How can you turn complex topics into lessons students enjoy? Creativity and flexibility. When students are empowered to use their imaginations to convey understanding, teachers tap into multiple student skill sets that lead to an increase in engagement and retention.
As an eigth grade Civics and Economics teacher, I understand the importance of simplifying a subject so it becomes easy-to-understand and, most importantly, fun. Storyboard That!, an app available on the Edmodo Store, allows students to turn in assignments that literally illustrate their written and visual comprehension of a variety of subjects.
At the beginning of the year, I implemented Storyboard That! into a lesson on citizenship. The original idea was to have students create a storyboard depicting the five steps of naturalization. To let them fully develop and express their vision, my only directive was to include the five steps; the rest, including the number of boxes, images used, and dialogue, was completely up to them.
Students also read primary sources about actual citizenship ceremonies that took place the previous summer, solidifying their understanding that there are multiple steps to the naturalization process. By combining the Storyboard That! assignment with supporting class discussions and activities, I was able to emphasize that becoming a U.S. citizen involves more than an exam, oath, and age requirement.
In addition to visualizing knowledge, Storyboard That! gives me a way to eliminate paper, use more technology, and create blended learning opportunities in the classroom. The app also allows the students to automatically save storyboards to their backpacks and attach it to the assignments I post—all within Edmodo. Using Storyboard That! is so convenient and easy for my students, that I’m planning to use it for future assignments, including one on our electoral process.
To find out more, or add Storyboard That! to one of your groups, visit the Edmodo Store today!
This is a guest post by Rebecca Fox, a middle school Civics and Economics teacher at Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County. Rebecca has been teaching for 12 years.