Bringing Historical Perspectives to Life on Edmodo

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March 28th, 2014

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ZoeParrishThis is a guest post from Zoe Parrish, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (or ITRT) for Goochland County’s Elementary Schools. The post was originally published on her blog, Power On. Want to see yourself on the Edmodo Blog? Submit your story.

The other week my colleague, Ms. Carter, and I spent some time brainstorming ways to help bring the Civil War to life for her fourth 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 came up with the idea of creating a virtual simulation for students using Edmodo. Here’s what we put together (and had a lot of fun carrying out):

  1. Students picked cards with QR codes from a pile, each of which was linked to an actual picture of someone who would’ve been affected by the Civil War. Students had to participate in the lesson as the person connected with the QR code.

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

  1. 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 (and a few secondary) resources to each announcement to help students understand the events from the perspective of people who actually lived through it.

    Students were exposed to real photographs, paintings, letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles. After the viewing the resources, students posted thoughts and feelings from the point of view of their assigned person.

    It was easy enough to use Google to search for resources from the Civil War era—there are tons out there! Most of the pictures for this project came from the Library of Congress’ digital collection.

  1. At the end of class, we used the Edmodo Quiz feature to assess student learning from the lesson.

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

It was so much fun working with Ms. Carter and her fabulous fourth grade social studies students, watching them engage with the primary sources and posts in Edmodo. Students were actively sharing the information they discovered about their assigned people, and I was definitely exposed to a lot of new information, thanks to their curiosity. There was no doubt that deeper learning was taking place!

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