The Decades Museum


Welcome Explorer Curators.  HHS is pleased to announce a new museum to open this year celebrating the decades 1960 through the 2000s - where else but in the beautiful High School Library.  You have the opportunity to create a Smithsonian like exhibit focusing on your area of historical specialty.  Each museum team is responsible for a separate decade:  1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.  Your exhibit must authentically represent the period to museum visitors.  Using artifacts, news stories, and images it must creatively draw the attention of all museum visitors.

You must also teach your fellow curators about your decade. You may develop your own program to accomplish this. Real museum educators use Docents (tour guides), programs, printed materials, workshops, lectures, special events, and classes on the subject matter of the museum.


  • Divide up the task among the team members. All members must work together to make your exhibit possible. You will need a head curator to oversee the project. All members of the team must have a job.
  • You will research the following topics for your decade: Detailed information on each topic can be found in the reference series, American Decades ( REF 973.92 AME ).
    • Arts, Entertainment, & Media
    • Business & Economy
    • Education
    • Fashion, Lifestyle, Social Trends
    • Government, Politics, Law, Justice
    • Medicine & Health
    • Religion
    • Science & Technology
    • Sports
  • From your reading, pick what you consider to be the top stories in each category.
  • Design an exhibit (posters, video, music, web site, etc.) which will include those topics.
  • Take the role of a museum educator and teach your fellow curators about your decade. In real life, museum educators do this by employing a variety of techniques such as Docent (tour guides), programs and training, printed materials, workshops, lectures, special events, and classes. You will have one full period to teach the class.
  • Evaluate your classmates to make sure they are knowledgeable about the important aspects of your exhibit. Write and submit your quiz to Director Irvine for approval before you administer it.
  • Turn in an annotated bibliography of your research. An annotated bibliography includes a brief description of each article or book listed. The description helps the reader evaluate the content and usefulness of each item to his research.
Please include the following somewhere in your exhibit:

        An authentic and relevant historic photograph from AP Photo Archive.
        An actual news clippings from library databases. Good sources for these are Newsbank, Ebscohost, the Decades and Student Resource Center.
        A primary source relevant to your experience during the period from library databases (speech, legislation, advertisement, program, letter, etc.)  Good sources for these are
Student Resource Centerthe SIRS DECADES, and Ebscohost.
        Some artifacts (or images) with explanations from library databases.  These might include:  posters, drawings, political cartoons, representations of clothing/fashion, graphs, etc.

Other things to keep in mind . . . . .

        Every item in your exhibit should be labeled, dated and annotated with a couple of sentences explaining its importance.
        If asked, you should be able to present museum director Irvine with a rationale for the inclusion of every artifact and image in your exhibit.  Make sure every item you select presents a message in a meaningful way.
        Be historically accurate, but feel free to embellish and to be creative!
        Any databases from the Hudson High School library may be used to fulfill the above requirements but the following will be especially useful:
AP Photo Archive, Newsbank, Ebscohost, Student Resource Center, and SIRS DECADES, and Schoolrooms

Resources through your library:

Books, music, videos, and web sites through the Online Catalog.
General books of the decades that will be especially helpful include:
The American Decades set REF 973.92 AME
Day by Day set REF 909.82 AVA
Bowling, Beatniks and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of the 20th Century REF 306.0973 BOW
20th Century Pop Culture set 973.9 EPS
Life in the United States 1960-1990 973.92 MAR
Violence in America set REF 303.6 VIO
Use the online catalog to search for specific topics and browse the shelves in the area of 973 for the history of the period.


Presidential Campaign Songs CD 781.559

Database sources:

Any of the databases from the library homepage may be used for this assignment.

General Decade Portals

American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century
Yahoo! Twentieth Century
Famous Trials
Chronicle of 1900-2000
History Channel: This Day in History
History Central: Major Events of the 20th Century (for national and international news)
Multnomah Homework Center: American History
AnyDay Today in History
Timelines of the Twentieth Century
Dress of the Year
Sports History


Evaluation Rubric

1 = weak  2 = moderately weak  3 = average  4 = moderately strong  5 = strong

1.    The topic of the presentation meets the requirements of the assignment.
2.    The presentation appears to be well researched.
3.    The content of the presentation is appropriate and accurate.
4.    The presentation indicates an understanding of the topic.
5.    The presentation indicates an ability to synthesize information and understand cause and effect relationships.
6.    The presentation includes the required number of elements.
7.    Any artwork in the presentation is appropriate and carefully executed.
8.    The presentation is neat and inviting.
9.    Each member of the group appears to have participated in the development of the presentation.
10.   Overall, the presentation represents the group's full potential.

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