Exhibition Term I

The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations Exhibition Project
Essential Question:
Social Studies:
How do a region’s geography, climate, and natural resources affect the way people live and work?
How does where we live influence how we live?
What are some of the key features of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations?
What makes a great story?
How do effective writers hook and hold their readers?
How can you incorporate all of the plot elements into your own short story?
Essential Questions that promote further study: http://faculty.marbleheadcharter.com/Home/essential-questions
Project Description:
Students focused on reading fiction and narrative writing this trimester, so they will assume the role of a fiction author for their exhibition project. Students spent a significant amount of time studying the features of a civilization, so they will asked to write their short story on the Maya, Aztec, or Inca civilization.

Students will complete a final draft of a storyboard, short story or diary entry, and a visual of at least one aspect of Maya, Aztec, or Inca culture. The short story or diary entry will have to show an understanding of at least three features of the civilization that the student chooses. The short story or diary entry will have to contain all plot elements.

This project will require students to use narrative writing skills that they have been working on during the trimester. Students will focus on writing well-structured sentences and varying sentences within their writing. Students will use editing skills that they learned this trimester to work on revising their work. They will be expected to provide constructive criticism while peer-editing. Students will need to have a thorough understanding about the civilization features of the civilization that they choose to write their short story on.

Required Components:
Storyboard rough draft
Short story or diary entry rough draft
Self-editing checklist
Peer-editing checklist
Short story or diary entry final draft
Storyboard final draft
Visual that represents one aspect of the civilization

Standards, Strands, Skills (Students will learn, do):
A basic list of major standard, strands, and skills assessed in this projects. These should follow the state frameworks, including ELA and Math Common Core.

ELA Standards:

Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 6 here.)

Social Studies Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Major Assessments:

Short story or diary entry final draft
Storyboard final draft
Visual of civilization feature

Additional Components
Rubric for storyboard
Rubric for short story/diary entry
Storyboard rough draft template
Additional graphic organizers if necessary
Project overview printout

Students have already gathered a significant amount of information that they can use for this project. They have been selecting the main idea from readings about major features of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations. Students will be provided with additional information once they choose which civilization they would like to do their project on. Students will practice their writing skills as they work to complete the exhibition project.


Cell Analogy Exhibition Project

Analogy: a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification


Project Description:

There are an estimated 30 to 75 trillion cells in the human body. Cells make up all living things. Cells need to carry on the same basic functions as we do to sustain life; the difference is that cells do this with much smaller parts. These smaller structures that allow the cell to function are called organelles – “tiny organs”. While most cells contain similar organelles, plants and animals have some very important differences.


The design team of “Cells R Us” is attempting to create a travel destination that promotes awareness of cells among the general public. You have been hired as a team of consultants for this project. Think of destinations like amusement parks, ball parks, zoos, farms, malls, etc. There are certainly more possibilities than this. In order for your project to be considered by Cells r Us, you must present a 3D model of your attraction with the following characteristics:

  • Cell Structure:
    • Identification of the plant or animal cell organelles being displayed, with written justification (For example: The golgi packages secretions. “Be sure to visit the Golgi center inside the gift shop, and have your purchases gift wrapped for you before you leave” ) and image of the actual organelle.
  • Diffusion, Osmosis and Active Transport
    • A written explanation with visuals of how materials and people travel to and from your attraction.
  • Cell Respiration
    • A visual representation and written explanation of how your attraction obtains energy.


This project requires a deep understanding and synthesis of cell structures, functions, and relationships to each other. As such, this project will be scored comprehensively.


6.MS-LS1-1. Provide evidence that all organisms (unicellular and multicellular) are made of cells.

6.MS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe how parts of cells contribute to the cellular functions of obtaining food, water, and other nutrients from its environment, disposing of wastes, and providing energy for cellular processes. Clarification Statement:

• Parts of plant and animal cells include (a) the nucleus, which contains a cell’s genetic material and regulates its activities; (b) chloroplasts, which produce necessary food (sugar) and oxygen through photosynthesis (in plants); (c) mitochondria, which release energy from food through cellular respiration; (d) vacuoles, which store materials, including water, nutrients, and waste; (e) the cell membrane, which is a selective barrier that enables nutrients to enter the cell and wastes to be expelled; and (f) the cell wall, which provides structural support (in plants).