Monday, January 18, 2016

A great student project: Using a map to tell a story

One of my best new assignments this year involved my students telling stories with maps.  The story they told most recently was the steps from African-American bondage to the abolition of slavery.
Here was my workflow:
  1. In Part I, students were assigned to make a list of twenty events relating to the African-American experience in America, beginning with the first forced migration of Africans to North America and ending with ratification of the 13th Amendment.  For each event, students had to
      1. Name it (e.g., Stono Rebellion)
      2. Describe it (3-4 sentences) using their own words
      3. Say when it happened (1793)
      4. Say where it happened on a map (South Carolina)
      5. Include a link to an image or YouTube video that relates to that event.  Example: This link is to a historical marker discussing the Stono Rebellion.
  2. In Part II, students took that list of twenty events and used them to make a StoryMap.  I've blogged about StoryMapJS before.  It's a storytelling tool created by the Northwestern University Knight Lab.  Designed for journalists, it's perfect for students as well.  Here's my favorite YouTube tutorial (8:46) on how to use StoryMapJS.

Click on the link to see the first student project I received for this assignment.  One reason why I like this assignment so much is that StoryMaps are easy to create!  How easy?  I gave my students ten days to complete this assignment.  Yet only hours after I assigned it today (a Sunday), I received the first one.

No comments: