The Crusades

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Project Info

Grade Levels9, 10, 11, 12
FormatBook: Nonfiction/Informational
DisciplinesScience and Technology, Social Studies

Project Overview

Students from High Tech High School in San Diego, California, created this book as part of an investigation into the math and physics behind the weapons of the crusades. It is an unusual example of an interdisciplinary project for high school juniors and seniors that involved math, science, history and English skills, and allowed for cooperation among teachers from four disciplines.

Each entry was created by two students and includes writing, illustrations and diagrams. Each entry also includes background on the history of the weapon, a battle in which it was used, and the physics of the weapon.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights a high school-level physics and math project
  • Unusual example of interdisciplinary collaboration at an upper high school level
  • Compelling example of making math and science come alive, by embedding with it within a historical study
  • The product is nicely formatted, with thoughtful, professional-quality layout that combines text and graphics
  • Each entry follows a common format that also allows for original work and creativity
  • Highlights a topic is appealing – the study of weapons - for many high school student

Associated Standards

StandardLong-term Learning Targets
RST.11-12.7I can integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information in a variety of formats and media to address a question or solve a problem.
W.11-12.2I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey complex ideas and concepts clearly and accurately, using content that is carefully selected, organized, and analyzed.

Content Areas & 21st Century Skills

  1. Core subjects and themes – Social Studies: Understanding of the crusades; Science: Physics of historical weapons; Math: Calculations; Art: Illustrations, graphic layout; Reading: Determining importance and synthesis of information from multiple sources; Writing: Historical expository writing, sentence fluency 
  2. Learning and innovation – Creatively displaying knowledge through text, illustrations and diagrams; working as a member of a partnership 
  3. Information, media, and technology skills – Use of computers for research, word processing, and product design and layout 
  4. Life and career skills – Working with a partner to produce work within the context of a whole-class project 


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