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 2: Visualizing Place








Where-Im-from

Places are locations having distinctive features that give them meaning and character that differs from other locations. Therefore, places are human creations, and people’s lives are grounded in particular places. We come from a place, we live in a place, and we preserve and exhibit fierce pride over places. National Geography Standard 4: Place

Today we will explore two different representations of place. This activity will be completed in class and serves multiple purposes:

  1. A demonstration of blended learning – offloading tech instruction to video so the teacher is free to assist students as needed.
  2. Exploring two representations of place using free tech tools.
  3. An opportunity to “introduce yourself” via your first blog post.
    You can find video tutorials for using WordPress here.

Students can choose from one of two platforms to visualize place – Haiku Deck or Google MyMaps.  After one of the visualizations, students will create a WordPress blog post on this site that includes an embedded version of the presentation and a written response to the question:

What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?


View student response to this assignment here – Where-16

Visualization option 1- Haiku Deck

This option features a poem as a prompt for a creative reflection.

  1. After reading Where I’m From, students will use HaikuDeck to design a brief presentation that uses words and images to depict “where they are from.” The presentation should include a a title slide plus 6 slides which explore the place you’re from.
  2. After completing the HaikuDeck presentation, students will create a blog post that includes an embedded version of the presentation and a written response to the question:

What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?

Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.

Visualization option 2 – Google MyMaps

Design a map representation of “Where you are from” or another place that is important to you. Design your map using Google MyMaps and be sure to include at least 6 destinations. Attach about 10 content elements to the map – these could be photographs, videos or links to attractions. You may wish to design it as a walking or driving tour of your destinations. All content should be geotagged to the map at its actual location (or close to it).

Scroll down for video instructions. Need ideas? Check out MyMaps Gallery and find more on MyMaps techniques.

When your map is complete, embed it in a blog post that details what you hoped to convey in your map, and/or what you learned from the experience.

What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?