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Mar 12

Historical Perspectives Using Edmodo

The other week Ms. Carter and I spent some time brainstorming ways to help bring the Civil War to life for her 4th graders.  We wanted students to interact with the content in a way that would help them understand the experiences of Americans during this significant period of our history.  We decided to try creating a virtual simulation for students using Edmodo.  Here is what we put together (and had a lot of fun carrying out):

1)  Students picked cards with QR codes from a pile.  The QR codes linked to actual pictures of people who would have been affected by the Civil War.  Students had to participate in the lesson as the person connected with the QR code.

2)  After scanning the visual of their assigned person, the students began to research what life would have been like for that person during the Civil War.

3)  Once students had some time to research their assigned person, the war began.  Using an Edmodo group, we posted announcements throughout class to indicate when notable events from the war were occurring.   We attached primary resources to each of the announcements to help the students understand the events from the perspective of people who actually lived through it.   A few secondary sources were also included.  Students were exposed to real photographs, paintings, letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles.  It was easy enough to google search for primary resources from the Civil War era – there are tons out there!  Most of the pictures came from the Library of Congress’s digital collection.  After the viewing the resources, students posted thoughts and feelings from the point of view of their assigned person.

4)  At the end of class we used the quiz feature in Edmodo to assess student learning from the lesson.

5)  As a follow up activity, students will write a journal entry as their assigned person.  They can include various forms of media to help their person “come to life”.  In their journal entry they will describe their thoughts and feelings during the war, and describe specific events they impacted their lives.  I can’t wait to see what the students produce!

 

It was exciting to watch the students engage with the primary sources and posts in Edmodo.  Students were actively sharing the information they discovered about their assigned people.  I definitely learned a lot of new information discovered by the curious students!  There was no doubt that deeper learning was taking place.  I have had so much fun working with Ms. Carter and her fabulous 4th grade social studies students this week!

2 comments

  1. christophe

    Hi, I’m also a teacher in an elementary school, in Belgium. Since three years i try to use Edmodo. Your post about using Edmodo and history lessons took my attention. I’m glad I went on the read your post (although it is not in my native language). So I sometimes use Edmodo in class, and i’m interested in history and war, and last but not least: i try to do a project once a year using this method ‘Storyline telling approach’ (developed in Scotland). And your method is very similar or part of this teaching method! Very interesting. I want to try this for sure in Edmodo in the future! Thanks a lot!

    regards, christophe

    1. zparrish

      Thank you for commenting, Christophe! I would love to see examples of how you use story telling in your classroom. Do you have a blog?

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