CCA – Your Choice of Civ!

By , February 20, 2018 10:42 pm

CCA – Course Culminating Activity

Step 3 – Final Product

We will be working in the library from Wed. Dec. 19 to Jan. 11. Then the product is due on Mon. Jan. 14. No exceptions.

Choose your final product by Mon. Dec. 17.

To help you decide which product to choose, look at this document to see how each product will be evaluated (marked):

CHW 3M Parallel Rubrics for CCA

Here are some pointers on how to choose:


Key Dates

Wed. Dec. 19:

  1. Follow the steps on this sheet: CHW3M_CCA_First_Day_Final_Product

Thurs. Dec. 20: 

  1. work on developing your outline. Use one of the templates I provided. I will want to see the completed outline (basically all of your info and citations and images) by Wed. Jan 9. That gives you a week of in-class work to perfect the content and arguments after that.

One HUGE caution:

for all your content, make sure you not only give evidence to prove the theme/thesis but ALSO explain how the evidence proves the theme/thesis. Think of the balanced see-saw.

Mon. Jan. 7:

  1. Have your  bibliography complete – a list of all the sources you used since we started the CCA project. Sources are listed in alphabetical order according to author’s last name.

CHW3M_CCA_Final_Bibliography (1)

Wed. Jan. 9: outlines should be completed for checking.

Mon. Jan. 14: Final product due – no extensions.



Here is a checklist of the major features required for each product. Print yours and use it along the way.








Know how you will be marked by checking out the rubric for each product. Make sure to print off a copy when you hand in your final product on Mon. Jan. 14. Print your rubric.









You have a lot of leeway to choose what you want to focus on. I suggest that you narrow down your civ to something arguable. You may use the same theme as the timeline with attitude but it makes you seem like you’re repeating stuff!

  • what made your civ flourish or decline
  • what made your civ technologically advanced
  • the hierarchy in your civ.
  • something you wanted to focus on in your original guiding questions
  • cultural highlights
  • political aspects
  • other (consult with Ms. G if you’re not sure)

Honestly, narrowing down will probably be the hardest part! Now, be careful: the topic is not the same as the theme.



Once you have your topic narrowed down you can create your thesis statement (if you’re doing an essay). It will be the main argument you’ll be trying to prove. It should be one sentence long and contain your position on a topic.

Here’s a thesis statement for an Egypt essay that follows the format of main argument + sub-topics described:

In ancient Egypt there was a very close connection between state and religion as seen through rulers who gained their status through divine descent, festivals and rituals that had both sacred and governmental importance, and monumental structures built to reflect the pharaoh’s closeness to the gods.



A theme is a lesson or a message that you want to convey to your reader about your civilization. It is not as concrete as a thesis; you will relate your content to it as opposed to proving it.

Here are a few themes for an Egypt final product (other than essay):

  • The overlap of state and religion.
  • The crucial role of scribes in Egyptian society.
  • The hierarchical nature of Egyptian society.
  • Strong women’s rights in Egypt.




You will have to do an outline/draft for whichever product you are doing once you have created your thesis/theme. Outlines will be checked  on Wed. Jan 9. 


Here is a sample essay outline on Egypt. CHW3M_CCA_Sample_Essay_Outline_2018

Museum Display – slide outlines:


HTC Posters:


Storybook: (note that the teacher version is the fact-checker – you need both)






For HTC posters, museum display, and storybook (if you don’t create your own images), you will need to find primary source images. Here are some hints:

  1. Sure, you can do Google image searches. BUT, the trick is that you need to look at the source (where the image is from). Google is not the source. Google is just the search engine. If the web page doesn’t say the original source, you shouldn’t use the image. Don’t trust it just because it’s on the internet.
  2. Images should be from the time, not from later on.
  3. Images should be meaningful, not decorative.
  4. You always want to identify where and when the image is from (in the civ).



All products require citations (either footnotes or endnotes) in Chicago style. This is why it has been so important to write down page numbers; endnotes and footnotes require page numbers.

In every single format, every time you give information that is not from your own head you will have to CITE IT! If you don’t you will get zero for plagiarism. 

You will also need a bibliography at the end listing all of your sources.

Follow the formats for footnotes and bibliography identified in this handout: Documentation_for_history_essays_CHW3M (1)




Here are some samples (not fully complete) of what each product might look like:

HTC Posters: here is one for Ethical Dimension


Museum Display: 


Student sample from last year:


Essay: Ms. G has many paper copies.

