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Created by the class of 2013. To view the work of last year's eighth grade class, visit Big Kahuna 2012.
Students have been extremely busy studying various topics in American History, displayed below, that occurred between 1800 and 1850. Topics are Michigan grade level content expectations from USHG Era 4 - Expansion and Reform (see the Wordle image below). Students worked in pairs, two or more pairs for each topic, and created a wiki page devoted to that topic. The page features a multimedia creation that captures the essence of the chosen topic. The pages were created asynchronously, meaning that the pairs worked collaboratively, but at different times; one pair may be in 1st hour, whereas their cohorts may be in 5th hour. Within each page you will find a video created by the two pairs. See how we did! See below for more on the assignment behind the wiki.

Student Pages By Topic

Topics are organized and divided according to Michigan GLCEs, representing the Era of Expansion and Reform
Students: For help with your movie and pictures, see the Resources Page.

external image expansion.png

external image comparing.png
external image agriculture.pngexternal image industry.pngexternal image laborforce.png
external image transportation.pngexternal image immigration.pngexternal image raceandclass.png
external image slavery.png
external image westwardexpansion.png
external image consequences.png
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external image reform.png

external image educationreform.png
external image abolition.png
external image womensrights.png
external image temperancemovement.png
external image religion.png
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Example: Judicial Review


See who participated in each topic at a glance. A maximum of three pairs studied each topic.

Lesson Plan and Assessment

The pages and videos were created according to a grand scheme. If you are interested in implementing such a project in your classroom or are interested in how this was accomplished, take a look at the Big Kahuna Lesson Plan, linked above.
external image expansionandreform.png
For a quick look at how students were graded, see the Video Rubric and the Wiki Rubric.


This project was designed to meet the standards established in the Michigan Social Studies Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) for grade 8. The project meets or exceeds many of the GLCEs. See how by following the link above.


In addition to the GLCEs, The Big Kahuna meets several guidelines established by the state regarding the use of technology, the Michigan Educational Technology Standards (METS). These guidelines serve as a preparation for a more rigorous expectation of the Online Experience as established in the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

More Info

Note about the title, The Big Kahuna: Just as borrowed information and media must be credited to its source, I must thank Dr. Punya Mishra, Associate Professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University. It was in his course that I had to create a "Big Kahuna" and, hopefully, with his permission, I use this term to describe this project. The project's prior name was "Project to Identify Topics that Occurred Between 1800 and 1850" which was shortened to the "1800s Project." The Big Kahuna works fine.
Mr. Bruce's U.S. History Email Mr. Bruce
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About this Page

The information contained herein was created as a project in Mr. Larry Bruce's U.S. History class, Union CIty Middle School, Union City, MI. Some information may have slight deviation from the known understanding of a selected topic. Such discrepancies will be corrected after the evaluation period. Student creators are not to be contacted regarding any portion of the page content. All questions, comments, concerns, etc., shall be directed to the manager of this space. Email me here.

I hope that the assignment contained within this space encourages other educators to continue to expand their technology integration. You will be amazed at the extent of which your students are capable.