Class 1: Make a History Teacher Meme

Teach history

Here’s the flow of our first class  – a chance to get to know more about the course and try our hand at some low and high tech teaching tools.

  1. First task …  solve a Murder Mystery! (It’s how I opened my high school classes for years). Find lesson here.
  2. Next, we’ll discuss their vision of the “history teacher.” They will be invited to turn those ideas into memes using AdobeSpark Post.
  3. Peter will offer a  quick demo of AdobeSpark Post –  a great tool for creating striking title slides with public domain content.  See video below.
  4. Students will get a quick overview of WordPress. See video below and view our WordPress 5.0 Playlist
  5. While students are working, Peter will get each student logged into our WordPress account.
  6. Finally we’ll reflect on the first class and how the classroom workflow was designed and managed.

Assignment 1 | Posts 19A-1
Task 1: Create a meme and create your first blog post – an elaboration / explanation of your meme. Be sure to do your post by August 29th.

Students should be sure their post includes a featured image (the meme) made using  AdobeSpark. Use your meme from class or make a new one. Here’s some post prompts – feel free to use one or more for inspiration.

  • What makes for a good history teacher?
  • Why teach history?
  • What you see as your “models” for history teacher.
  • The challenges or opportunities of teaching history.
  • How were you taught history? Is that how you intend to teach?
Task 2: Students will be assigned one of the historical archive sites here. They will prepare a 5 minute introduction to the site to be presented to class on Sept 2. Presentation should include:
  1. How to use search functions in site
  2. How to download content
  3. How to find metadata for citation and hyperlink.
Task 3: Before our 9/2 class, comment on at least 2 student posts. It’s a conversation, not simply a … “nice job.”

How to use Adobe Spark Post
How to log into WordPress
How to write your first WordPress blog post

Class 1: History Teacher’s Meme Smackdown








Here’s the flow of our first class  – a chance to get to know more about the course and try our hand at our first two tech tools.

  1. This our first class  … so …  why not solve a Murder Mystery! (It’s how I opened my high school classes for years). Find mysteries here.
  2. Peter will offer a  quick demo of AdobeSpark Post –  a great tool for creating striking title slides with public domain content.  See video below for more. Remember to size your graphic to 640 x480 pixels.
  3. Students will get a quick overview of WordPress and be pointed to our YouTube playlist.
  4. Next, we’ll discuss their vision of the “history teacher.” They will be invited to turn those ideas into memes using AdobeSpark Post
  5. While students are working, Peter will get each student logged into our WordPress account.
  6. We’ll have a meme smackdown and reflect on the activity and how the classroom workflow was designed and managed.

Assignment 1 / Completed work

Task 1: For your first blog post write an elaboration / explanation of your meme. The post is due by midnight Friday Aug 31st.

Students should be sure their post includes a featured image (meme) made using  AdobeSpark. Use your meme from class or make a new one.

Here’s some post prompts – feel free to use one or more for inspiration.

How the meme reflects …

  • What you see as your “models” for history teacher.
  • The challenges or opportunities of teaching history.
  • How were you taught history? Is that how you intend to teach?

Task 2: Introduction to Historical Thinking

All student will:


Image credit: Adobe Spark








Class 3: Teacher as Curator

Teacher as curator








Skillful curation is based on skills across Bloom’s Taxonomy – a good grounding in lower order understanding of content, analysis of theme, evaluation of appropriate content and assemblage into a new context (or exhibition). This class will explore how history teachers can be skillful curators – designing engaging experiences where their students can “be the historian.”

This class will open with a lecture / activity that explores three elements of curation: Teacher as curator handout  1MB pdf

  • Select the artifacts
  • Think like a historian
  • Scaffold the content
Assignment 3

See completed student assignments 3 here

Students will curate a small exhibit of at least 3 artifacts. There should be a clearly stated theme and artifact labels and / or explanatory text as needed. Choose to do an exhibit based on any historical theme that interests you. Historical artifacts could include images, audio or video – but all should be in the public domain.

…. Or get creative and choose a theme based on artifacts in your possession – for example how would future museum goers understand three objects from your Star Wars collection or cooking utensils? (if you choose this approach, take photos of the objects you have.)

Please complete your post by Sat 16. All students should look at the other exhibits and leave a comment on at least one. Did you “get” what they were trying to say? Suggestions?

All students should use AdobeSpark to create featured image. It’s a very useful tool for creating striking title slides with public domain content.  ( I use them for most of my featured images in this blog). I’ll explain how to use in class.


Image credit: Adobe Spark