I think history most comes alive in two capacities:
When we can understand it as a story
When it can be visualized
I was really excited to begin incorporation the idea of visual literacy in my history classroom, particularly because I have younger high school students who I would like to get excited about history. We all remember that history teahcer who made us work from our textbooks and bored us to tears, I strive every day to NOT be that teacher. So, for this unit on Industrialization, I tackled the following skills to educate the students on visual literacy and the course content at the same time.
Seeing Visual Media: In researching periodically throughout the unit, the students were asked to evaluate the legitimacy of wesbsites based on aesthetics and layout as well as the source; they were also required to embed fair use photos in activities related to the topic.
Imagery and Communication: The students were required to find an image using creative commons and embed it in their Story Map. Part of the rubric requires it to be aesthetically appealing.
Understanding Presentation Design: For one of the activities during this unit, we used ‘Fakebook‘ because it is familiar and organized. I think it helped the students evaluate essential information. Also, for the story map, many of them used Pages templates which helped them to organize the information in an aesthetically appealing way.
Digital Story Telling: Always looking for ways for students to compile and create using all of the information that they have learned over the course of a unit, I decided to have them create a story map based on Industrialization. Though more details are posted below, the processing of organizing information, selecting applicable photographs, and organizing it all in appealing way taught them beyond the course content.