Friday, March 4, 2016

What if the Founding Fathers had Facebook?

It’s Founderbook time again! During this unit, our 5th grade students use a Google Site to take on the persona of one of the founding fathers, create a facebook-like profile, and then blog from the perspective of the founder. This time I’ve got a new Google Site template with improvements based on what we learned last year.

This year my fifth grade teachers added to the instructions page. The instructions page offers a nice reference while students are working independently. One addition that I liked a lot was the “Speak like a Founding Father” section. The kids really enjoyed using these tips to get into character.

Adding information to the Founderbook page is just the beginning.  The real fun comes when the children use the announcement pages to blog in the first person about their founding father’s experience at the Constitutional Convention. At the end of the unit, students come to school dressed in period clothes, read each other’s posts, and leave comments on their friends blogs, all while staying in character.

Next year I’d like to take better advantage of this anachronistic Colonial Day. The students do a great job dressing as their founder and I’d like to leverage that more effectively. How great would it be if the students used Google Hangouts to stage and record Constitutional Convention debates?

All in all, this continues to be a great unit. Students really get into researching their founder and writing from a historical perspective. Let me know if you use our template or if you have questions in the comments.


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