Threads of Change in the 19th Century

A Museum Exhibition Webquest

developed by Vicki Seed

Humanities and Communications Magnet

Eastern Middle School, Silver Spring, Md.

Teacher Information

student page

This webquest is a culminating project for the College of William and Mary "Threads of Change" unit for highly able learners grades 7-11. It also may be used as a general investigation of 19th century social philosophy and literature for Honors students. Total time is ~ nine 50 minute periods: the Web portion of the webquest should take five 50 minute periods.; group preparation for the oral presentation should be ~three 50 minute periods and the presentations can be given in one 50 minute class period.

Maryland State Standards:

Students will evaluate the influence of culture, ethnicity, and historical eras on the themes and issues of literary texts (

Students will support statements and claims with relevant anecdotes, descriptions, facts, statistics and or specific information (

Students will use organizational features of electronic information and library and interlibrary computerized catalogues to research information for a specific purpose (

Enduring Understandings:

Literature affects the philosophy and culture of a society.

Changes in society can be positive or negative, natural or man-made and occur over time.   

Essential Questions:

In what ways do writers, artists and musicians reflect society's values?

In what ways do writers, artists and musicians change society's values?

Skills and Knowledge

 Familiarity with the writings of many authors of the 19th century

Internet research skills 

Writing work cited page


 Students will give an oral presentation to support their choices for the museum exhibit.  All members of the group must present the appropriate section of the material. The rubric is for an oral presentation with visuals but could be done as a computer-generated presentation with programs such as Hyperstudio or Power Point.

 Students must include a written work cited sheet to support their research. 


Students will proceed with the task as presented in the webquest.


Use the following questions discuss student's findings:


While you were watching other company's presentations, did you see choices similar to your own?  Did you see choices which you liked better than the selections your company made?
 Can you see evidence of these threads in today's society? Is change represented in similar ways in modern society?