Exploring History Through Current Events

In 1999, U.S. journalists and scholars selected the top 100 news events of the 20th century. As part of the grade 8 history curriculum at The Ellis School, students write their first scholarly research paper about one of those events.
They can choose to research a historic scientific breakthrough, a landmark Supreme Court case, or a turning point in pop culture. The project is specifically designed to allow students to explore a topic of personal interest to them and study it in depth.

Throughout the project, girls learn how to research, analyze, and enhance their arguments as they write a paper explaining why their topic is one of the most important events of the 20th century. Students gather information from books, databases, and websites to supplement and support their case.

From this assignment, grade 8 students learn valuable skills that will last throughout their academic careers. Ellis girls enter grade 9 already knowing how to write a research paper, making their transition to the Upper School smoother. By the time Ellis students leave for college, they are well versed in how to gather research, evaluate sources, and present information in a compelling way because they’ve been practicing how to do it independently since Middle School.