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dMarie Time Capsule: The Year I Was Born

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector, word processing or presentation software (optional)

Activity Description

For this activity, students will use the Web site dMarie Time Capsule to find information about (and optionally create a poster, flyer, brochure, or PowerPoint presentation on) what was happening in the United States and in the world on the date of their birth. The site provides news headlines, who was in office, retail prices, average income for the year, Academy Award winners, and sports headlines.


  1. Make sure that the Example Web Site (above) is not blocked at your school site.
  2. Teach simple past tense.
  3. Practice using the site yourself. Make a sample project about your own date of birth.
  4. Choose how you will have students create a visual aide (flyer, slideshow, brochure, poster, etc.).
  5. Download, print, and photocopy the Example Document - What Happened on the Day You Were Born (above) for students to take notes on. Alternatively, e-mail them an electronic copy of the document and place


  1. Go to the Example Web Site (above).
  2. Demonstrate for your students how to use the site by entering a birthdate (MM/DD/YYYY). Make sure you show the students how to put in the date in the top. There are a lot of ads on this page.
  3. Choose Quick Page for an automatically generated Time Capsule or choose Advanced Page for a "wizard" to select specific headlines, birthdays, songs, TV shows, toys, and books for the selected date. You can edit the information, or even add your own information, to the final page.
  4. When the results are displayed, students can take notes, print the page by selecting the Printable Version button, or by copying and pasting selected data into their visual (flyer, PowerPoint slides, or brochure). Note: Flyer and brochure templates can be found in Microsoft Word (Select FileNew to see a list of templates. Download the preferred template). Students can insert clip art or images.
  5. Have students present (optionally) their projects and/or display them in the classroom.

Teacher Tips

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  • The site could be used to find information about any day in history.



  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.6) Demonstrate the ability to view the media critically
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.