Creating a project for a social studies fair may seem like a difficult task. Unlike a science fair, in which you conduct experiments, a social studies fair requires you to demonstrate knowledge of the world and other cultures. But there are ways to make creative, original and even interesting projects based on history and society. Choosing a topic that interests you and creating a fun presentation are the keys to an easy, compelling entry in the fair.
Culturally Significant Places
While any entry in the social studies fair must be based on a wealth of factual information, complementing it with a visually striking piece of art is a sure way to attract attention. You can craft a diorama to accompany your information, which can be as simple or as complex as you desire. Simple ideas include building a sculpture of the pyramids for a project on Egypt or of another historically significant piece of architecture like the Parthenon, the White House or the former World Trade Center. You can use whatever materials you feel most comfortable with to build your diorama---clay, papier mache, wire sculpture, popsicle sticks and glue are possibilities. If you don't feel comfortable with making 3-D artwork, consider drawing something on paper, such as an illustration of a historically significant place. You can draw a place like the Colosseum as it would have looked in ancient times, and place it next to a photograph of how it looks today.
Your visual presentation should include factual information regarding the place or culture you are representing. Use poster board to organize this information, which may be history, trivia or general facts about the place. The board can either stand behind your diorama or be positioned underneath it on the table.
Topics of Interest
Pick a topic that interests you and focus on it. An easy subject for a sports fan would be to create a project about the ancient Olympic Games. On a sheet of poster board, you could include pictures and information of what sports were played and what the winners received, and compare these facts to the modern-day Olympic Games. You could also compare other ancient sports to modern-day games. For example, you could compare the popularity of chariot racing to stock car racing, or gladiatorial fights to boxing.
If you have a passion for fashion, research the dress of another culture---historical or contemporary---and create a project based on that. You could sketch designs for an ancient Greek fashion line, or even dress a doll in period clothing. You should not only demonstrate the dress of another culture, but also its cultural significance. For example, what was the significance of Egyptian headdresses, or togas? What is the history of the Japanese kimono? To enhance your presentation, dress up in an outfit representative of the culture you are presenting.
An Interactive Presentation
One way to attract attention is to involve fair-goers in your presentation---an interactive entry can be easy and fun to put together. Create a presentation based on another culture's food and eating habits, then prepare a few menu items for people to sample. For example, a presentation on China could include wontons. If you are reporting on another culture's art, display supplies for people to see and touch. You could make a few pieces of papyrus paper for an Egypt presentation. A presentation on the history of Mardi Gras may include masks that people can try on. Interactive visual aids such as these invite people to explore your topic, rather than simply read about it.
- athenes,parthenon,ruines image by yam from Fotolia.com