Tag: history

Teaching Chinese History using GIFs


I’m really a big fan of Chinese history as I value my heritage. I’ve decided to create a lesson plan that involves using GIFS to create stories. I’ve decided to do a lesson plan on China’s dynastic cycle. This lesson plan is targeting undergraduate college students. If you read my lesson plan on the dynastic cycle, you can interpret what the GIFs I assembled below as the perfect story. Please let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Click here to access my google doc

Click here for the rubric




love disney laughing evil aladdin




happy yeah patrick spongebob squarepants yay




Explaining the American Revolution… GIF style!

As a huge fan of American Revolution history, of course my lesson plan had to be based on the American Revolution! I was really interested in the use of GIFs to explain a story, so I tried to incorporate this into my lesson about the causes that led to the American Revolution itself. Hopefully, this will help students become more interested into what most believe is a boring topic (sadly), and it will help reinforce sometimes difficult concepts.

Check out my lesson plan here! Also check out this really cool GIF of my fave revolutionary man, George Washington.






1949: Spotlight on China

It is important that students learn to interpret and analyze from black and white documentary films as this prepares them for analytical skills whether they take a history test or do general analysis on anything. I picked this video titled “Communist Takeover of China” because I want students to learn that 1949 was not only the year the Communist took over China but also to signify that after a century of suffering humiliation from Western Powers, China was once again a strong and united country again. I want students to learn why and how certain factors caused the Chinese Communists to win and expel the Nationalists from the country as this is what put China in the spotlight in global history since the world just entered the Cold War.



Video in Teaching

This video is called “No More Kings”. It shows how the Pilgrims go to the New World and begin a new life. It moves through time as a song and shows antagonism between the consist and the King of England. t the end of the video the colonists fight the King and liberate themselves from the King’s tyranny.

This video I will use on my lesson on the Boston Massacre. I want them to find what the video simplifies, emphasizes and misrepresents about the Boston Massacre, colonial life, and American Revolution. The focus in this lesson is to analyze how different accounts color our perception of what really happened during the Boston Massacre. The bigger theme in this unit is to see how the media presents historical events differently over time.


What’s Under New York?

Photo: Source

When you stop and think about it, do you really know where the dead are buried in NYC? In a city where every square inch can be turned into valuable real estate, providing space for the dead seems an indulgence only the suburbs can afford.

But they exist! (Although there’s no longer any space in Manhattan left, in case you were interested in buying a plot.)

On this map, Isabelle and I have plotted some of the most interesting burial ground in Manhattan. Not all of them are cemeteries, though. For example, did you know that Washington Square Park, Bryant Park, and Madison Square Park were all used as potters’ fields at one time? Or that Chrystie Street was a slave burial ground? The one on 11th is the smallest cemetery in the city. Wander up there after class one day! You can see in from the street.

And my favorite fact of all: If you do any sort of construction on a foundation or that involves digging south of Manhattan, you must have an archeologist on staff. There are that many bodies down there.

History Videos

In addition to my other post, in terms of multimedia videos to use in the classroom for history, I found a channel on Youtube, historyteachers. Their channel has several interesting videos in which a history teacher sings about various historical events and topics with pop songs from today. I think this will help students become more engaged in the material as they’ll want to understand the material in order to better understand the videos. I personally love the French Revolution-Lady Gaga cover she does as she wears period dress and describes the various events in the Reign of Terror and various figures within the French Revolution. It is both fun and engaging and I will definitely show my students, if not in class, a link to the videos in the future.

Also I these videos are some of my favorite historical-parody videos which I think are fun and entertaining. Although they aren’t necessarily on the same channel.


The Power of the Pencil

As a future social studies teacher, I really want my students to be immersed in the stories they learn about in my class. In order for history students to see beyond the names and dates on paper, different visual techniques can be used in the classroom besides the tradition of writing notes on a plain old chalkboard or whiteboard (even though I am a huge fan of chalkboards!).

  1. Comicbrush from the box of tricks seems like an awesome tool to use, especially for a history class! This website allows you to create comics with your own drawings, or if you’re the master at drawing stick figures (like me), you can choose from the ready to use artwork. Graphic Novels such as Maus by Art Spiegelman and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi depict certain world events through comic strips, while still going into depth about the event due to their longer lengths story wise. If students are given a certain event depending on the type of history I’m teaching, the goal is to allow my students to unleash their own creativity and understanding about that event through creation of a comic strip. I have personally read Persepolis and it really helped me contextualize the conflicts in the Middle East through the story-telling and visuals from the author. Not everyone has to be an artist like these graphic novels depict, the main goal is to understand how certain events play out in history, whether it be a battle, a protest or the creation of a revolution. I would definitely try to incorporate the idea of comics or graphic novels as a longer project, in order for students to have time to understand the ins and outs of their particular topic. The pencil and the drawing are the connections to the past!

Check out the website!: http://www.comicbrush.com/

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