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Biographical Perspectives: PROJECT: World History S/He Did, They Said, I Think


Over the next few class periods, we will be identifying, investigating, and presenting on some of the world’s most notable leaders throughout history. You each will be given one leader. There will be five steps to the process that will be outlined below. It will be very important that you use the work time that you are given in class, as it will be an excellent time to be able to connect with your classmates and your teachers. The project will culminate in a 3-5 minute presentation in front of the class.

Who are you?

  • Genghis Khan
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Charlemagne
  • Alexander the Great
  • Peter the Great
  • Constantine the Great
  • Mother Teresa
  • Leif Ericson
  • Catherine the Great
  • Attila the Hun
  • Martin Luther
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Adolf HItler
  • Hammurabi
  • Pol Pot
  • Simon Bolivar
  • Ataturk
  • Confucius
  • Rurik
  • Saladin
  • Caesar
  • Odysseus
  • Joseph II (Holy Roman Emperor)
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Qin Shi Huang
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Imhotep
  • Che Guevara
  • Fidel Castro
  • Cleopatra
  • Mao Zedong
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Karl Marx
  • Joan of Arc
  • Sobekneferu
  • Wu Zetian


  • Day 1 (S/He Did)

    • Overview of the project

      • Research Methods Guide and Discussion

    • Identification of your powerful leader

    • Background research (PART 1)

      • This is biographical research

      • This will be classified as the ‘S/He Did’ portion

      • Must use one source from databases via the library page

  • Day 2 (They Said)

    • Identify two positions on the actions of your influential leader (PART 2)

      • Understand the different perspectives’ arguments

  • Day 3 (I Think)

    • Develop your own thoughts and feelings on the individual (PART 3)

      • Create an argument about their impact

      • How should they be remembered

    • Begin writing your speech outline (PART 4)

  • Day 4

    • Complete speech outline

    • Complete presentation slide, which will be one single slide that will be up while you're presenting

    • Practice your speech


  • Day 5

    • Presentations to the class

      • The presentations will be the majority of your grade for this project

      • The ‘attention-grabber,’ thesis, and closing statements all must be memorized. To demonstrate that they are memorized, you need to be making eye contact with the audience when you deliver them.

      • You may use note cards throughout the rest of your speech (if you feel like you need them…)

        • The best presentations will not use any materials, as they will be completely memorized

  • Day 6

    • Complete presentations (if any remaining)

    • Reflections on the process (will be completed in class)

*All materials are due before the day of presentations for your class*

Final Assessment: Speech

  • 3-5 minutes in length.

    • You will be penalized if you do not reach 3 minutes in length. If you go beyond 5 minutes, it will be left to the teacher’s discretion.

  • Memorized attention-grabber, thesis statement, and closing argument.

    • Make the audience want to listen to you. Gruesome statistics or personal stories may work well to open or close your speech.

  • Speech content should include the following:

    • Who is your person? (Background) How did your person rise to power? What did they do when in power?

    • What are the opposing viewpoints throughout history? Why did they take those positions?

    • How should your leader be remembered today? Was their impact on the world positive or negative? When?

  • Presentation Slides should include the following:

    • At least 1 slide that states your leader’s name and your name

    • Must be visual in nature--it should not be a lot of bullet points or words

  • Note cards

    • The only presentation aid you may use is note cards. However, the most influential speakers will not rely on note cards.

*Warning* Reading directly from note cards, avoiding eye contact with the audience, will result in a reduction of points. Your note cards should include major ideas. You should not write out your entire speech and attempt to read it from the note cards. It makes you appear underprepared.

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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