Children’s Storybook: 

Aztec_Storybook by Jamie, Iulia, Nicole and Andrew P. (from a class about 5 years ago – it was for a different project but you should be able to get the gist of it. Back then I asked for the fact-checking companion as a PPT as well. Here is one: Aztec_Storybook teacher version by Jamie, Iulia, Nicole and Andrew P. .)


Samples from last year will be shown in class. They are not to be removed.








Step 2 – Library 

Assignment: Rubric for CHW3M CCA Step 2

Note-taking Template: CCA_Step2_Note-Taking_Template__for_timeline_2018

Sample by Ms. G on Roman Expansion during the Republic: CHW3M_Timeline-with-Attitude_Sample

Checklist (to make sure you have everything):CHW3M_CCA_Step2_Checklist


It is now time to move to the next step of the CCA process: the timeline with attitude. Timeline, as in showing order of events. Attitude, as in showing progress and decline (guideposts of continuity and change).

You will first have to do some more research in order to describe 5 events.  Please use the new note-taking template. If you’re using information from your previous CCA notes, please highlight what you use. Ms. G suggests that some of you need more detailed research in order to do this step.

You will need to use citations so please keep track of where your information comes from. That means exact page numbers, not ranges. For instance, if I write down that Roman troops lost a major battle to the Germanic tribes in 9 BCE, I must also write that the information came from page 275 of my source. Not 270-275.

If you are having trouble finding events attached to specific dates, you may use date ranges. Or, you may do developments and trace them back to a certain origin date.

Ms. G made a  sample for you on Word. Be sure to consult it. Also, check out the Julius Caesar example that was given to the jury during the trial. Ms. G will show you some Prezi samples in class.

Due date: hand in timeline and notes by Wed. Nov. 28.

For internet sites, CRAAP tests are due as well. CHW3M_CRAAP_Test_2017-18

Online sources:

  • don’t forget the History Reference Centre (EBSCO). This can be accessed from the YM library databases page.
  • also don’t forget Britannica online, also available from library databases page above.
  • Home log-in is usually Trillium (see passwords in your agenda).

Criteria for success on the research:

  1. I need 5 events.
  2. I need details about the 5 events (usually these will make up 1-2 of the 4 sentences per event).
  3. I need a theme or glue that holds the 5 events together.
  4. I need to be able to see the events from different perspectives (views).



 Step 1

Welcome to your big project. It will be done in steps throughout the rest of the course. You will learn so much, not only about your chosen civilization, but about researching, writing, thinking, and being creative.


Step 1 – Library in October


Choose your civ. Take some notes. Write some questions.


‘s_2018 (rubric) 


due date for notes and inquiry questions: Mon. Oct. 15, 2018

Tips for Researching:

My dear class, I know that research can be difficult, especially at the beginning when you don’t know much about your topic. That’s why we start with general information about your civ (such as PERSIAT overview)! Use the index of the books you choose. Look up your  civ if it’s a book that includes more than one civilization in it. If it’s a book specific to your topic, start by looking up the basic PERSIAT headings. Don’t become a specialist yet. Get a wide overview.

Using a structured note-taking template will really help you to keep your notes organized. The general point column in particular is very helpful. It makes you think about what you’re writing about instead of just mindlessly copying it out. The PERSIAT heading goes in this column (the second column from the left).

You need three sources. All can be books – that’s most preferred. If you want to use an Internet source you’ll have to do a CRAAP test to check the website’s reliability and relevance. CHW3M_CRAAP_Test_2017-18

For electronic sources, go to the YM Library website. Click on databases on the menu at the top. Then scroll down to social sciences.  If you don’t know how to use databases like EBSCO History Reference Centre please let me know and I’ll show you.  You may also find useful material on the Global Issues in Context database. I used it for a tonne of stuff for my grade 12 essay last year! Encyclopedia Britannica can also be found in the list of databases under general.


Inquiry Questions:

As you research, you should be able to come up with some questions that will guide your further research. They shouldn’t be factual. They should be deep and inquiring. Of course you’ll be able to revise them in the future as you learn more about your topic or choose to narrow in on certain areas.

Here’s an example for me on the Inca civilization, one I’m hoping to do more research on:

“How did such a technologically advanced society thrive without a system of writing?”

Try not to make them too vague, such as “why did this civilization decline?” Take that general question and give it more personality; in other words, show more awareness of complexity. Even with our limited knowledge of the decline of Indus Valley Civilization we can ask more than why did it decline. We can ask:

“Was the decline of Indus Valley civilization gradual or immediate?”

“Was the decline of Indus Valley caused more by natural or human-made factors?”

To help you write good questions, use the questioning grid on the blog (here’s the link to the page).



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