As a result, the exercise took an entire other period. Also, some students had to start over because they did not read the directions carefully. They chose the wrong article on which to answer the questions because they did not use the entire title. Anyway, they are now done with that exercise, and we are returning to the computer lab on Monday to begin their own project. I have already given them a list of 30 topics from which to choose, and they have chosen their partner. Several students I had to pair up because they had no one in particular they wanted to work with. One student was openly annoyed with me because I would not let her work by herself. I told her working with people she doesn't know is something she will encounter in the work world. Of course, I also had to ask her to spit out her gum that she was chewing while complaining to me.
I think the students are going to be surprised by the rubric I present to them on the powerpoint presentation requirement. Some have done powerpoint presentations for history, and the teachers pretty much allow "whatever." The rubric I'm using I received from the librarian, who got it off the Internet. I have reworked it to my own liking, which was a tedious task.
I am looking forward to seeing what the students come up with; hopefully they will have fun and learn in the process. If all works out, I plan to keep this project in my curriculum.