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Back-in-Time
Travel Brochure


Subjects

  • World History

Grades

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

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Brief Description

A time machine has enabled us to travel back in time. Students learn about periods in history by creating travel brochures for time travelers.

Objectives

Students

  • learn about what makes a good travel brochure by thinking critically about brochures they have studied.
  • create a brochure that demonstrates strong research skills and an understanding of the culture being explored.
  • meet expectations set forth in a project rubric.

Keywords

ancient, Egypt, travel, brochure

Materials Needed

  • library or Internet access
  • Microsoft Publisher (optional)

The Lesson

Note: This lesson can be used for a wide range of social studies and history topics. Below, Ancient Egypt is the topic of choice, but the lesson will be easy to adapt to cover topics ranging from Prehistoric Times to modern-day Iraq.

Before the Lesson
It might be a good idea to collect a wide variety of travel brochures from travel agents and other sources. You might arrange students into groups and give each group a handful of brochures to explore. Explain to students that they are going to be designing a travel brochure, so they need to look at the sample brochures with an eye to their layout, the kinds of features they highlight, how they are illustrated, and the style in which they are written. After studying the brochures at hand, invite each group to share information about the features that "worked" in the brochures they examined. (For example: Did students find maps? photos? diagrams? What else did they find?) How did the brochure writers use language to entice travelers? What kinds of words were used? (Did students see lots of descriptive adjectives? Names of towns and tourist sites?) How was text presented? (Was text lengthy or was it presented in "sound bites"? Was bulleted text used to highlight information in an easy-to-read style?)

Assignment: A Trip Back In Time Travel Brochure
Explain to students that a time machine has enabled them to travel back in time, and it is up to them to create a travel brochure to entice time travelers to join you on a visit to the civilization of Ancient Egypt [or another destination of your choosing, tied to your curriculum]. Tell students they will be designing and creating unique brochures. Within their historical brochures, they will be including general information about the civilization of Ancient Egypt. In addition, they will include pictures and images that will appeal to the eyes of traveling consumers.

Technology Options
I had students use Microsoft Publisher for this assignment. Students turned in color printouts of their brochures. You might employ different technology.

Students will work in small groups to create a brochure. (Options: The assignment could be completed by individual students or students working in pairs.) I explained in advance that the brochures would be graded and that each member of the group would receive the same "group grade."

Each brochure was required to include

  • a detailed map of Ancient Egypt;
  • a list of major cities at that time;
  • information about language(s) spoken;
  • facts about the government;
  • information about the culture of Ancient Egypt;
  • types of transportation a visitor would see;
  • how natural geography played an important role in the lives of people;
  • a hieroglyphic message to be decoded using a hieroglyphic decoder such as The Hieroglyphic Alphabet or Hieroglyphic Decoder.

Additional Instructions to Students

Introduction:
Imagine that you are a resident of Ancient Egypt. You have been employed by the central government to promote tourism as an industry. One of your first tasks is to design a travel brochure. This brochure will be distributed along the trade route linking the Indus Valley with Cairo in Egypt. Your brochures will be distributed in large numbers in Cairo.

This is what you do:

  • Prepare a letter-size sheet of paper by folding twice to form a tri-fold brochure.
  • That will give you three outside areas, or "panels," to work with and one large area, or "spread," inside.

Prepare your information:

  • Review library and Internet resources about the civilization of Ancient Egypt. Extend your knowledge of the region and the culture by carrying out this research.
  • Arrange your information according to "topics" based on the assignment. For example, you might gather all information collected about living accommodations that a visitor might expect to find in Egypt; the kinds of terrain a traveler might expect to pass through; modes of transportation; the gifts tourists can expect to buy in the ancient city; and things to see and do in Ancient Egypt.

Tips for designing a brochure:

  • Create a colorful and eye-catching cover for your brochure.
  • Remember that you want to attract visitors; you will want to present hardship and danger on the journey as excitement and adventure.
  • Make your brochure as attractive, appealing, and informative as you can.
  • Balance text with illustrations and use plenty of color.

Assessment

I created a rubric that measures those things I wanted to see in the students' brochures; you will want to adapt this rubric to create your own measurement tool based on your expectations of students. Review the rubric with students at the start of the project so they are crystal clear about your expectations. Students' peers and I used the rubric below as we assessed the final brochures. Rubrics will vary by grade level and expectations; this rubric was created for use with middle or high-school students.

Quality of the Geography Information (10 points possible)

  • High-Quality Work: Geologic features have been identified and are thoroughly explained. Main mode of transportation is mentioned and explained. How geography impacted the civilization is included and well explained. Map is beautifully colored.
  • Satisfactory Work: Some geologic features are mentioned. Comments about modes of transportation and how geography advanced the civilization are included but not well explained. Map is neatly colored.
  • Unsatisfactory Work: No map. Very vague descriptions of the geologic features. No references to how Egyptians traveled. No mention of how the geography of Egypt helped to advance the civilization. Maps are not colorful.

Quality of the Architecture Information (10 points possible)

  • High-Quality Work: Four or more structures are explained thoroughly. Information on several theories about how/why monuments were created.
  • Satisfactory Work: At least three structures have been explained. Reasons have been given for why/how monuments were created.
  • Unsatisfactory Work: Fewer than three structures have been identified. Little or no information about how monuments were created.

Quality of the Hieroglyphic Information (10 points possible)

  • High-Quality Work: Detailed information about origins, purpose, scribes, and deciphering hieroglyphics. A decoder is included. A creative message has been included.
  • Satisfactory Work: Includes some information about hieroglyphics, purpose, scribes, deciphering. Decoder included. Message included, but not very creative.
  • Unsatisfactory Work: Limited or no information about hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphic decoder is missing. There is no hieroglyphic message to decode.

Quality of Religion Information (10 points possible)

  • High-Quality Work: Religious beliefs are explained thoroughly. Three or more gods have been identified with descriptions of each. Major beliefs surrounding the after-life and the process of mummification have been explained in good detail.
  • Satisfactory Work: Some information on religious beliefs. Two to three gods are explained. Information on death rituals and mummification is included but not in rich detail.
  • Unsatisfactory Work: Major beliefs are not explained. Information about one or two gods is included. Little or no information about rituals or mummification is included.

Organization of Brochure (5 points possible)

  • High-Quality Work: Information is organized. The brochure is easy to read and "flows" very well. The sections of the brochure are in an order that make sense.
  • Satisfactory Work: Most of the brochure is organized. The brochure has decent "flow" throughout. The sections of the brochure are in a logical order.
  • Unsatisfactory Work: Very difficult to follow. Information doesn't "flow" in a way that makes sense. Very disorganized.

Submitted By

Brett Sidle, Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep in Orchard Lake, Michigan

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8/27/2012