Digital Storytelling

Take my final project as the example to answer the questions. My final project is to use images of women’s suffrage movement to teach students how to do historical thinking. The images, no matter pictures, cartoons or videos, show people’ different views of women’s suffrage. There are advocators and opposition and many other information a reader can tell from the images if they examine it carefully and put it in the historical context, such as the clothes, the facial expression and the time. The reasons why I chose to use images to teach historical thinking are: 1. it will keep students’ interest, more engaging than the continuous reading of texts. 2. I hope to let students know that an image may convey a lot of information. 3. ¬†With images, it is easier to make students put themselves in the time period of suffrage movement and imagine they were the people at the time. This empathy, with the historical knowledge of the time, can help students better understand why some people approved and others opposed. 4. I believe students can learn more by this interactive class room teaching and learning than I do all the talking. 5. With multimedia and practice of historical thinking, students will have new understanding of history. It is much more than memory of dates, events and people but more about interpretation with evidences. This critical thinking skill gained from history learning will benefit students in many other areas.

For example, I will use two cartoons during the women’s suffrage movement, one is for suffrage and the other is against suffrage to guide students to think historically. ¬†and

What messages do these political cartoons convey? Which one is pro suffrage and which is against it? Why? From these cartoons, what are the reasons for women’s suffrage and what are against it? What controversies of women’s suffrage can you tell from these cartoons? Students will work on these questions after learning the history of women’s suffrage. Students will do the group work by sharing their views, they will argue and counter-argue with each other because I predict some students have different opinions. In this group work, students can also share the posters that interest them and their interpretations about them. By the cross-examining these posters, students will deepen their understanding and further their inquiry of women’s suffrage.

In the classroom setting, I would use digital storytelling to spark the students’ interest in the topic. For example, I use Finding Kate at the beginning of the class teaching slavery or historical thinking. I could also use the video in middle of the class to shed light on the microhistory, a story of a slave. It is a good example of historical thinking: how you find the life story by putting together and interpreting the historical evidence. I can also use it at the end of the class to stimulate students to explore after class the history of slaver or the history of Kate’s period. How to use the digital storytelling depends on the content and the purpose of the class but it is a great way to animate history teaching and learning and the students, if they are interested, can make their own digital story telling.



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