media b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple
audiences using a variety of media and formats
3. Research and information fluency Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use
information. a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and
ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making Students use critical thinking skills to plan
and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate
digital tools and resources. a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for
5. Digital citizenship Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and
practice legal and ethical behavior. a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of
information and technology b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports
collaboration, learning, and productivity
6. Technology operations and concepts Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology
concepts, systems, and operations. a. Understand and use technology systems b. Select and use
applications effectively and productively

Learner Objectives:

Students will know important aspects related to the culture, the daily life, and the social realities of
Qatar about 50 years ago
Students will learn about the impact geography had on the life of their grandparents
Students will know how and why the Qatari society has changed
Students will understand that human activity can modify the physical environment

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project Draft Template
Students will learn that humans are capable of improving and/or exploiting their physical
Students will know how technology and the interactions among societies and cultures have influenced
Students will know how leadership influenced the socio-economic development of Qatar during the
last 50 years time span.
Students will be able to compare Qatari society today to the Qatari society about 50 years ago by using
primary sources
Students will be able to conduct historical inquiry by interviewing primary sources regarding what
life was like in Qatar about 50 years ago.

The hook or Introduction:

The whole social studies curriculum for grades 3 through 8 is designed to cover standards that focus on
change over time, culture, the impact of the interactions among societies and the impact of scientific and
technological developments. These topics cover 80 percent of the curriculum. Because of the dramatic
change in lifestyle in this part of the region, the students are very curious to learn more about this topic
and how Qatar came to be so different today. Before the implementation of this project, the students
had been asked to discuss with the elders in their families about Qatari societal changes, but they never
had to document this in any way. Therefore, I anticipate students excitement when they will be
presented with the topic for this project. The teacher could start by showing students pictures of people
living in the region 50 years ago, or by asking them to reflect in writing or orally on how their life would
be if there was no air conditioning, phones, or internet.



-Ask students to look at pictures of Doha 50 years ago and talk about what was different- Photo
Gallery: Qatar in the Past Century (Halawala, 2007) and 22 Amazing Vintage Photos of Everyday Life
of Doha in the 1960s (
Qatars Population Google (World Bank data)-; Qatars Population (Trading Economics)
-Have students reflect on how different their life would have been if they lived 50 years ago (no
air conditioning, no phones, no TV, no internet, just a couple schools open)
-Ask students to think about family members who lived in the 1960 and who could describe to
them what life was like in the 1960s
-Introduce the project idea

-Discuss the title of the project From Barren to Bountiful. Metamorphosis and read the article below
as a basis for class discussions. How Qatar Got So Rich So Fast (Jacobs, 2014)
-Picture BQDoha- What information does the picture below convey?

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project Draft Template


Work in groups on developing possible questions to ask their grandparents.
Individually select the questions students find appropriate to use in their interview.
Pair students up to discuss the questions they picked and also act out the interviewers part.

Day 4:
Develop a rubric for the project with teachers help.
Talk about interview tips and recording video tips.
The students are encouraged to ask their grandparents to share pictures of Qatar 50 years ago if they
had any.
Talk about photo/video-release forms.


The students can choose to either interview their grandparents at home or invite them to school and
conduct the interview at school.


The students will put the video segments together, will edit their videos with teachers help as necessary,
and will publish their projects on a shared Google site.

in groups)
The students (in groups) will reflect on:
-how Qatar changed in 50 years and on the factors that caused these changes
-they will create Venn Diagrams illustrating the similarities and differences

Day 8: REFLECTING ON THEIR NEW LEARNING (written reflection individually, peer edited in
-what they learned by working on this project
-the importance of oral history
The students will record their reflections in writing, and their reflections will be published on the
Google site alongside their videos and Venn diagrams
They will write a thank-you letter to their grandparents

-The students will produce 5-10 minute video recordings. The students will be using phones, iPads, or
video cameras to record their interviews. After they finish recording the interviews they will use iMovie
to edit the movies. All videos will be published on a Google site
-They will create Venn diagrams in order to compare life in Qatar today to life here 50 years ago
Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University
Engaged Learning Project Draft Template
-Lastly, they will blog about their new learning.
All these three components (videos, Venn Diagrams, written reflection) will be published on a shared
Google site

The students will work on this project at the end of April, and during the month of May. We will try to
collaborate with other schools from Qatar and all the schools will publish their products on the same
website. To assess students projects, the teacher will use student-created rubrics. I will also create a
Google+ community that will facilitate the implementation of this project by the different schools

Technology Use:

The students will plan their interview questions in Google docs.

They will be using iPads, MacBooks, or iPhones to interview their grandparents.
They will use iMovie to edit their videos.
The students will use Google sites to publish their projects and reflect on them
To facilitate the implementation and dissemination process, the teachers involved in the project will
collaborate using a Google+ community.
The technology tools listed above will help the students produce authentic and meaningful projects, will
help them collaborate and will increase student engagement.

References and Supporting Material:

Audio-video recording log

Cover letter (would include information about the person being interviewed, length of recording,
date and place of recording)
Guidelines (for interviewing, for recording, for video editing)
Interviewers photo/video release form
Interviewees photo/video release form
Photographs log
Rubrics developed by students with teachers help
Sample Interview Questions
All forms, logs, and release forms created for this project can be found here

Halawala, F. (2007, January 23). Photo gallery: Qatar in the past century. Message posted to
Jacobs, H. (2014, June 18). How Qatar got so rich so fast (photos). Retrieved from
Population: Qatar. (2015, October 16) Retrieved from
Qatars Population. (2015). Retrieved from
22 Amazing vintage photos of everyday life of Doha in the1960s. Retrieved from

Project adapted from Illinois Veterans and Community Classroom Project

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project Draft Template

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University