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U.S. History Time Capsule Project

A.P. U.S. History




You and your group are to create a time capsule for an assigned period of U.S. History.

The time capsule must follow these guidelines:




  1. Items must be placed in a box.  Box should be labeled with title and group members.  You may want to include pictures (from your time period, and of yourselves), or quotes on the outside of the box to increase your creativity grade. There is a size limit for the box.
  2. Box must include a time capsule “guidebook.”  The guidebook must list each artifact.  For each artifact you must state what it is, what it represents and why your group chose it for the time capsule.  Guidebook should be sturdy, and easy to use/follow.  Guidebook must have a bibliography for EACH artifact.  Bibliography should be included at the end of the guidebook. One copy of the guidebook should be printed on regular paper for the teacher to look through during the presentation.
  3. Current Event Artifacts are two artifacts that represent your topic as it relates to today’s society.  We all know that history repeats and that issues don’t simply go away.  This gives you a chance to apply themes and ideas from your time period to other timely topics in today’s world.  For example, New Manifest Destiny might want to discuss our current role in Iraq.
  4. Artifact rough drafts MUST be included in the box.  Please arrange rough drafts in the same order as your final guidebook.  In addition, please put your names on both the rough draft and the final copy.
  5. Time capsule must have 12 artifacts – 10 will be artifacts from the time period, two will be Current Event Artifacts.  Artifacts must have a numbered label attached that corresponds to the order/number of the description in the guidebook, so it is easy for the reader to follow.  Label should also have your name on the back. 
  6. Artifacts must include different mediums—pictures, objects, literature, pamphlets, audiotapes, videotapes (videos must be limited to 10-15 minutes clips).  The variety of mediums will influence your creativity grade.




  1. Each group will present their 2 Current Event Artifacts in a separate 3-5 minute presentation.  You must have your artifacts ready for your classmates to see.  Presentations will be no longer than 5 minutes, but there will be a short period for class discussion following each Current Event Artifact presentation.
  2. In addition, each group will have a 10-15 minute presentation on their time capsule.  Presentation will include a Power Point that will contain at least ONE slide per artifact.  Each slide should outline the significant information and have at least ONE picture.   Presentation will be graded on effectiveness (were people paying attention), completeness (did you cover all artifacts in appropriate depth), and effective use of time (did you stay within the time limits).



Artifacts need to include a wide range of topics from your time period.  They should include but are not limited to:


A.                 Music

B.                 Art

C.                 Literature

D.                 Historical Events and/or People

E.                  Cultural Fads of Trends

F.                  Technological Developments

G.                Current Event related to Time Capsule Subject


Artifacts should be chosen because of the significance they had during the time period.  You will be graded on the significance of objects chosen for your time capsule.




1.                  Reconstruction

2.                  The West

3.                  Industrialism

4.                  New Manifest Destiny

5.                  Progressivism

6.                  World War I

7.                  The Roaring 20’s

8.                  The Great Depression

9.                  World War II

10.              The Cold War (1945-1960)

11.              America at Home (1945-1960)

12.              Civil Rights Movement

13.              Vietnam and American Society (1960-1975)

14.              Post Vietnam and the 1980s


Due Dates


1.                  Your group’s Artifact Choice Plan is due in your Group Folder by May 10th or May 11th.


2.                  Your Current Events Artifact Check (each group member turns in one Current Event artifact guidebook entry AND artifact in rough draft form) is due in your Group Folder by May 12th.


3.                  Your second artifact check (each group member turns in three artifact guidebook entries in rough draft form) is due in your Group Folder by May 17th.


4.                  Your third artifact check (each group member turns in two artifact guidebook entries in rough draft form) is due online May 23rd. After I make comments, print online page, and include in your group folder


5.                  Your completed Time Capsule and Power Point Presentation is due informally on May 30th.  On this day you are allowed to look at your peer’s projects, be sure you did everything you needed to do, and if you need, you may modify.  The capsule must be ready on May 31st.




Time Capsule Project Grade Sheet




Time Capsule Title:_____________


*Keep this sheet in your Group Folder. 




1.       Missing the due date of an artifact check will result in a project deduction of 10 points

2.       Missing the original due date of the time capsule will result in a project deduction of 20% for EACH group member.

3.       Continued lack of work or effort during library time will result in the deduction of 5 points.  You can lose 5 points every time in the library.




Date                                                       Reason                                                  Deduction









Group Grade - All members of the group will receive these grades:

*Title / Box Appearance (15 points)  _____________                               *Artifact significance (10 points) _____________


*Artifact medium variety (10 points) _____________                              *Creativity (15 points)                  _____________






*Current Event Artifact Presentation

a.       Appropriate handout that follows presentation and guides discussion (10 points)

b.       Stayed within time limits (5 points)

c.        Covers artifacts and relates to current event. (5 points)                                                ______________


*Time Capsule Presentation (30 points)


a.       Effectiveness (5 pts)

b.       All artifacts covered in appropriate depth  (20 pts)

c.        Stayed within time limits (5 pts)                                                                                        _____________


Individual Grade - Only you will receive these grades:


*Quality of Guidebook – detailed explanation of artifact and reason it was chose (85 points)     _____________


*Proofread (15 points)                                                                                                                               _____________


*Penalties                                                                                                                                                      _____________












                                                                TOTAL (200)                          _____________