Historical character blogs
Students (in pairs) assume the identity and create the blog of a person in a certain period of history. Entries reflect what they learn about that person, with the extra benefit of having to incorporate their knowledge in such a way that they present it from the historical person’s point of view.
It’s elastic, too! Students can work at their own ability level; some will write more, while others may only be able to manage a few sentences at the start.
To make the project cohesive, the blogs focus on people living at the same time in history. After a while, the “characters” can respond to each others’ blogs, creating online discourse about historical events (arrival of first European settlers to North America, Stamp Act, various battles, for examples).
(I’m pleased to have figured out an application for this tool, which to date has seemed like such a “time-suck” for me.)