Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Lee Plourde

Second Committee Member

S. Schmitz


This handbook has been created in an effort to assist teachers with establishing a hands-on, learner-centered environment. The purpose of this handbook is to assist educators with teaching fifth grade, Social Studies curriculum. This handbook will help teachers to organize fifth grade expectations into thematic, learner-centered, intrinsically motivated projects that will allow for a well-planned, teacher facilitated, and educational experience. This is more than just a how-to manual; it includes the theoretical and empirical basis thesis for using thematic, cross-curricular projects, to enhance student retention, motivation and independent learning.